Ep 150_Fall Gardening Extravaganza
Eat More and Plant Less
I make no bones about being a “lazy” gardener. I actually work my tail off, but appreciate perennials because the work is less than annuals and the yields can be as good if not better.
Start planning now for a low-maintenance food crop for years to come.
Plant these perennials and you’ll not have to plant them again…
Asparagus–This will take a while 2-3 years to get the food. Leave it alone and cut dead ferns every fall. You’ll be getting nice stalks going forward.
Horseradish–Big, bad root that spices up meals, especially roasted/grilled meats. Plant a little piece of root and giant leaves will sprout. I’d leave it alone for the 1st year except to split up the roots and make multiple root clusters. Once it takes, it’ll grow aggressively. Miz with ketchup for cocktail sauce, or sour cream or mayo for a sauce to accompany prime rib or roast beef or steaks. Chop up and eat as a relish RAW if you’re man enough. I mix with cooked beets and it’s mellow enough to eat as a relish with other foods.
Jerusalem Artichokes–you eat the roots, they also grow wild. 6 plants will do a 25 foot row. cook or eat raw in salads. low in starch and calories.
Rhubarb–Eat the stalks of these. I’ve had them in apple and strawberry pies. I’ve never seen them used in anything else, but I’m sure there are other uses. If a diabetic, def skip this plant as it BEGS for going in a pie.
Strawberries–Get plants that do well in your area and they’ll produce offspring on little arms you can plant to expand your strawberry empire. We used to grow a thousand plants at atime. THEY NEED A LOT OF WATER. your yield will stink if you don’t water them through the dry, tough summer. My two favorite varieties are cardinal and Everbearing. Expect two crops with everbearing one in early and one in late season.
Blueberries–maybe more of an orchard plant than a garden plant. Plant them once, take care of them, and you’ll have berries for years. They need ammended soil and lots of love. Birds will eat them all if you don’t protect them
Blackberries and Raspberries–Like blueberries, may be more of an orchard plant than a garden plant, but who cares? Delicious berries come off of canes planted into rich soil. Keep them wet and give them plenty of water. My dad’s variety of blackberry is thornless and has GIANT berries. We count our yield in GALLONS of berries. My favorite are raspberries, but I hate the seeds getting stuck in my gums.
Potatoes and Sweet Potatoes– I consider these perennials because they make little ones and I just put them right bck in the soil. To harvest, dry and sit in sun for a day. Cure sweet potatoes by keeping in WARM dark place for 2 weeks–they’ll store better after curing–and cook better, too.
Think cool. Veggies, especially roots and tubers, will store well in cool, dark places. Basements or root cellars are ideal. Hay, sawdust or cardboard boxes will keep them as long as they’re cool and dry. Don’t forget to bring in those green tomatoes. If they have a hint of change (color) on them, they’ll ripen. Apples, pears and other fall fruits–ditto.
Wooden boxes w/ gaps between boards
Baskets, pails, barrels–
Plastic Tubs/bins–use only with dry food
garbage cans–bury in ground to top and cover
Ice chests–bury in ground or keep in cool place. Keep sealed and only use very dry food
mesh/onion bags–reuse with onions and potatoes
Old refrigerators and freezers-they already are insulated and have racks. Store levels loosely and allow ventilation. A great way to use old appliances that no longer work.
Buried box–made of 2x4s and mesh…cover with boards and soil of hay
No below-ground storage? Use a cardboard box and a cool closet or garage. If you don’t have a cool room–it’s not gonna work.
The “Other” Types of Storage
Of course, fruits, many of them at least can be frozen and placed in freezers, and just about anything can be stored in cans provided you know how.
But you forgot one—DRYING. Drying is another method of storing your fruits and vegetables. Remember, though, that every method requires study and practice. READ the directions and how to store/prepare every food for every method.
Stocking Up III, Carol Hupping. Rodale Press