What Were Growing This Year

(Amish paste tomatoes, Ukranian purple, white cherry, tiny tim, lemon boy)

When I first started to garden I wanted to cut down our food bill and have healthier tastier versions of our favorite food. As I learned more and grew more I started to want to sustain us with 80 percent of our own home grown food. I'm not there yet. But pretty close.

If you live in the area I'm sure you've seen our front garden expanding in size. It is a mix of perennial flowers, herbs and strawberries, which we just added 75 plants to! I'm a strong believer in permaculture and natural landscaping. We add a few fruit trees every year to our property along with edible flowers, beneficial pollinators, herbs and annual vegetables. This year we have a "kitchen" garden at the front of the house. This includes things like lettuce, spinach, kale, green and yellow beans, peas, a few cherry tomato varieties, some peppers and a few odds and ends. These are the crops we will be picking fresh and eating right away. Things like salads, and fresh, raw foods. In the back along with Asparagus, rhubarb, and apple, pear and other fruit trees, we have a storage garden. It has rows of Amish paste tomatoes for sauces and canning, dried beans, green and yellow beans for canning and freezing, cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, potatoes, storage onions etc. This are being grown in much bigger quantities and will be put up in the fall to help feed us all winter.

I've also been rotating beds in a way. In the fall i lay down carboard, cover it with old spent hay, and plant annual vegetables in the spring. Once that crop is done, I've been opening the fence and letting the hens scratch it to their hearts content. I'm hoping to make some raised beds this year from upcycled material to keep my plants better organized and a bit closer to the house. I'm hoping that with the raised beds I can make miniature greenhouse rooves for them. I have one garden plot that is completely free of weeds (thank you chickens) and needs something in it. apple and pear trees? blueberries? What do you think I should grow? Goji berries? Let me know in the comments below.

In case you have been to our honor stand lately you may have seen or stopped to buy a few vegetable plants (thank you, your support has been amazing). Here's some cool vegetables we are growing and tat might be for sale at our stand.

(greenhouse in its early stages)

Most of the seeds we use come from seed savers exchange, or from a local seed grower at Northern Seeds/Semences Nordiques


For all peppers follow this general rule for planting or check out our other blog post on growing peppers.

Plant in full sun about 12-24 inches apart

Wait to transplant outdoors once soil is warm, a few weeks after actual last frost date.

Jalapeno Pepper (Medium Hot)***************

Sturdy plants with 3 inch long cylindrical plants. Fruits ripen from green to red. For a milder hot pepper eat when green, for a hotter pepper they are best picked when red. Can be added to soups, stews and for flavoring all sorts of dishes. Ripen about 70-90 days after transplanting

Red Habanero Pepper (VERY HOT)***********

Also known as Lucifer’s dreams it is many times hotter than a jalapeno. Plants reach about 3 ft. Tall and produce enormous yields of hot peppers. Peppers are small and ripples with a sizzling hot yet fruity flavor. About 90-100 days from transplant.

Yellow Peru Chili Pepper (HOT)****************

This pepper creates a variety of flavor in your mouth. Ranging from extreme heat, to sweet and fruity undertones. It is worth the wait. Light yellow finger like fruits are about 3-3.5 inches long on 3 ft. Plants. Takes about 100-120 days to mature from transplant.

King of the North Bell Pepper***************

Ready about 70 days from transplant King of the North is a great short season crop. Uniform 3-4 inch fruits are great for fresh eating, stuffing and adding to sandwiches and wraps. Crunchy and sweet

Orange Bell Pepper************

About 90 days from transplant, but has an incredible taste. 4 inch peppers have thick walls. Ripen from green to orange and can also be eaten when green.

Miniature Chocolate Bell Pepper**************

About 90 days from transplant sporting sweet miniature bell peppers. About 2 inches in size they make a great addition and crunch to salads. Think of cute bite sized peppers.

Pepper 4 Pack Mix (includes 1 Yellow Peru, 1 Jalapeno, 1 Orange Bell Pepper, 1 King of the North Bell Pepper)

Please see above descriptions

Cherry Bomb Pepper (hot)


Chives (zones 3-8)

Plant just before last frost date in full sun to partial shade.

Can tolerate some dryness

Plant about 12 inches apart

Chives make a great addition to a perennial garden, or kitchen garden. Then add great depth in a garden and a mild onion taste. Can be added in salads or to garnish noodles, salads and stews. Produces beautiful purple flowers that can also be added to salads or wait to let them drie and self seed.

Garlic Chives (zones 3-8)

Plant just before last frost date in full sun to partial shade.

Can tolerate some dryness

Plant about 12 inches apart

Just like Chives garlic chives are great in gardens make sure to plant them in a different area than regular chives. These chives have a mild garlicky taste and can be used the same way as typical chives. They do produce different flowers though with clusters of beautiful white flowers.

Parsley (annual)

Grown as an annual in our cold climate

65-75 days from transplant

Plant about 6-12 inches apart in full sun or partial shade

Well drained, rich soil.

This variety has curly rich green leaves, is fast growing and a very uniform strain. High in vitamins and minerals.

Basil (annual)

Cilantro (annual/self seeding)

Hyssop (zones 4-9)

18-24 inch tall plants

Plant 6-12 inches apart in full sun to partial shade

Prefers average well drained soil and can tolerate dry conditions

Divide every 3-4 years to encourage a healthy growth.

Self sows easily

Leaves can be used to flavor salad, soups, liqueurs and stew. It has a spicy floral scent when used in as an essential oil. Was used as early as the 17th century to freshen kitchens and hospitals. Purple flowers attract bees, butterflies and hummingbirds

Lovage (zones 3-8)

A perennial in our climate

Plant about 18-24 inches apart in full sun to partial shade

Transplant outdoors in late spring after danger of frost has past.

Average well drained soil, can withstand dry conditions

Lovage has beautiful leaves and sets chartreuse flowers. Not a common spice but the leaves, stems and seeds all resemble the taste of celery and can be added to soups and stew to replace celery.

Lemon Mint (annual)

An annual in zones 3 and 4

Plant about 12-24 inches apart in full sun to partial shade.

Plant can reach 24-30 inches tall

These aromatic plants have colourful purple blossom to attract bees. The plant can also be used for medicinal and culinary uses. Can be minced and added into fruit salads or fruit jellies

Lemon balm(zone 4-9)

Perennial in our zone

Transplant after danger of frost has past

Plant 12 inches apart in full sun or partial shade

Prefers sandy well drained soil, leaves become more aromatic in poor soil. To keep plant from self seeding remove flower heads

This herb produces lemon scented leaves that are great for making tea to sooth upset stomach and the tea also has a calming effect. This plant is part of the mint family.


For all tomatoes follow these basic guide lines or check out our blog post on growing tomatoes

Plant after danger of frost has past and soil temperatures are warm.

Plant 24-36 inches apart in full sun

Plant well in containers

May need to be caged, trellised or staked

Prefers well drained soil and a steady supply of water, mulching is a great idea.

Amish Paste Tomato************

These are my absolute favorite peppers to grow. If I could only grow one, this would be it. They are great for making sauce, canning and adding to soups and stews. It is sweeter than most varieties and has a meaty texture. Can also be sliced on sandwiches. Typically reading in August and September.

Roma Plum Tomato

Ukranian Purple Cherry Tomato**************

3-4 inch long plum shaped fruits. Sweet and meaty texture. Origionally from Ukraine this variety is fairly crack resistant. About 80 days from transplant

John Baer Beefsteak Tomato***********

Lemon Boy Cherry Tomato

Tiny Tim Cherry Tomato

White Cherry Tomato****************

Early Pale yellow fruits weigh about 1 ounce. Goes great in a cherry tomato mix. Sweet and fruity flavor, this pale coloured tomato packs flavor about 70 days from transplant

Black cherry Tomato*******************

1 inch round dark fruits with sweet complex flavors.An easy to grow variety with clusters of fruits. About 65-75 days from transplant to produce fruit.

Crimson Red Tomato


De Cicco Broccoli***********

Red Kalibos Cabbage

Matures in about 80 days from transplant

Plant 24-36 inches apart in full sun.

Can be planted outside just before last frost. Take caution as Cabbage has a fragile root system.

If possible add mulch to cabbage to keep weeds down and moisture and even temperatures.

This variety of cabbage is a European variety, which has a greenish red outer foliage. This cabbage typically matures weighing around 2-3 lb. Heads with a sweet taste great for slaws, salads, pickling, kimchi and great for storage.


Di Sicilia violetto Cauliflower**********

80 days from transplant

Plant 24 inches apart, in full sun

Plant outside just before last frost date

Prefers cool temperatures and a steady supply of water.

There is no need to tie leaves around cauliflower heads

This variety has a deep purple colour when raw but turns green when cooked. This variety produces side shoots once the main head is cut, so be sure to look for those before removing plants from the garden.

Early snowball***************

60-85 days from transplant

Plant about 24 inches apart in full sun

Plant outdoors just before last frost, prefers cool temperatures and a steady supply of water.

It isn’t necessary to tie leaves for blanching but it will reduce any yellowing of the cauliflower heads.

Produces 6-7 inch heads that are solid,crisp and tender. Can be eaten raw,cooked, baked,roasted or steamed.


Water Melon

Corn Field Pumpkin

Golden Zucchini

Caserta Zucchini (striped)

Black Beauty Zucchini

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