Tips for CSA Members who also have home gardens

A member who is new to Muddy Boots this year asked:

Do you have any tips on what to grow in my home garden in light of the veggies we will be getting from Muddy Boots?

What a GREAT question!

Actually many of our members do also have home gardens so I thought I would share my ideas.

Here are some things to keep in mind about Muddy Boots CSA

  1. We try not to overwhelm you with too much of anything. This means that if there are things that you really like, week in and week out, you should also plan on growing it in your garden.The exceptions to this might be corn which last year we got for 7 weeks and we also offered in a bulk sale and also salad greens which we try to have each week throughout the season.
  2. We tend to get Muddy Boots produce earlier in the season than you will get from your home garden. For example, last year we got eggplant and cauliflower the first week in July, while those don’t typically come out of home gardens until later in August.
  3. We offer bulk sales throughout the season and in the fall for folks who like to put up some veggies for the winter. See below for information on our regular bulk sales throughout the season. If there are other veggies you would like that aren’t on the bulk sale list, please let me know and I will try to work with the farmer to get you what you want.
  4. Aaron offers some extra produce to members for sale each week. Often you will find carrots, onions, and kale.

My garden planning

My husband Ray and I have a fairly large garden. We have 18 3’X12′ beds. We have definitely changed what we grow since we have been Muddy Boots members.

  • Onions: We like to grow veggies for storage such as garlic, onions and shallots. They are fairly easy to grow and we go through more than 100 of each of those over the winter.
  • Peas: Shelling peas freeze really well and I love having them available so we grow a bed of these. We also love sugar snap peas which we only get once or twice a season with Muddy Boots so we grow them.
  • Green Beans: We freeze and pickle green beans so we grow a full row of them – we like the climbing variety because they are easier to pick.
  • Hard/perennial/soft herbs: Thyme, rosemary, chives, oregano, savory, sage, mint. We don’t get these herbs in our Muddy Boots shares. We do get basil, parsley, cilantro, Thai basil fairly regularly throughout the summer, but in culinary quantities. In other words, if you want to make batches of basil pesto to freeze, you will want to grow some at home. Typically you will get to mix and match herbs.
  • Kale and Chard: We freeze a lot of kale to use throughout the winter and it is easy to grow. The same applies to chard.
  • Carrots and Beets: I use a lot of carrots throughout the winter so I grow carrots for storage meaning that I plant a storage variety in mid-July so they are ready to harvest when the weather turns cool. I have stopped growing beets because we get enough from Muddy Boots for our purposes.
  • Cukes and Zucs: Throughout the summer, we eat a lot of cucumbers and zucchini/summer squash and they are easy to grow.
  • Tomatoes: Frustrated by yearly challenges with tomato blight, we have cut back to growing just cherry tomatoes and heirloom slicing tomatoes. I purchase Roma tomatoes in bulk when we offer them through Muddy Boots in August.
  • Peppers and Eggplant: We eat lots of these throughout the summer and therefore include them in our garden plan.

Clearly Ray and I are huge veggie lovers and we get great joy with our garden. Muddy Boots has enabled us to reduce the amount of work we spend on our garden throughout the season. In addition, because of all the food we get with our large Muddy Boots share, we have converted two of our veggie beds to cut flowers (sunflowers and zinnias) which we really enjoy!

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