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While I was writing my post last week on planning ahead for summer-time preserving, I ran across this post on my friend Bonnie's blog, The Homespun Salon, and she has graciously allowed me to share it here. I asked to share it because I love the photo of her pantry (actually, I drool over having my pantry look like that!), and I find her “What to Plant?” planning list quite inspiring! Actually, her whole blog is delightful and inspiring. Best enjoyed while drinking tea, of course…

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Planning: The Garden 2012

Ahhh, winter.

I don't particularly like you, but you have some benefits. Like Christmas, Faire's birthday, less-crowded trails in Lynn Valley, a break from yard work… and the arrival of the West Coast Seeds catalogue!

As I start my dreaming and listing, I'm trying to get a sense of the stuff that actually gets used up around here, to see if it can influence my decisions on what seeds to purchase. I received a pressure canner for Christmas (canned all my turkey stock – hurray!) so I am dreaming of corn. But I don't have the kind of success I want with corn, so I will be buying it from the Farmer's Market. I'll be buying a whole heck of a lot of it I think! Canned corn! Maybe I'm a little weird in my super-excitement? I just haven't really eaten corn outside of August and September in years, so to have a year-round supply sounds quite appealing. I am thinking of trying to can green beans too, just because I adored them as a kid (Green Giant – good times, good times). I'm not sure how my adult tastes will handle canned beans, but we will see. I always plant two teepees worth of Blue Kentucky beans with so many I don't know how to use them up fast enough.

Anyway, on the list so far to plan in 2012:

**Kyla and I canned 300+ lbs last year. We can never have too many. I think my canned sauces and tomatoes will last me until late Spring this year, but it will be a stretch. We canned tomatoes until we just couldn't handle the thought of it anymore. But I think I'll add another session this year so I have a bit more to carry me right through until July.
**I'll stick mostly to 20 or so heirloom variety plants this year for overabundant eating. I'm debating not planting Romas or other canning tomatoes because I know of some local farmers I can order from for a good price. Leave myself more garden space for something else.

Green Beans.
**Kentucky Blue. Two teepees worth (each teepee has 5 or 6 bamboo poles with 3 seeds at the base of each one) And some Kentucky Wax. Maybe some Royal Burgundy bush beans?

Lettuces, Spinach, Cabbages, Kale.
**maybe swiss chard. It always looks so beautiful, but I just can't actually commit to liking it! Maybe it will give me some incentive to try new recipes.

**3 or 4 Tasty Green.
**maybe some Homemade Pickles too. I make way too many pickles each year. Maybe if I restrict it to only the pickling cukes I grow, it will keep the pickle jars from overwhelming me. (not that I don't have plenty of takers…)

**Bolero pelleted, Little Fingers, Rainbow Blend

**Touchstone Gold, Red Ace

**worked fairly well last year, and soooo convenient to have celery right in my garden!

Onions. And Leeks!
**the leeks have been awesome all winter for potato-leek soup.

**Super Sugar Snap. Best snack around.
**maybe some shelling peas too. I'll ask for advice at West Coast Seeds when I go.

**jalepenos. No sweet peppers unless I'm sucked in a usual. They don't produce enough to be worth my time and space. Maybe if I get a little greenhouse…

Radishes, Parsnips, Turnips.
**I think I still have seeds for all of these, so why not?

**3 or 4

Sugar Pumpkins.
**can't resist.

**basil, cilantro, basil, parsley (still going strong in my garden now), basil, dill, did I mention basil?
**hoping calendula will spread this year, add chamomile, bergamot?, more mint! and stevia.

**I need to add some. I've got to think on what and where.

What's in the garden already?

Berries: strawberries, raspberries, tayberries, blackberries, blueberries
Garlic: 50 or so cloves
Herbs: lavender, mint, lemon balm, rosemary, sage, oregano, thyme
Asparagus: please flourish this year!

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