Tuesday, November 14, 2023

Don't Grow What You Won't Eat!

 I watch a lot of gardening youtube videos. They are a great source of information but what you have to remember is that those gardeners are growing for their youtube channel. I see a lot of them waste a lot of garden space growing things they don't eat. 
For instance, I saw one recently that had a whole row of basil. What in the world are you going to do with a 15 ft row of basil? This person mentioned that they had made a lot of pesto from it but just how much pesto are you really going to eat in one year? What ingredients did you have to BUY to go with that basil to make the pesto? Plus when this gardener showed the basil again (going to seed), it didn't look like they had made much from it. This applies to most herbs. People grow them but don't know what to do with them. I grew some volunteer basil this year and I dried and saved a jar full. Probably will pull any that come up next year. I have one sage plant that gives me all the sage I need for the few times I use it in soups. I have an absolutely huge rosemary plant (just one) and I am having to learn new ways to use rosemary. So far I have fried potatoes with it, add it to noodles, on chicken and in my eggs in the morning. We also love thyme on potatoes. Plus I just had some peppermint given to me (it's in a pot) and I probably won't use it a lot but peppermint tea is great when you have a cough. 
Zucchini is another great example. How many times have you heard someone say, "We had so much zucchini, we couldn't give it away." So why did you grow so many? Do you even like eating it? For me one zucchini plant is probably enough. I like yellow and pattypan squash a lot more but even then, I only like it fresh so I am not going to grow more than can produce more than a few a week. 
Peppers is a third example that I see a lot. If you use them, that's great. I don't happen to use a lot of peppers. I especially don't use hot peppers. Anything with heat above a jalapeno is probably hotter than I will ever use. And although we like stuffed peppers, we don't eat them a lot. I planted two peppers this year and have a ziplock bag of them cut up in the freezer and I made stuffed peppers once. Now next year I may plant a few more but it won't be a lot. 
The point is, before you plant something in your garden ask yourself: Do I really like eating this? How much of this can I eat or preserve? This way you won't be wasting space growing stuff that you will never use. For some of us with just raised beds that extra space can come in handy. 

1 comment:

  1. This is exactly the advice I give to those asking me about growing food. They probably expect some sage advice about fertilisers or watering techniques. But I always say only grow what you will eat. And they are so genuinely surprised. Why would you grow fifteen different tomatoes if you don’t like them. Just because everyone else does