Hello and Welcome! I decided to start this blog for everyone out there who has an interest, or WANTS to be interested, in living a life that is a little more sustainable. I am still learning, and invite you to follow this blog to learn along with me. I will share what I have learned as we go, and hopefully you will pitch in and share what YOU are doing to live a little more off of what you can grow and DO from home. PLEASE BELIEVE ME when I say, if I can learn how to do this on a very small backyard plot in a city, then ANYONE can do this!!
Yes, I realize that it is winter now, but I am already excited about planning my vegetables for next year! I ventured into planted some new things in my backyard garden this year, including Brussels Sprouts and Purple Okra. It was so fun to learn about these new veggies and to get to watch them grow!
See, I am no expert at growing things and am still learning as I go (which is good, 'cuz I love to learn-and then share it with YOU)! All of the advice out there suggests growing what you like to eat. So, since steak trees won't grow in my backyard, I decided on Okra. Seriously though, I do like to eat it (fried and grilled). Knowing that Okra can sometimes be a finicky grower AND that it prefers more humid environments, I didn't think this would actually grow in my little backyard raised-bed garden in Colorado. Lo and behold-I got plenty of fruit from the four plants I had, and it was delicious! Not only that, but I LOVE the way it looks in the garden. The blooms are beautiful and hard to believe that the long slender okra 'fingers' will soon transform from this beautiful bloom:
Into this delicious edible!
Purple Okra is a type of okra that is purple when growing, but turns green when you cook it; much like purple green beans (which I also love and also have an excellent flavor). You can cook and can this vegetable just as you would any other type of Okra; AND it's a great source of Vitamin C.
I didn't do anything special for these to grow-it was more of an experiment than anything. I planted the seeds in my raised garden beds as directed and just watered evenly throughout the season. The chickens did get too close when they were tilling my garden later in the season and took the dirt down to the roots. I just shooed them away and covered the plants back up and they continued to thrive (I also used some left over wire to creat a barrier near the roots so the chickens couldn't get that close again). One unplanned bonus was that all of the fruits grew high enough on the plant that the chickens left them completely alone! They didn't even like to eat the leaves. This is staying on my backyard garden list for sure!
In my opinion, it's never too early to start putting together a 'wish list' for next years garden. I know that I have started mine and am already itching to get my hands in some dirt and plant some seeds! I have some exciting things in the works to share with you about how to plan your garden/plantings for next year (when to start which seeds, etc), so make sure you are 'following' this blog either by email or gmail blogger!
What about you? Did you try anything new and different in your garden this year? Or is there something that you would love to grow, but haven't yet, or can't because it won't grow in your zone (I know I have a long list of those)? Let's hear it!