So What Is Left of Our 2011 Harvest? Our First Steps in Garden Planning 2012

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We are starting to plan our 2012 garden and I thought the best way to start is to look at what is left of our 2011 harvest.  Our goal this year is to produce more food than last year.  I think it's important not to get too caught up in using pounds as a measure of success because, it matters more if you are producing what your family actually eats.  I think a better judge of how self sufficient you are in your families food production is how often do you still buy vegetables.  By looking at what we have left from last year's harvest we can judge what we should plant more or less of to be more self sufficient  with our food supply this year, by comparing it to last years garden plan. 

What We Still Have in our Freezer: 
  • a small Ziploc bag of broccoli
  • an extra large bag of Kale (including frozen kale in the yard we never harvested)
  • 6  small Ziploc bags of green beans
  • 6 small Ziploc bags of soybeans
  • 2 small Ziploc bags of raspberries
  • 2 small Ziploc bags of rhubarb
We no longer have any of our harvest in our pantry, or root cellar.  We are currently using the last of our pizza sauce, and had to throw out 2 marinara jars due to in proper canning (we used the last jar about a month ago).  We are thinking of getting a pressure cooker for canning this year.  I don't want to have to wonder if anything in our pantry is still good or not.

I  also think it helps to think of what I would like to have in our pantry, root cellar, and freezer right now that we can grow.  I would love to have jars of pickles, salsa, tomato paste, and marinara sauce.  Frozen peas, more broccoli and green beans, Brussel sprouts, and corn.  And in our cellar more carrots, onions, and potatoes.  Note some of the items mentioned are not in the list below due to the fact that my might have planted the proper amount, but just had poor results that need to be  addressed before we look at planting more.
Our garden 2011
What I Think We Need To Plant More of This Year
  • Broccoli, even though we grew more last year than we ever have, we still did not have enough we eat a lot of broccoli!
  • Green Beans, even though we have some left.  I doubt it will last us through July.
  • Peas, we didn't have any to preserve this year.  We only had one crop last year two, due to late planting (due to the weather), but I still think we could stand to plant more.  Peas are so easy to through into soups, pasta and stir frys
  • Tomatoes hard to believe but even though we grew more than we ever have before last year, it still wasn't enough.  I think if we had better support structures and were able to extend the season longer we could have produced more with the same amount of plants.  We also decided  we could have spread them out more.
  • carrots since we had our first real crop this year (which lasted us for like a week) I'm ready to take the plunge and plant as much as we can, because we eat like 1 lb a week.  
  • strawberries we only grew enough to eat as they grew.  Not even enough to weigh, but it was our first year and about 3/4 of our plants are June bearing (only produce one crop) which were almost all eaten by animals (we think squirrels).  Our strawberry plants suckered out and filled in the space we allotted for them (along the pathway to our front door) and suckered into our main garden, which we plan to transplant to where we grew soybeans last year (our front foundation garden bed).  And we plan to add landscaping lights and wire  border with bird netting over it to keep pests out.
  • lettuce  We always plant lettuce, and I always forget to replant often while tending to other crops.  l also need to plant where it will get shade or add a shade to the lettuce.  It always bolts so fast. Now that I am eating more salads, I plan to do better this season and try to grow indoors in the winter.
  • onions, I'm addicted to onions, so I could never have to many.  We're more successful growing green onions, then large onions, maybe this season will be different.  I think they need more space to grow so I plan on expanding the space allotted for onions

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