Covid-19 caused us to tuck into our home and not really go out at all. While Hubby had an outpatient surgery scheduled for January 2021, that was the only risk we had to take since lockdown.
In 2020, for Mother’s Day, Hubby insisted I should not cook. We went into “Old Town” to a known restaurant (eaten there a number of times pre-Covid) and ordered a “to-go” Chicken Caesar salad. Not saying the restaurant is no longer a favorite, however the salad was seriously lacking in quality, taste and pretty much anything else you can think of (wilted, tasteless and unappealing visually).
I had been perusing the Gardeners.com website for a couple of years. There I found “veg-trugs“. My first acquisition was a herb trug, a raised bed with 8 compartments for herbs in the spring of 2020 with a shelf underneath for storage.
As we progressed through the summer of 2020, the idea really took hold that we could grow as much of our own food as possible. We had “rented” two (seasonal) pea-patch bins that are available to residents of our condominium property. One has a rosemary bush in it that takes up a third of the bin. The rest had chives, garlic and other alliums, and a few odds and ends of vegetables from which I had saved the seeds over the last year (peppers, tomatoes, etc.). I also shared a bin with a friend here in the building. I did not seem to have as much good luck as the previous year in getting things to grow and produce. One of my frustrations was having to go upstairs to the bins (on the roof of the 4th floor) if I wanted herbs or vegetables.
We finally agreed to get a patio trug, which at the time came with an insect cover, a greenhouse cover and the required frame. Then we decided what we would put into the trug and ordered seeds from several different suppliers. We also wisely agreed 2021 would be our “learning” year and whatever worked we would capitalize on in 2022 and whatever did not work, we would forgive ourselves.
There was a lot of forgiveness needed from our learning in 2021. At the Pea-Patches upstairs we had a lot (like a seriously “LOT!”) of zucchini. I froze zucchini, I dried zucchini, we ate zucchini. There was a lot of zucchini! We had a lot of tomato plants on the deck and they overtook our deck. I did not know how to deal with them so they grew tall and finally in August began to produce fruit. Then I had a lot of processing of tomatoes to do. I turned them into chopped, juices, marinara and froze some whole just to see how that would go. We finally used up the last of both the tomatoes and zucchini in March 2022. I made a lot of minestrone and soups just to use them up!
2022 is an entirely new year! Read the next entry for more on the continual learning we are doing for this year’s bounty!