I'm not going to be gardening this year. WAAAAH! Now that I've gotten that over with I'll explain why.
We've got one heckuva huge remodeling/finishing the house project we're trying to get done. Once and for all. Finally. At long last. Completed.
Most of you know I grow a huge amount of our food, usually enough to last year 'round. That requires a lot of time all the way from starting a gazillion seedlings inside to the last of the harvesting and preserving in the fall. Guess what? I can't be in two places at once. There was a time when I was convinced I could be, but I hopefully I'm wiser now. (Can we say total burn-out?) This coming spring, summer and fall I'm going to be involved in the remodeling pretty much from dawn until dusk once our weather turns good enough to tear into things the way we want to.
The thing that will save us from starvation is that I can order organically grown frozen and canned provisions from our co-op with which to stock our freezers and pantry. We've got good sources where other supplies can be obtained, too. Sure it will cost money, but my time is worth a lot whether it's spent in the garden or up on a ladder. The downside (which I'm trying not to think about) is that the food simply won't be as high a quality or taste as good as that which I can grow right here on our own land. (Does that make me a food snob?)
I knew this was coming up this year and did my durndest last season to grow and put by more than a year's supply of many veggies. I know I have an ample supply of some of them to take us at least into this coming early winter. I made enough pickles, relishes, pickled beets, jams and syrups for two years.
I'll still get my fingers in the dirt. There is no way I can keep from putting in one or two raised beds of salad greens, scallions and spinach for our usual one big salad a day all summer. (I'll consider planting more if I can figure out a way to keep them hidden from hubby. I may be gardening by the light of the moon if I can steal out of bed at 2 a.m. without him knowing it.)
The majority of the raised beds will either be used for composting or planted with a cover crop we'll turn under before it goes to seed. The same with the field garden and pumpkin patch. All will get two or three plantings of green manure crops that will give the soil a rest while at the same time improving it.
I will still have to take care of the strawberries, blueberries and raspberries from prepping them this spring through harvesting the berries as they mature. We had such good berry production last year that I have lots of fresh frozen berries still in the freezers. We're very fond of eating the berries fresh until they come out our ears, but I'm thinking we will still have extras this year to sell to a restaurant in town. We've found berries are the one thing we can raise that bring in a decent amount of financial return for effort expended.
You have no idea how strange it feels to me not to be starting seeds or sitting at the kitchen table plotting out my gardens this year. I am going to miss gardening soooo much, but I also want very much to get the house finished. So for this one year, if it means having a finished house to decorate, live in and enjoy, I'll handle not gardening and be a happy camper.
I will be living vicariously through all of YOUR gardens so please plan on taking and posting lots of pictures all summer long!