Thursday, January 13, 2011

Mary Mary Quite Contrary

Mary Mary Quite Contrary How does your Garden grow? I always liked this little poem. It is also my Mom's name.
My Dad had a HUGE garden he loved to work in.
Whenever I would say to him I wanted to do the same he would say have you any idea how much work it entails?
It was as if I fell from the sky and never saw what he did lol
What I did see is how much he enjoyed it.
Every day he and my Mom would go out and check out their babies and fuss over them and this is what plants like. To be fussed over, trimmed, weeded and for people this exercise is a lot more profitable than going to the gym.

Everyone eats potatoes and how many potatoes did I begin from the potato peels.
They just want to sprout and grow.
Potatoes take about 90-150 days to grow depending.
Cabbage , which is very good for you in cabbage soup - takes 4 months.
Peas take 60 days
Onions take 50-60 days
tomatoes take 55-65 days
pumpkins 90-105 days
beets 40-70 days
corn 72-90 days green beans 50-55 days
caulifour 4-5 months small hot peppers 65 days
brussel sprouts 90 days
carrots - 90 days
shallots 90-110 days
garlic 3 months

If you build a hot house and plant new things halfway before you harvest your first crop, you could have vegetables all year round.As long as there is no frost.

Take carrots for instance.
In 365 days a year, you could get 4 crops.
If you need about 2 carrots a day for soups, salads, etc.....
You would need to plant 730 carrots a year
Divide that by 4 crops and this makes about 182 carrots per crop.
Or make two crops and parboil and freeze them for the year.

Shallots - They take 90- 110 days. These are popular and will be eaten fast but then they grow in bunches so you would need at most 365 bunches per year even less.
4 crops - would make 365 divided by 4 making about 91 bunches per crop.

Tomatoes - 55 - 65 days.
Lets say you get 6 beef tomatoes from each plant.
Tomatoes can be frozen whole or made into juice or chopped and boiled and canned for stews. This makes for 5.7 crops a year if you want that many.

12 plants yielding 6 beef tomatoes per plant, gives you 72 tomatoes.
24 plants would give you 144 tomatoes.
12 plants, doing 5 crops of tomatoes, would give you a yield 360 tomatoes.
24 plants, 2 crops, would give you 288 tomatoes.

Beans take about 60 days to grow.
Now I don't know how many beans you would get from a plant.
Lets say 25 per plant enough for 4 people a day.
you could have 6 harvests per year.
All you would need is 365 plants per year .
6 crops of 68 plants, a year would feed a family of 4.
Since you would not eat green beans every day there is enough to parboil and freeze.
Lettuce - 70 to 90 days. This I would not grow much of cause it spoils fast and is cheap to buy.

Cabbage is a very healthy thing to grow but tricky because of pests.It takes 120 - 150 days to grow.
You would not eat cabbage every day but it is great salted and then fried with onions or eaten washed and grated with fresh onions and olive oil or in cole slaw.It also can be kept for a while in a cool dry room for soups and cabbage rolls
Some people freeze it for cabbage rolls cause then its easier to peel the leaves off once defrosted.
I usually boil the head and fight with hot leaves to peel them
So it can be frozen as well.

You would not need 365 heads a year unless you were feeding an army.
50 heads would be more than enough and if cut into two crops, that makes for 25
heads a crop.
You could get about 2 crops a year.

Eggplants are wonderful if you are like me and like to make my Russian Caviar out of.
You bake them, skin them and fry them with grated carrots,onions,tomatoes,and garlic.
While frying I squish everything together with my fork and the eggplant makes it look like it has tiny seeds inside or Thus the name.
You season with lemon juice and black pepper and salt to taste and then you can put it into sterilized jars for winter condiments.
It is so tasty on bread or as a side dish for turkey etc...Very healthy for kids to snack on on crackers as an after school snack.
My husband likes to stuff them. You cut them lengthwise into 4 pieces and then make slits and fill the slits with mince meat and rice filling.A pot of that mixed with stuffed tomatoes is sooooo delicious either baked or steamed in a pot on slow low heat cooking.

Eggplants also take about 4-5 months to grow or 150 days so you can have a yield of two crops a year. So again depending on what you want to do with them and how important eggplants are in your life lol......

Each plant can give you 6 eggplants. 12 plants give you 72 eggplants.

Well this exercise gave me a lot of perspective as to how much, of what, I need to plant to make it worth the trouble. Usually when I go to buy plants to plant,
I never know how many to buy. lol

Usually my parents went all out especially on green beans but they had a lot of cabbage and eggplants and zuccinis.
The zuccinis my Mom would grow real big. She would empty them, cut them into rings and freeze them. Then she would put the rings into a baking dish , about 6-8 rings, with the meat filling of her choice in each ring, cover with slices of tomato and bake them.
Her food was always gobbled up.

Come winter my parents were never scared. They had a well stacked freezer in the cold garage, a basement full of homemade preserves, and cold cuts they got, also home made, from this german fella in a nearby town, who had his own large smoke house.

In case of a storm when they would lose electricity, their home was always warm and friendly
and full of things to eat and cooking was done on a small franklin stove which also provided light and they were always glad to share.
Sometimes you look forward to snow storms for a reason to stay home lol

Hope you enjoyed this blog. :)


Mama Zen said...

I've said that exact same thing to my daughter; gardening is a lot of work!

A Lady's Life said...

mama zen lol
When I see how much money people spend on gyms to bend and stretch, this is an excellent way to exercise, have peace of mind, enjoy and learn about nature and save money in winter when things become expensive or you end up with shortages because trucks do not show up.
I mean how many points do people need
to see how great and rewarding and healthy gardening really is?

George said...

Thanks for your primer on gardening -- you've given much good information here. My Dad had a big garden well into his 90s; he only gave it up when he lost his eyesight. I always had a vegetable garden until we moved here, where kitchen gardens are not permitted.

A Lady's Life said...

George - I am sorry to hear that you lost your garden.
You seem to love flowers and gardens and nature.I also talk more with my eyes today than with physical oomph, but gardening kept my parents young and it seems also your Dad.:)
I always wanted to have one but have no time as kids take up a lot of time. But I look forward to when I do have time. I have 4 oak trees transplanted and a fifth one raising its head and right now this makes me very happy.:)

SandyCarlson said...

Gardening is work, to be sure, but there is tremendous satisfaction in it--and in providing for your family in this way. We have always had a garden, though with varying degrees of success. Beautiful memories. Thanks for sharing.

SandyCarlson said...

Gardening is work, to be sure, but there is tremendous satisfaction in it--and in providing for your family in this way. We have always had a garden, though with varying degrees of success. Beautiful memories. Thanks for sharing.

A Lady's Life said...

Thanks Sandy. My parents believed in saving for a rainy day.
My Mom made the best tomato juice.
after she died I found on bottle years later in the basement and I thought it was spoiled.
But when we opened it....boy!
I still taste the flavour in my mouth.
I wish one day I could make her recipe but she never gave those away. lol

Trotter said...

Hi Lady! What I learn when I land here... Amazing!! But I prefer the «real» caviar... lol

The Nile 2010 is coming an end! But the temple of Philae surely deserves a comment. Blogtrotter Two has it. Enjoy and have a superb weekend!

A Lady's Life said...

trotter = lol I know how to make that too lol

Baron's Life said...

Mary who???
Quite contrary..Hello this's got a je ne sais quoi

A Lady's Life said...

It's got Mary and the secret to a man's heart lol which Mary is an expert on. lol