What I’m Planting, by Leah Ray

Every year, the question we get most often from new gardeners is, “What should I plant?” If you’ve asked, then you know what we’ll say:

1). Think of what vegetables you like to eat (or what you typically buy at the farmers’ market in the summer), and then,
2). Plan your garden using a tool like the one you can find HERE.
It’s good advice, and it’s what I do myself.  So: we’re kicking off our annual “What I’m Planting” blog series. In it, we’ll have PGP gardeners show you what they’re growing in their plots this year, why they like it, and where they get their seeds and seedlings.

Land on Lincoln plot

What I’m planting from seedlings:
·        Eggplants
·        Kale
·        Onion (these are called ‘starts’ actually, not seedlings)
·        Peppers
·        Tomatoes
What I’m planting from seed:
·        Beets
·        Carrots
·        Lettuce
·        Nasturtium
·        Radishes
·        Swiss Chard

Land on Lincoln garden bounty

 
Why:
I have some raised bed gardens in my own backyard, and that’s where I grow things like herbs and lettuce that I use most frequently. In my plot at Land on Lincoln this year, I’m focusing on the basics. 2012 was a really tough gardening year — I refer to it as the year of draught and pestilence. So in 2013, I’m really thinking about the veggies that I just can’t live without. Here’s what that means for me.
As for what I know my family likes to eat, we live for homegrown tomatoes. My son loves kale chips, so we have lots of kale. When we grill out in the summer, we love to roast beets, carrots & onions (toss in rosemary or whatever herbs you love) in a cast-iron skillet right on the grill, right next to a good steak or pork tenderloin. The root vegetables soak up the charcoal aroma, and the onions caramelize everything so the dish just becomes juicy, sweet, smoky deliciousness.
Another thing I’m thinking about in 2013 is ease. I’m looking for old standbys — the plants that I know I can count on.
 
Where I get my seedlings:
This year, I’ll be getting my seedlings at the Peterson Garden Project Plant & Bake Sale, May 10-12, from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. daily. I helped select the seeds for the sale, and it is a huge understatement to say that I am looking forward to growing the heirloom tomatoes, eggplant, kale, and peppers that we will have at the sale.
Where I get my seed:
I am a seed-a-holic! I love Seed Savers ExchangeBakers Creek , Kitazawa Seed, and Botanical Interests.  And if you haven’t already ordered seed, we will have some at the Peterson Garden Project Plant Sale, or you can find seeds from some of these sources locally at Whole Foods Sauganaush or Matty K’s Hardware in Lincoln Square.