I will freely admit up front that I am absolutely insane. Don’t try this at home…
[EDIT: ok, one thing you should try at home is planting your beds by plant families. It makes it much easier to rotate your crops that way. See the Kitchen Garden details for an example.]
First, an overview. Scroll down for details.
This kitchen garden is raised beds, mostly 4’x8′, and is just a few steps out the back door from the kitchen. It is my original garden and will have the salad crops that need the most attention and will be harvested the most often. Starting with bed 1 in the upper left:
- Legumes = pole (Fortex) and bush green beans (Contender).
- Brassicas = Winterbor and Purple Peacock kale (which is halfway to broccoli)
- Tomatoes = Amish paste and San Marzano (probably)
- Alliums = onions, garlic, and shallots
- Peas = Sugar Sprint (from my saved seed); Beans = some kind of green beans
- The brassicas with the yellow and pink dots are rutabagas and turnips.
- Curcurbits = pickling cucumbers
- Root veg = carrots and beets (I forget the varieties); chard = Rhubarb chard
- Strawberries = Honeyoye (sp? I’m not crazy about these)
- Herbs = cumin, corriander, fennel
These beds rotate in numerical order, by plant family. So, this year, bed 1 is legumes. Next year, bed 2 will be legumes. If you look, you’ll see it’s four years until any bed hosts the same plant family. This helps control pests, and in the case of legumes, it helps feed the soil.
The bed below is a bit bigger and further out than the kitchen garden. Its job is to raise food to go to into storage – freezer, root cellar, or the local food bank. Each bed is 4’x20′. (I find 4′ wide is what I can reach across if I have access from both sides. Any bigger and I have to walk on the beds.) Stuff here needs much less tending and each crop only needs to be harvested once or twice a season. I’m going to experiment with ollas (porous clay pots) to water the squash.
Below is the biggest garden (10’x70′) and the furthest from the house. It’ll need hoeing and maybe water but not much else tending. If I go nuts, this is the bed that will get neglected first. It’s basically a Three Sisters garden (much more spread out than last year). The corn will be Nothstine Dent, a Michigan heirloom corn.
This is the greenhouse in the spring (8’x12′)
And finally…this is the greenhouse in the summer: