Spring planting and preparing the harvest……planning the two together.
My how time goes by fast and it is already a week past the May long weekend; almost the 1st of June! Typically we think of having finished planting the garden by now…..or not!
In our case here in Central Alberta it is the rare occasion that our garden is completely planted by now. The soil is still cool for some seeds and plants and this month my husband and I have been busy with full time lambing. So while we do have a lot of our garden planted, I still have squash, cucumbers, melons, peppers, corn, onions, and flowers to plant. However, I was recently consoled by farmer friends of mine who are just planting their garden this week; they don’t plant prior to the May long weekend and they always have a successful and abundant harvest!
Considering that last year I was unable to help very much on the farm due to my concussion, I’m super grateful to Our Lord that I can do so much more now! What a tremendous blessing and reminder of God’s goodness!
Planning, Planting, Preparing
If you haven’t started your garden yet, there is nothing to worry about as there is still plenty of time to plan and plant your garden! Over the years, we have planted seeds early in May or as late as the second week of June and either way our plants have grown.
While some plants do better the earlier they are planted, seeds can be fairly forgiving and the main thing is to do your best, plant what you can reasonably look after, keep weeds under control, buy seedlings when you are unable to grow your own, tend your garden as often as you can, and most importantly, trust God to look after the rest. When we do our little part, God does the rest!
Just like our Grandmothers and Great-Grandmothers would likely have done, we can plan and prepare ahead for next winter with a few simple steps right now.
As I mentioned in my first gardening post, rather than thinking of planting a garden, I think year long and write out a Harvesting and Produce list for the fall: what would I like to serve my family for Spring, Summer, Fall, or Winter meals? And then I plant my vegetables and herbs and flowers or plan my fruit picking or ordering list from the perspective of cooking and eating tasty and nutritious food that is also beautiful. I have a hard time with Menu planning (hoping to get better at it!) but if my pantry and freezers are full of nutrient dense, calorie dense, tasty and attractive foods then I’m set to make my meals!
For the past 8 years, I’ve used a list I call Planting Our Abundant Harvest and it is my checklist for Planning, Planting, and Preparing my garden every year, which I generally update every few years as our needs and availability of things changes.
I’ve included it for your use. Hoping it provides new inspiration for Planning, Planting, and Preparing our own Abundant Harvest!
And in case the list sounds overly enthusiastic, don’t worry, I won’t be able to do everything on the list without a lot of help from my family, just in case it sounds like I can do it alone! Food storage is really a labour of love, from everyone, and if only a few people can help that is okay too. It that case, there are other local farmers who grow specific foods just for customers who are unable to grow it for themselves! For example, our farm is a part of the Food Artisans of Camrose County; take a look at their resources as they have a wealth of information. https://www.facebook.com/FoodArtisansofCamroseCounty/
Generally, we plan to use our Pressure Canners, our fermentation vessels, our freezer, our cold storage room, and other storage areas for harvesting foods. We haven’t done any dehydrating yet but it is a dream of mine so maybe this year I’ll try it.
I’d love your thoughts!
Every year Planting Our Abundant Harvest is a new work in progress; this year is the same! I love gleaning new information, ideas and creative ways to plan my garden and my harvest so please leave me your words of wisdom, your ways to make jobs easier, and how you plan and prepare your garden and food throughout the planting, growing and harvesting season.