Gardening Goals & Future Plans For The Homestead
Fall is such a great time of year to reflect on our gardens and a simpler time as well as most of us our battening down the hatches preparing for winter or if you are like us and you are in a milder gardening climate you may be planning a few items that you know will grow quite well. We planted some greens that usually do well for us this year. I also like to think about the challenges that will be ahead for us in the spring and fall and the excitement of what is to come or what didn’t we get to this past year.
Gardening is such an amazing hobby as it spans all ages, all fitness levels, and we all have one main objective in mind which is to grow plants. Of course we can further break this up into roses, vegetables, succulents and more! However the love of growing plants is definitely a bonding experience. I remember being fascinated with my maternal Grandmother Norma and how she just had a green thumb. I remember thinking, “I want one of those!”.
Greens grow extremely well for us in coastal North Carolina (gardening Zone 8b) and so as our motto at our lil’ homestead to keep things simple we typically plant swiss chard, collards, kale, and pak or bok choi every fall. Delicious results will follow and they are great additions to soup and or stir fry’s all of which are fabulous comfort meals for the winter. If you haven’t tried pak choi or bok choi definitely make a note to try it. One of my favorite ways to cook it up is to clean it, chop it up and cook it in a little bit of sesame oil and balsamic vinegar…..oh yum!
I don’t know about ya’ll but we never get to all the things we want to get to no matter how hard we try. Some of our goals for next year include branching out to add mushroom farming and aquaponics and in particular we are interested in trying our hand at crawfish. We took a couple of classes this past summer from Mushroom Mountain and the content was fascinating and they are so well informed. We learned a lot but are still newbies even after several attempts and a few successes over the past couple of years.
We may be replacing our greenhouse to create more growing space for us and we think having the correct infrastructure in place is helpful as well to reaching our goals and I have in particular really enjoyed growing peppers, eggplants, and herbs this past year so have a goal to ramp those efforts up.
This last year we had some amazing successes with our figs and our gojiberries just to name a few. Goji berries did not taste how I thought they would taste as they were not as sweet as I thought they would be but we ended up dehydrating ours. We also traded for one of our tri-color pepper plants back with a gardening friend after we had lost all of ours.
The front bed is in the midst of being re-done by my son and the Viking in my life. I don’t want to put all edible plants out front but I would love to have some gardenias and possibly a flame azalea as I think both are just so beautiful and gardenias are particularly fragrant which I love as someone approaches the front door!
Over the next few weeks we will be collecting the final harvests in we seriously have a few peppers, eggplant, and cherry tomatoes waiting to be scooped up and we will be mulching the gardens in and putting them to bed.
What are your favorite vegetables to grow in the garden? Have you started setting your goals for next year?
I wish you all a beautiful week…until next time!