GARDENING | What to Plant for Cooks

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It’s that happy and dreaded time of year when all the little seedlings take over 75% of my Kitchen counter for a few MONTHS – LOL! Coincidentally, it’s also that time of year when Hubby asks me almost hourly “how much longer will these THINGS be on the counter?!”…

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Over the past 15 years here in this HOME, I’ve planted quite a variety of – all edible – fruits, vegetables and herbs. Perennials get planted once and keep on going, like apple trees or blueberry bushes. These just got a well-earned professional pruning this month! Will see what that means for fruit this season…

Others are lovingly – and HOPE-filledly – planted by seed every.single.year. They’re worth it. I think. Mostly.
So, what does this home cook plant in her “foodie” garden?

One of the first thing I look for are the staples – foods I use often and don’t want to have to run out and buy every time, such as a big variety of oft-used herbs, carrots for soup stocks, chives and onions for everything, beets for salads and sides, rhubarb for breakfast yogurt with honey or compoted for desserts…

Parsley, thyme and chives go through the winter and come back on their own every year, so they’re in a groove. Hubby clear-cut my mint last year (!!!) thinking it was a weed, so I’ll re-plant it and hope it also gets its groove on…

basil

parsley

raspberries

carrots

chives

beets

radishes

rhubarb

the garden necessities

Basil seems to LOVE my front garden with full all-day sunlight and bi-weekly irrigation, so I plant about 50-75 of them. If I pluck only the top leaves I can get about 3-4 harvests per season. Mostly it becomes pesto in the freezer for Fall pasta and chicken dishes, with the odd tomato salad thrown in for good measure.

I love my 2 apple trees, 3 grape vines, 8-10 blueberry varieties, raspberry patch, buckets of everbearing strawberries and 2 bushels of rhubarb that more or less do their own thing year after year. The berries are especially great for my morning yogurt all summer long… Ahhhhhh, bliss.

It’s starting to sound like I have a huge yard! I don’t! All my plants mostly live in the 24″ border around the yard. Then a few years ago I decided to rip up my front yard for garden since it gets full all-day sunlight and no one ever uses the front yard anyhow.

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I personally love stuffed squash blossoms, fussy little buggers as they are, so I’ve been planting zucchini the past few years soley for their blooms. THIS year I’m so excited to try French Baby Leeks! I can’t wait.

I continue to have a love-hate relationship with tomatoes. They need so much extra care – which I fail at – and never seem to really thrive. This season I’ve asked Hubby to clear out the ‘tool’ (aka the place where all the crap lives) shed down below, and we’ll see how they do in a hot house this year. MAYBE I’ll get my tomato ON this year – time will tell.

This year I’ve also planted a few new Hydrangea plants given to me by a friend “who knows”. I can’t wait – they’ll be perfect for the plucking for dinner party centerpieces.

How about you?! What do you plant for FOOD – or otherwise?
I’m always looking for more goodies to add to the garden – it’s my happiness.

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