Monday, August 15, 2011

Next Year Insights

I've learned a few things over the course of this year and previous years which I was in denial of up until this year. I would like to share them with the five people who subscribe to this blog:

Getting the boot (or getting a slight boot)

- Horseradish - I've tried growing it twice and every year I am as disappointed as a soccer mom seeing her daughter flounder around the field. The green is pretty impressive if you like weeds but the harvest is so disappointing. I don't know if I am just inept at growing horseradish but it takes up valuable space that I could use for other primo veggies. If you don't believe me (which I don't know why you would doubt me), check out the pictures of how it looks in the pot and then the actual harvest:

- Brussels Sprouts - Yeah yeah I am a Brussels sprout fan (not the overcooked variety but the kind cooked in brown sugar and bacon fat al' dente). The problem with these green jeweled marbles is they take up so much space. I only have about 300 square feet of veggie growth as allocated by the wife and for the harvest I get, I would opt out of Brussels sprouts for next year despite how cool they look as a plant.

-Green beans - they are out for next year. Usually I dedicate half a raised garden bed for these guys but I can so much dilly beans that next year I am going to pass on these staples of the Clawson garden because I have so much canned.

- Tomatoes - Ok so these are my fav I start in my shack in January but I have close to 30 plants around and the wife would projectile vomit rather than eat them. They take up bucco space (as my mother-in-law would say).

-Mass amounts of onions - I grew a lot of onions this year but really how many can I eat? I got quite a few good sized bulbs but if you want to put the moves on your wife, you can't grow and consume all these greens. I ended up freezing the greens which is pretty lame but might make for a decent soup.

- Hops - Sorry Craig but they didn't produce as much as I thought and they are on their way out. I'll save the harvest I have in hopes you'll share the brew but this is the last year for hops.

Getting the green light

- More peppers, they seemed to do really well this year despite the bad weather . I would do more peppers next year in the buckets on the side of the house where it gets pretty hot.

- Cucumbers - I used to can my own pickle mix but they have Mrs. Wages mix which cuts down the effort ten fold so I was able to process more pickles than I thought. Next year I could see myself doing more...a lot more.

- Snap peas - always golden for munching

- Elephant garlic - The size of these babies are around the size of a softball.


  1. Looking good!

    Between my CSA bin and taking care of a friend's garden while they're out of town, I've got green beans coming out of my ears right now too... I just fried up and ate a whole pound last night! (Made up a sauce with sriracha, honey, and garlic, which turned out pretty great.)

    How much hops did you get and how much space did it take up? I know you're not impressed by the output, but I might try to grow it in my friend's garden next year if I can get enough for just one IPA... Would need about 4oz, dried.

  2. My buddy Craig gave me two ribosomes that he took from his setup. They were in a fairly shaded area until then got about eight to twelve feet where they started to thrive.

    I don't know how much one would need to make one IPA. I mean if you are going to brew you should do the full car-boy but brewing is Craig's thing. I grew them for foliage over my trellis. I know he puts them in a food dehydrator and so they lose a lot of weight.

    He has quite a hop setup and I think he gets enough to do two five gallon batches. They are pretty and grow fast so I would defiantly pick some up to enjoy and harvest. Who knows, you might get enough to have some incredible beer.

    Also what is a CSA bin?

  3. About 4oz (dried) will make a 5 gallon batch of IPA. Only need about 1oz for other beers, but if I'm going to grow my own hops, I want to taste those hops in my beer, dammit! Plus, our IPAs have always turned out fantastic. Anyway, I'll talk to my friends about it, seeing as it's their garden and all. The prettiness aspect is a good selling point.

    CSA = community supported agriculture. Basically, we get a bin of veggies every weekend from a local farm. You sign up in the Spring and then get a bin every week through October or so. It's pretty fun because we get all sorts of weird veggies that we wouldn't buy otherwise, and we split it with another couple so we get to have a weekly vegetable haggle.