Homesteading: Evaluating This Year’s Veggie Successes and Failures; Planning for Next Year

Raised Beds: 

Potatoes:  A marked success.  We will use more Yukon seed potatoes next year.  I can purchase in a local store, although perhaps I will have some seed potatoes from this year?

homesteading, potatoes

These are some of my not-yet-eaten potato crop – most are Yukon golds but there are two or three red potatoes in there, as well.  Their destination is the root cellar.

Cucumbers:  They grew well here, but I want a different, more tasty variety, than the yellow globe ones.

Turnips: I ended up with a lot of good salad turnips (ie, small ones). I actually prefer these, so I will do more next year.

Beets: The first batch I planted too early (sorry, MIGardener – you were WRONG). They didn’t come up. The second batch was stunning. The local venison population ate a lot of the greens, but when I dusted the area with the fertilizer, Milorganite, they stopped – and the greens came back with a happy vengeance.   These are purple – want to focus on the golden ones in 2021.

Spinach:  The variety I chose was all stem and flower, no leaf.  Grew well but wasn’t good for much else.  Will try New Zealand.

Basil:  I grew several varieties in 2019.  I had leftover seed, but very little of this came up this year.  Getting fresh seed – especially as I I want Thai basil, Tulsi basil, and your plain Jane regular basil.

Thai Cooking Greens:  They turned out well, or at least some of the varieties in the seed package did.  Alas they seem out of stock now.

Tomatoes:  Cherry tomatoes did excellently.  The larger ones not so much – we had a drought and they cracked and weren’t all that happy.  I need to keep up on them, weather depending.  This next year I will start seeds indoors for this, both the cherry and the others – which this time round will be heirlooms.

Peppers:  I didn’t grow any this year but they did well the previous – AND I had a pepper plant that re-seeded itself and grew anyway!  Only gave me a couple of peppers, but this was serious encouragement.

Kale:  Prolific.  But this variety is a bit too bitter for me.  I may or may not experiment further next year.  But photos at top…

Purple cabbage:  Awesome cabbages.  A repeater!

Cauliflower:  I had one nice plant.  The others were far less stunning.

Winter squash: I put them in about 3 weeks too late – or three weeks later than the neighbor across the street put in his.  So I didn’t get much going on, and mostly small.  One variety didn’t do anything at all.  All three types I do will be different this coming year.

Planted Now:

  • Onion sets – white.  Four rows in the first part of Bed 2 b –  I plan to harvest for scallions/green onions and leave enough space for the rest to become “adult” onions. Source:  Johnny’s.
  • Saffron crocuses.  I planted ten of twenty, and gave the other ten to a friend. They are in bed 3a with the rhubarb.  This will be the perennial bed.  See above photos.
  • Garlic.  Still to be planted.   Source:  Johnny’s.
homesteading, onions, onion sets

Johnny’s has assured me planting these white onion sets now in the fall will yield me a Zone 5 crop. We shall see..

And now – to look closer at the plans for 2021?  

homesteading, poultry coops

The view down from the raised vegetable beds.

Upcoming Year Seed Order (Johnny’s Seeds, one packet each):

  • Tomato, Cherokee purple heirloom (organic)
  • Eggplant, Calliope (a rounded Asian-style eggplant, purple with white)
  • Mustard greens, red giant. (organic)
  • Okra, carmine splendor (a red variety, they were sold out of the green)
  • Swiss chard (organic),  rhubarb supreme.
  • Basil, sweet Thai (organic)
  • Basil, Kapoor tulsi
  • Snow peas, Avalanche
  • Turnips, salad, Hakurei.

I preferentially buy the organic ones, but they were out in certain cases, or didn’t have to begin with, in others.

Upcoming Year Seed Order (Baker’s Creek Seeds, one packet each):

  • Tomato, black cherry.
  • Tomato, green zebra.
  • Tomato, Reisetomate (very unique looking, and possibly challenging to grow)
  • Pepper, Tam Jalapeño
  • Pepper, Chinese Five-Color
  • Eggplant, Little Fingers (small and very purple)
  • Okra, Clemson spineless
  • Winter squash (C. maxima) Iran squash.  green, orange, with white dots. Mostly for decor.
  • Winter squash (C. moschata) Musquee de Maroc.  90 days, yellow with blobby green splotches.
  • Winter squash (C. pepo).  Jack be little.  90 days, yellow.  (They were out of delicata.)
  • Cucumber, early fortune.
  • Cilantro, slo-bolt (we KEEP trying!)
  • Spinach, New Zealand.
  • Cabbage, Hilton (Chinese, Napa-like)
  • Cabbage, red express.
  • Turnip, purple – Nagasaki Akari Kabu
homesteading, beets, beet greens

Beet greens – they managed through thick and thin – venison predation, frosts, and so forth. And an excellent green for dinner!

Also (think further about in Spring):

Focus on fruit trees – citrus and stonefruits.

Plant more asparagus (they are in the side yard bed, not discussed in this post).  See if the strawberries can be salvaged.  They get eaten before I can see them!


This post is linked with:

Fiesta Friday, this week’s co-host:   Liz@Spades, Spatulas & Spoons

Homestead Blog Hop.

About goatsandgreens

The foodie me: Low/no gluten, low sugars, lots of ethnic variety of foods. Seafood, offal, veggies. Farmers' markets. Cooking from scratch, and largely local. The "future" me: I've now moved to my new home in rural western Massachusetts. I am raising chickens (for meat and for eggs) and planning for guinea fowl, Shetland sheep, and probably goats and/or alpaca. Possibly feeder pigs. Raising veggies and going solar.
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4 Responses to Homesteading: Evaluating This Year’s Veggie Successes and Failures; Planning for Next Year

  1. Wonderful summary of the year. I order a lot from Baker Creek as well and count on the comment section to guide me. And thank you for the long view from the veggie garden raised beds. I could almost smell fall in the air.

  2. Is that Red Russin Kale? You might find it less bitter this time of year or even in the winter. I was able to keep mine alive with minimal care (using an old bedsheet to cover on really cold nights). They became almost sweet/nutty in flavor after being kissed by frost 🙂 I was going to try the saffron crocuses from Baker Creek, too, but alas, they’re out of stock. Maybe next year.

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