For one of my last posts of the year I thought I would recap some of what I did in 2022, in a month by month format. I started the year harvesting collard greens from the garden. It’s always nice to have something green in winter time! Most of the plants I set out in fall eventually succumbed to the cold and icy weather we got in early February, though a few hardy ones did survive. Many heirloom varieties of collards are now available from the Seed Savers Exchange as well as Southern Exposure Seed Exchange, and I get my seeds from both of those sources. The Heirloom Collard Project is also a great resource for researching the varieties available.
February saw me begin seed starting activities in earnest. I sowed seeds for parsley, petunias, brassicas and greens like mizuna, lettuce and arugula. I use plug flats for most of the seeds, and start the seeds indoors under lights.
We had a warm and dry spell here in early March, and I took advantage of it to work in the garden spreading compost and getting ready for spring plantings. I have been experimenting with the no-dig no-till method of gardening in a few of beds, and I plan to continue that in 2023. For more information on that, I wrote a No-Dig No-Till Update last month on my experiment.
April usually finds me babysitting lots of seedlings both indoors and in the greenhouse, and this year was no exception. I sowed a few early seeds of warm season crops like eggplant and tomatoes to get a jump on the season, and potted them on into individual pots before they got planted outside.
My wife and I love to go on picnics, and mid-May we took a break from gardening and other chores to go Lincoln State Park, which is one of our favorite places to hike and picnic. It’s a bit less than an hour’s drive away from us, and with school still in session the park was mostly empty on a weekday. We packed a picnic lunch for the occasion, then went for a hike after eating.
June saw harvests picking up throughout the month, including blackberries, blueberries, squash, eggplant and broccoli. I also got our first cherry tomatoes of the year. And did I mention squash? We got ample rains in spring, and the early crops really seemed to enjoy the growing conditions.
In July I was busy fermenting cabbage and kohlrabi from the garden. Fermenting is one of my favorite ways to preserve the harvests as well as to add extra flavor to things like cabbage and kohlrabi. I generally let all these ferments sit on the counter for one to two weeks before refrigerating. Once refrigerated they keep for months, and I think they even improve with age. We are still eating on and enjoying these fermented foods here in December.
In August the flowers were on full display in our perennial beds. My wife and I have an assortment of flowers in all sizes and colors, and many attract pollinators and butterflies. We also plant a few annuals like petunias and zinnias to help brighten up the garden.
In September I was busy picking and processing pole beans, and harvesting other warm season veggies like peppers, eggplant and tomatoes. We made Sheet Pan Ratatouille on several occasions, and I love it served on a bed of creamy polenta.
In October I was digging sweet potatoes and bringing them inside to cure. Yields were down this year, no doubt due to dry growing conditions this summer and fall. We will have plenty to eat though in the months to come, and they are one of our winter staples. Once cured, they will keep their quality all winter and well into next year.
November was all about greens and other fall crops in the garden, and we enjoyed a bumper crop of collards, kale and turnips.
In December the weather turned cold, and we got snow late this month. That gave me time to review the 2022 garden, and start planning for 2023. I also found time to make an ornament for our Christmas tree. I’ve been making Christmas ornaments since I was a teenager, and I still have most of them. I made one for my wife when we were still dating, and we’ve both been making them ever since. My birdhouse ornament this year is a combo of recycled and repurposed with a little new thrown in too.
I hope you have enjoyed this look back on 2022. I want to thank all of the folks who come here and read my blog, and I want to wish everyone a Happy and Healthy New Year!