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garden | Backyard Grocery

garden

Garden Vegetable Soup

garden vegetable soup

Fresh (and frozen) veggies are perfect for this garden vegetable soup.

I love snow storms, just not in March when I’m READY for Spring. But alas, a snow storm is what we got in Virginia today. And since I always turn to food to get me through the hard times, I decided to make a nice garden vegetable soup to make myself feel better.

Last summer, I canned some of my tomatoes, but I also froze some. Then promptly forgot I did that. The result is that it’s March, and I have a few quarts of garden tomatoes in my freezer. Oh happy day! So I took those out this morning, and did a little more scrounging in the freezer. I produced some green beans and basil from the garden, along with some of my venison stock. The other day we harvested the last of our winter turnips, thus rounding out the homegrown vegetables. I had a cabbage and some organic carrots from the Maple Avenue Market, and some chicory that I picked up on a whim recently. All that spelled stew to me!


Venison meat sauce

venison meat sauce

Venison meat sauce with home canned tomatoes is possibly the best meal ever.

So, I canned my first vegetables back in July and it took me until February to eat any of them. This is not because I haven’t been cooking. It’s because of my life-long, engrained fear of botulism. I’m not kidding. I had these jars of gorgeous tomatoes in my pantry for months, and I just couldn’t eat them. Finally I decided I had to take the risk. So I read up on botulism and discovered it isn’t necessarily fatal (as long as you get medical care pretty quickly). That made me feel better and gave me the confidence to open some tomatoes.


Planning for the spring garden

spring garden

Rick in our hoop house this past Thanksgiving. Love the spinach and chard!

We’ve been so happy this year eating all the great food we preserved from last year. I still have green beans in the freezer (as well as cabbage and tomatillos). And now is the time to start planning our spring garden. I can’t wait. Although part of me is at a bit of a loss as to what I want this year. I love trying new things, but they don’t always work. So I have some questions for you:

  • Mid Atlantic people: how do you keep the cucumber beetles out of your organic garden? We’ve had zero success with cucumbers the last three years. But I REALLY want them to flourish this year!
  • What is the most interesting thing you’ve planted and would you do it again? We planted celeriac (celery root) last year. It came in, but small. We’re doing it again, and this time Rick has read up on what you have to do to make it flourish (none of which are things we did last year).
  • What is your favorite organic fertilizer?
  • What is your favorite organic bug obliterator? Yes, I want them not just dead, but extinguished!

I probably have more questions, but I can’t think of any now. In fact, now I need to go over to the garden and see how the greens in our hoop house are doing after some really cold days. I hope the tender little greens are okay. I’m sure they’re not dead, but they’re probably a little wilted.

What are your spring garden plans?


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