I just placed an order for seeds from Annie's Heirloom Seeds. Ken and I are going to try and grow all of our vegetable groceries for the coming year. We will still need to find places to fill our fruit needs, but assuming we have a decent year, we should have plenty of veggies.
We plan to plant a few things over at my parent's house as Mom and Dad are not able to do a lot of gardening themselves anymore, but have garden beds in place that just need some tending. It will give Ken and I a good excuse to go check on them at least every other day (they feel that they are being a bother to us when they are sick or need help, but they are my folks, after all...).
I think we will plant asparagus and some of the other long term veggies over there including some root veggies like turnips, carrots and some potatoes.
At our house we will be using our usual garden bed and double it's size. We are also going to do some experimental gardening by using straw bales for planting.
We both got into a bit of a giggle fit yesterday when I told him that I had put a gallon jar in the bathroom because it was going to be time soon to start collecting our pee for the straw bales. To read more about straw bale gardens read here. We would use the urine for the nitrogen for the straw bale conditioning. We also have two 25 gallon compost bins that are just about ready to be dumped out. I also have access to all the cow and or horse manure I could want.
I have learned with sheep is that they have great manure for composting, but it's a pain to collect the stuff. I use the deep bedding from their little house but they don't pee and poop in there much. I'm hoping to get more out of the shed this Spring since we have started feeding them in there each morning.
Over all, I think I got a pretty good deal on about 25 different vegetables all for $125. I still need to get the seeds started as soon as that package arrives and will need to invest in some potting soil, but I've been saving toilet paper and paper towel tubes for a year. These will be cut down and used, along with egg cartons, as starter pots. So, soon I will be engaged daily in nurturing the tiny green babies.
But how nice in the coming year to be able to grow almost all of my own veggie groceries for the year for just a couple of hundred bucks. This is about 1/4 of what I pay for grocery store veggies for the year and about 1/3 of what I pay at an CSA. And I get to pick only what we want to eat and I will freeze, dry and can enough to get us through the winter. At least, this is the plan.
There are a few things I do not plan to grow: melons, corn, eggplant. We have not had luck with any of these veggies in years past, so I will buy these in season when I can find them at a good price organically.