Family Garden Planning

Heirloom Bushy Cucumber Seeds

Heirloom Bushy Cucumbers

Have you started thinking about what to plant this spring? In many areas of the country, gardening season will be here sooner rather than later. Gardening is a timeless, rewarding hobby that can do wonders in helping your family eat fresh, healthy foods.

But we need to be realistic, too; gardening is hard work. There’s weeding, spreading compost, watering, harvesting, cultivating, and the list goes on.  So when you plan your garden, plan to grow the foods you really enjoy eating.  This was a hard lesson I learned when I planted my first adult garden off on my own.  I planted all the foods my parents had grown.  Hard work and food I didn’t like to eat later. Needless to say, I made major changes in the following years.

Changes were made again when my family came along. Children like gardening more when they like to eat the foods they raise. Here is a list of our family’s “standards,” but yours will be foods your family enjoys.

Our family grows:

Cabbage –Napa, Red, Solid white
Tomatoes – Heirlooms and cherry
Peppers – sweet bell and hot
Broccoli and cauliflower
Bush beans- Blue Lake
Snow peas
Eggplant
Squash – yellow, zucchini, and butternut
Onions – yellow and red
Herbs- thyme, rosemary, sage, parsley, chives, basil
Lettuce – Butter crunch and Red oak
Swiss Chard
Asparagus
Watermelon – Sugar Baby
Muskmelon

There are variations to what will end up in the final plan, but this is where we start.  Extra produce is donated to the food pantry, and to anyone who hasn’t had extra squash, tomatoes or beans. Have fun with your family garden planning. Get the children involved and think of one, unique variety to add this year. It just may turn out to be a new “standard!”

About Dori Fritzinger

I live and work with my multi-generational family in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains in North Carolina. We have a farm of cows and calves, wool sheep, dairy goats, rabbits, ducks, geese, chickens, honey bees, a horse and a donkey. We have a goat's milk soap and bath products line available on our farm web site. I enjoy reading, quilting and doing embroidery.