Green Thumbs Up & Super Local Food!


Every February, right around the time a big box of vegetable seeds comes in the mail, I start thinking about how I'm going to lay out the garden for the year so we can grow fresh fruits and veggies for our Bed and Breakfast guests. For the 2015 growing season we had a 20 foot by 20 foot garden that we quickly outgrew. At the end of the season last year we expanded it to a 20x30 space to accommodate everything we wanted to grow for the 2016 season. 
 

Green and red lettuce, basking in the sun!

Green and red lettuce, basking in the sun!

Then that large box of seeds came... Over the winter we started a fully bounty of tomato, pepper, and melon seeds; along with a ton of cole crops. I quickly realized that these alone would fill up our 20x30 space, not to mention we had peas, carrots, corn, etc. to plant! I grabbed a piece of paper and quickly sketched out the following:
 

A little back-of-the-envelope planning for the garden plot.

A little back-of-the-envelope planning for the garden plot.

I was pretty impressed with myself! I figured with the way it was mapped out we could get a little bit of everything in the ground, with a spread of fresh veggies and fruits to share with B&B guests throughout the season. If you want to see what this map turned into, scroll down to the May 10th blog post where you can see the garden before we planted. 

Making some progress, with long sunny days and occasional rainfall.

Making some progress, with long sunny days and occasional rainfall.


Around April the seeds became seedlings, and I didn't have the heart to callously dispose of the "extras." We wound up with 19 healthy tomato plants, 7 Brussels Sprouts, and too many pepper plants to count. I was worried we wouldn't be able to fit everything in the garden! Memorial Day rolled around (our traditional planting date) and we set out to plant the garden. We squeezed in all the tomato plants, 3 habanero peppers, 4 jalepeno peppers, 8 sweet peppers, 6 Brussels Sprouts, 3 mounds of Zucchini, 3 mounds of summer squash, 2 mounds of Patty Pan squash, 3 mounds of melon, 3 cauliflower plants, 3 broccoli plants, 2 cabbage plants, 4 kale plants, 3 mounds each of pickling and sweet cucumbers, and 3 mounds of gourds. We also planted a wide variety of carrots and lettuce in the raised beds, along with sugar snap peas and pole beans. I will be the first to admit that all of this in a 30x30 space is a little tight. 

Then I looked around! We still had 8 pepper plants left over and all of the butternut squash plants I started were still in the greenhouse. I also hadn't even opened the packets of corn or pumpkin yet! We quickly grabbed the rototiller and made a few spots for corn and pumpkins. Unfortunately we didn't have time to prepare more space so the butternut squash and a few peppers went into large planters, and the rest was given to friends and family. 

mmm, Summer Squash!

mmm, Summer Squash!

We've been enjoying fresh from the garden lettuce, peas, carrots and broccoli. In the next few weeks we will have tomatoes ripening, and all of the squashes will be the right size for picking. We will also pull up the garlic and begin drying it out.

Now, it's time to craft some new breakfast menu ideas with all of our fresh fruits and veggies!