Tasty Garden Goodness ‘Planting for Long Term Storage – What to Grow in the Garden This Year’ By Candy Webb

Goodbye, winter. So long last frost of the year. Now that spring has sprung, and after twenty-four months of never wanting to live with pandemic food shortages again, we’re more determined than ever to plant our gardens.  

The past two years have provided a learning experience for everyone responsible for putting food on the table. We learned the concern over shortened food supplies is dealt with easiest when prepared for in advance. We also figured out we truly cannot live by bread alone, even if it is sourdough.

So what should we plant now if we want to be smart about caring for our families, saving money, and putting food back for life’s rainy days? Fruits, berries, beans, peas, tomatoes, collards, mustards, and leafy vegetables. These are great to freeze and can. Carrots, corn, squash, and the yellow varieties can also be put back. Onions, garlic, potatoes, herbs, and peppers can be stored for years without spoiling.  

Smart gardeners will begin early in the season by sowing seeds, planting bulbs, and tubers. Next, they’ll invest in plant starts, use cuttings, and finish again with more bulbs. Try pots and container gardening if you don’t have a farm or a big enough yard for a garden. Look for shared lots or community gardens. Most city offices can tell you where they can be found near you and who is responsible for them. If you don’t have the time to maintain your own garden, visit your local farmer’s market so you can still benefit from storing garden goodies.

Unless you have a professional teaching you or already know how to preserve food, it may be a good idea to enroll in a food safety course. Preservation and canning tutorials and classes are available year-round online and at various universities. The fact is, anyone can grow food, have a surplus for storage, and enjoy the benefits of eating healthier foods. 

So let’s get out there! Let’s make it our business to plant, grow, and put back the foods we may need for the future. Get really good at growing something, and then share it with the rest of your world. Above all, have fun this spring. Life is too short for anything less. 

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