Wednesday, December 30, 2009

The First of the Swiss Chard

We have just started eating the first of the swiss chard. I absolutely love this vegetable and look forward to finding many new ways to use it.

This past year was a mixed one for my veggie growing endeavours. Some things thrived, others not so much, but I have learned a lot.

Here are the grand totals in poundage, (for what it is worth), of everything we grew during 2009. The different types of each vegetable are combined into each grand total.

Swiss Chard- 42 lbs 7 oz's
Spinach- 18 lbs 10 oz
Ichiban eggplants- 8 lbs 6 oz's
Beets- 6 lbs 6 oz's
Tomatoes 84 lbs 8 oz's !!!! (I had a couple of beef steaks that weighed over a pound each!)
Zucchini's- 19 lbs 9 oz's
Cucumbers- 8 lbs 8 oz's
Tomatillo's- 6 lbs 9 oz's
Chili peppers- 3 lbs 7 oz's
Peppers- 4 lbs 2 oz's
Leeks- 1 lb 9 oz's
Carrots- 2 lbs 9 oz's
The green beans and peas are hardly worth mentioning, just a few handfuls of each.
Cilantro, basil, parsley, and many other herbs did well.

I was amazed by how many tomatoes we got. It didn't seem to be as many at the time because they were stretched over several months. We had a lot of cherry tomatoes towards the end of the summer.

The main thing I have learned is to use my limited space wisely by concentrating on veggies that we use, and also by planting those that don't take a lot of space for the amount they produce. I love peas for example but they simply take up too much space in order to produce any significant amount. I have also been reminded yet again that there are no certainties with gardening, and that luck is a major factor!

The hybrid seeds that I grew of course did much better than many of the heirlooms. However I will continue to keep planting these valuable heirlooms, and I plan to get better at recognizing their particular needs.

I still have a lot of seeds left over from last year which is good. I have been storing them in the bottom the refrigerator and I am sure they will be fine. I start seeding again January 1st believe it or not. This is one of the perks of living in such a warm place.


NY Homesteader said...

Hi Mo, I am so jealous, I wish I was in a warmer climate so I could garden outdoors all year, I'm under some frozen earth now but do lettuce and spinach indoors during the winter. I always use heirlooms if at all possible and have been saving them for a long time. I noticed you said you are storing your seeds in the fridge. Don't forget almost any moisture at all will cause them to sprout and you may find that the fridge is too moist. Good Luck and Happy New Year!!
Rich @ NY Homesteader

Mo said...

Thanks Rich! I have the seeds wrapped in paper and did the same last year and all were O.K. Happy New Year to you too and I will enjoy reading your blog more.

bodaat said...

WOW!!!! Wow, Michelle! I couldn't believe your totals. Maybe you can give me some advice this Sunday. :)

Mo said...

Ha ha Bo! I am still learning myself believe me. It is really all trial and error with a lot of good luck thrown in.

Gail - Fort Rock Glimpses said...

I'm green with envy. I absolutely love chard! My favorite way to have it is simply cut up, and sauted in olive oil with a little fresh garlic. Divine.
Your totals on the veggies are impressive. I never thought about tracking the info...just ate the stuff. I know we had a bazillion, gazillion tons of tomatoes though. I too am going to be planting very soon, but not outside. We will be utilizing our new greenhouse which by the way,...even when it is 20 degrees below zero has maintained a good 55 degree minimum. We are pleased!

Mo said...

Gail that is my favorite way of eating chard as well. Simple and delicious!

I never kept track of what I was growing until this past year and then realized that it would be useful to see what grows well, and what does not. I also kept track of each type, and the seed companies each veggie was from again so I could see what works here in the desert. I am sure though it will vary greatly from year to year for no apparent reason other than it is gardening.

Your greenhouse sounds fantastic. What a reward after all your hubby's hard work.

fullfreezer said...

Oh, I love chard. We're under several inches of snow and it's still snowing now. sigh. But it's fun getting to follow along as you can plant and harvest. With the cooler than usual summer we had this year, we had the energizer bunny of chard in our garden- it kept going and going until it froze off and never bolted. We just kept eating it.
Have a lovely New Year! I envy you planting!

Mo said...

Happy new year to you too Judy. I will be feeling envious when our summer hits and you are all reaping the rewards of your planting. By that time ours is will be long gone.