Preparing your garden and kitchen for the coming growing season(s) is extremely important. It can be the difference between a smooth growing and preserving season and an overwhelming chaotic season. There are some things you can do to both your garden and your kitchen for a more streamlined and organized experience. I have been gardening for many years now and I can tell you planning and prepping makes things go more smoothly and sets you up for success. I used to not think this way and prided myself on being a spontaneous gardener with mixed results. As time went by I learned that planning and prepping are crucial. You can still have moments of spontaneity, but having everything planned and prepped can make things so much easier. This is especially true for anyone with a family, an active lifestyle or a full time job. Growing a garden and cooking from scratch takes time, it’s a slower way of living that doesn’t always match the current fast paced style of living we see today. The more we prepare the easier it will be to go with the flow and slow down and really savor everything. Below are some tips to prepare both your garden and your kitchen.
Preparing Your Garden:
- Clean and sharpen your garden tools if you didn’t do it at the end of the season last year.
- Make a list of everything you plant to grow this year.
- Plan your garden space, which plants are going where and when.
- Make sure you have seeds for everything you want to start from seed. (Buying transplants it totally fine if you don’t want to start seeds.)
- Add 2-3 inches of organic compost to all garden beds and grow bags, etc.
- Create a calendar with planting dates, notes, number of plants, etc. Using a journal and login everything can help with this. You can flip through pages to see what happened when. You may thing you will remember everything, but from my own experience, I can say this is far from true. 60-90 days out you may not remember that thing you wanted to remember about a plant.
Preparing Your Kitchen:
- Check pantry stock and refill anything that is low or empty. This includes flours, herbs and spices, nuts, seeds, beans, legumes, grains, vinegars, oils, salts, sweeteners, etc.
- Clean and organize your pantry and food storage areas.
- Organize all fermenting supplies.
- Ensure you have everything you need for canning if you plan to can any of your harvests. (You can also can and preserve farmers market hauls, this is a great way to support your local farmer and add to what your have grown with farm fresh produce.)
- Gather and organize any recipes you want to make throughout the growing season and add these to a section of your garden journal or keep a separate kitchen journal as well. List the recipe, the author/source, book title, page number or website so you can easily access the recipe. (You can organize these by growing season for simple seasonal eating.)
- Ensure all dehydration materials and supplies are ready to go.
- Make sure to use anything in your freezer to make room for harvests to come.
As mentioned before preparing your spaces will help you have success throughout the growing season. If everything in your kitchen is ready to go you can easily take your garden harvest and dehydrate, ferment, can, freeze, cook, etc at its peak readiness. It also means that when you are at the farmers market and see a great deal on a bushel of this or a large amount of that, you can purchase it, bring it home and preserve it for future meals. You won’t have to run around looking for things to get started. Planning ahead in your garden ensures you are able to grow what you love and have more successful harvests. All this planning and preparing will help you maintain ease and calm as you grow, cook and nourish through the growing season(s).