It's not a surprise to anyone who reads this blog (I think) that after Christmas, sometimes maybe even the day after Christmas, some folks' thoughts turn to thoughts of The Garden. That is, what they are going to be planting in next year's garden.
My garden wasn't a disaster last year, but I was left unsatisfied, because I overplanted. It was so crowded in that little space, it was hard to see what was ripe. I've told several people to please metaphorically dope-slap me if I even murmur anything about growing more than one tomato plant. Why? I don't actually eat many slicing tomatoes. There you go. The little grape ones? Yummy. I can justify one of those.
I thought last year that I could grow enough paste tomatoes to do a run of sauce, but that has really underscored the reality about my two raised beds: they don't provide enough space to grow enough food that comes ripe AT THE SAME TIME to preserve it.
I was bailed out on the tomato thing by receiving a box of paste tomatoes in lieu of eggs last year and it all worked out. But this has made me think I need to change it up for 2012.
I'm going to grow with the intention of more or less immediately eating what it produces. Lettuce, that one tomato plant, cantaloupe (because I'm an optimist), some herbs, zucchini, a couple of other things.
I haven't given up on preserving food. It's still a practice that I want to know how to do. I think the local food movement, sustainability, and food issues in general are really important. I've been struggling with how to put my feelings about these issues into practice, and still haven't gotten very far.
But, I can support the local farmers market more, especially when I want to put up food. And I of course love the idea of CSAs. I'll look again to see how much food there is per week, but it's always felt to me like some things would go to waste with just me and Mr W here half the time, even with a single person's share.