I just ordered my seeds for the year. Last year I just bought seeds at Lowes, Walmart and other places. I have since learned that you cannot save seeds from those plants to replant because they are hybrid seeds. So, this year I am investing in non-hybrid seeds so that I can save the seeds and replant them each year. I ordered basic seeds this time and will add different varieties. I ordered a bush and pole bean, bush and pole lima bean, lettuce mix, broccoli, cauliflower, carrot, pok choy, bulbing onion, collards, okra, pink eye purple hull peas, sweet corn, cucumber, eggplant, green pepper, jalapeno, chili pepper, watermelon, canteloupe, spinach, yellow and zucchini squash, spaghetti squash, 4 different tomatoes, and snow peas.
We have two 4X8 raised beds to the side of the house. I want to add two beds there plus just dig up a large area north of those beds to plant corn, beans and watermelon. I am going to companion plant all three of those and see how it does. The corn is supposed to be a good stake for the peas and the peas are good for the soil. Then, the watermelon grows along the ground. It will need watering. I plan to add some rain barrels to the rear spouts to water my gardens. I also want to add about 7-8 beds right behind the deck area.
I also would like to get some fruit trees to plant. They are really expensive to buy them a couple of years old, but it you start them early it takes so long to start producing fruit. I may have to add one or two a year for a few years.
With 7 people to feed I don't think I could produce enough on our lot for us to have both in growing season and to can for out of season. I am just going to grow as much as I can and can what I have when I have extra and hope to cut down our budget a lot. Nothing beats the fresh taste. I also really enjoyed watching the little baby plants emerge and grow. I felt like a mama all over again.
My husband's grandfather was a very frugal person. I am so glad to have gotten to really know his granddaddy and two grandmothers. All of mine died when I was younger or early married. Granny Evans could talk your ear off. Grandaddy was from a large family - I think it was 13 kids. Then, he went through the depression. He never had a credit card or even a house payment. He was really tight with his money. He bought gold and silver and collectible stuff and had huge safes for it all. Granny said they had meat once a week, on Sunday. The other days they ate vegetables they grew and cornbread. They had meals like collards, peas, corn and cornbread. She once told me that she burnt a roast one time and dug a hole in the yard and buried it because if Grandaddy found out she had wasted all that money they would have either had to eat that burnt roast or hear him talk about it forever. She was in her 70's when she told me the story and she still did it hushed behind his back.
I wish I had asked more questions about what they ate and things they did. For us to have a meal without meat is rare. I remember his other grandmother asking if getting vegetables helped our budget. I didn't know how to answer. We would get corn(cut off the cob and milked to make skillet corn) and okra and pink eyed peas. At the time I just bought Walmart brand can veggies and we are corn and green beans so I did not see a huge help to our budget. Now, I would love to have them given to us in baggies already put up. I will say that a few times when we reached the end of our money and still needed to eat we pulled out the pink eye peas, made some rice, and cooked some cornbread and ate well. The peas make a juice that mixes with the rice and is really good.