Photo by Jessica Walliser
Snow snow snow!Ā Everything is covered in a good 8 inches here, and the temps have been awfully frosty.Ā Even the chickensā teeth are chattering!Ā
I walked past the veggie garden this morning on my way back from the chicken coop and peeked over the fence for a bit of dreaming.Ā Now that the seed catalogs are rolling in, Iām thinking about what fun things Iām going to try this year.Ā
A friend was telling me about a ānew and improvedā version of my favorite beetāan Italian heirloom called āChioggiaā. I canāt imagine how they could possibly improve on it, but Iām going to have to give it a try.Ā
Apparently, there is improved bolt tolerance and the beets are more consistent in size with the new version.Ā Itās called āChioggia Guardsmarkā and since Iām always up for a good experiment, I think Iām going to try it side-by-side with good old āChioggiaā and see the difference myself.Ā
I have also been considering going back to growing melons.Ā Itās been a long time since Iāve grown them.Ā Iāve always had trouble with them for some reason.Ā Either itās been too wet or they donāt set good fruit.Ā
Iām going to get a few different single-serving sized varieties from Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds.Ā āTiggerā maybe, and/or āAlvaroā for starters.Ā Iāll see what strikes my fancy when ordering time comes in a few weeks.Ā Iāll need to grow them vertically in order to have enough room for everything I want to grow.Ā That means Iāll need to devise some sort of trellis to anchor to the fence for support.Ā Hmmmm … any suggestions?Ā
Iāve been leafing through the Territorial Seed Companyās catalog too (and dog earring lots of pages!).Ā Iām curious about the āBordeauxā spinach they carry.Ā It has red stems and they tout it as being a āsweet, subtle flavorāātwo words I have never heard when describing spinach.Ā The seeds arenāt any more expensive than traditional varieties either, so I may have to give it a try.
Another experimental (for me) veggie I plan to try is a cuke named āRockyā.Ā Itās a mini-cuke thatās seedless and only about 2-3 inches long when mature.Ā It produces early and hopefully will become my new salad/snacking cucumber.Ā Iāll always grow āCounty Fairā and āMarketmore 76ā for my pickles, but I prefer seedless varieties for snacking.Ā
Itās going to be a fun year!