The Weekly Digs #146

by Becky

Garden Planning

I sat down and worked on my garden plan this week. It was fun to think through what to put where and how much needs to be planted. 

Even though the rough draft is done, I still have quite a bit of research to do because I want to make sure I utilize my space well and have living mulch where possible. 

I’ll upload a more viewable version when the plan is more finished.

I printed garden plan sheets for the kids too. When I sat down to work on my garden plan, I had theirs just sitting on the table. It was fun to see them pick them up and work on them without prodding from me. 

Working on Garden Plans

The kids haven’t had their own garden for the past couple of years because of our move to our new property. They were very excited because in our old garden I really had to limit what they could grow because of space limitations. (They were always dying to grow watermelons!)

Where we are now, they will each have 25x25ft garden space. That is huge for them! I hope they can keep it up without all of it getting weedy or overwhelming for them.

Preserved Food Update

We are probably only a quarter of the way through our frozen vegetables, dried vegetables, and canned foods. We started to eat our preserved food about mid November so it’s been about two months.

At the rate we are going we could live off the pantry food until June! It’s a bit crazy to think about since in year’s past we’ve run out in February or March. 

The beginning of one of our dinners from this week.

Our food still growing in the garden is definitely getting to low levels due to freezing temperatures and consistent harvesting. However, I’ll soon have spinach large enough to harvest and plenty of preserved food until the fresh outdoor foods pick back up.

We feel super grateful to have the space we do to grow now. I remind myself often of what a blessing it is to have more space to grow all the food we need. For so many years, it was just a dream and it’s crazy to think that dream is now a reality!

Winter Wonderland

We got around 3 inches of snow this weekend! That is quite a bit for us and the kids spent the day playing outside sledding. Cam and his Dad helped collect wood for our wood boiler and the kids went and helped too. 

I enjoyed an hour outside this morning but then spent the afternoon working on editing a new Youtube video about heat for our home! It was very fitting 🙂 I also got a new blog post published, 7 Ways to Prepare for the Garden Season in Winter, you can find it HERE.

Oh and P.S. I’ve had some requests for an updated list of seeds I’m planting for 2022 and it’s coming! It think I have the majority of them picked and purchased so I’ll share it with you guys some time in the next few weeks.

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Susan January 16, 2022 - 5:34 pm

Hi Becky. We’re getting hit today in Virginia with the snow you had. I loved your comments about the kids planning out their own gardens. What a fantastic learning experience on every level! I have a question totally unrelated to this post, but I wondered if you could post the recipe for Strawberry Lemon Jam. I purchased the “Food in Jars” canning book specifically for that recipe and it’s nowhere to be found. Additionally, I just finished putting up 4 quarts of Lentil Sausage Casserole on p. 86 of the – “Complete Guide to Pressure Canning “ you also recommended. It’s a keeper! Yum!

theseasonalhomestead January 23, 2022 - 1:03 am

Hi Susan! Thanks. Yes, I’m going to send you an email with a picture of recipe to the email you have linked here. The recipe is in the book “Naturally Sweet Food in Jars”. I just checked my post and it was originally linked properly but sometime amazon switches up their links so it sent you to the wrong book. I’m sorry! I like that book too but unfortunately it’s not the one with the right recipe. I’m glad you reached out to me though because I never would have known otherwise, so now it is updated. I’ll have it send over to you in a few minutes. I’m glad the Pressure Canning book is working well for you!

Beth January 16, 2022 - 9:03 pm

How much space would you say you have strictly for growing food now, not including raising animals or the kids’ gardens (which is an awesome idea, by the way!)?

theseasonalhomestead January 23, 2022 - 1:21 am

For the vegetable garden we have 11,500 square feet so far. We were getting it ready for about 20,000 square feet last year but never made it that far. I am taking my time to get it all prepped 🙂 We will do the same square feet this year.

Shauna Wallace January 18, 2022 - 4:06 pm

I am wondering the dimensions of your garden as well. I have watched your YouTube videos but I think you have expanded since then? How long are your rows? And did you do the suggested 30” bed and 14” path? We are setting up our garden this spring and I am debating the size of beds and paths.

theseasonalhomestead January 23, 2022 - 5:09 am

Hi Shauna,

The garden beds are 100ft long. The first garden we did is 100ftx100ft. We have roughly a ten foot buffer along the edges with grass and then a fence around the whole thing. On the north side of the garden we have a larger grassy area, about 20 ft, before you hit fencing. We made this wider so a truck or tractor could fit through. Last year, we set out to expand the garden another 100x100ft. Cam roughed it up with the tractor but the area we used to grow plants in the second garden was only another 15x100ft area. Midway through summer I decided to take my time expanding (I was overwhelmed, haha!). This year we’ll keep the same garden area with the addition of the kids gardens. In total it’s about 12,500 square feet of vegetable growing space with my kids gardens and 11,500 square feet without them.

30 inch wide beds with 18 inch paths is what I originally did. Cameron declared with his wide feet it was very uncomfortable walking down 18 inch paths. Especially because the way the garden beds were mounded and sloped down it only allowed for 12 inches of walking space. About midway through the first garden I widened out the paths to 24 inches and 30 inch wide beds. I like the wider paths too but unless you keep them very well mulched it can mean more weeding and if your tight on garden space it cuts down the actual growing area. It’s a toss up for me on which is better. I think I will keep it to 24 inch paths now just to make everything consistent and because we have the space to do it.


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