Backyard Farming

 I am an Illinois Farm Families blogger and receive compensation in exchange for my posts. All opinions and discussion starters are my own

Garden Seedlings

As announced yesterday, it looks like Spring may actually stay around Chicago for a while. Meanwhile, I’m praying that the seedlings that we planted last week continue to flourish enough to get ready for the season of backyard farming. We picked up cabbage, cucumbers (pickling and salad,) carrots, sugar snap peas, pole beans, broccoli, tomatoes (sweet and heirloom,) sweet corn, sweet peppers, watermelon, okra and a multitude of other seeds. I haven’t planted everything just yet because I didn’t buy all of the potting pellets that I needed. Blame it on winter brain. I’m anxious to get started, and I want to take tons of Instagram pictures and overshare what I grow and pick. 

With being a part of the City Moms farm tour, through Illinois Farm Families,  two years ago, the get up that I needed for starting a home garden was given to me last year, and we successfully planted and harvested tomatoes, arugula, sugar snap peas, and okra. My broccoli kind of went a bit crazy on me, and I wasn’t able to harvest it properly, especially since the cabbage worms got to it. That wasn’t totally backyard farming, more of tote farming, but I think we’ll have totes again this time around as well. 

I’m looking forward to transferring the seedlings next month, and eating off of our harvest all summer long. I’m also hoping that we get TONS of pickling cucumbers so that I can pickle a bunch and have them to eat on throughout fall and winter. They are pushing through the soil awesomely, and I’m hopeful that we’ll get a good bounty. 

Cucumber Seedlings

 

Another portion that I’m looking forward to is the cabbage that we planted as well. It’s purple cabbage and all I can think of is trying to recreate the Yankee Cole Slaw created by one of my favorite restaurants on the west side of Chicago. I’m guessing all of the leaves will be nice and purple too, and that makes me happy. I’m thinking about doing strawberries sometime too, so that I can have some other color out there other than green. 

Cabbage plants

 

Let’s not ignore the fact that I planted SWEET CORN! I learned that sweet corn is only 1% of the corn planted EVER, and I kind of had a tiny violin moment. So I figured, I’d bring my own sweet corn to the back yard, and hope that we get at least twelve ears of it this season. If we do, I’ll plant more if we decide to do a community garden next spring. We’re going to do raised boxes, and I’m so excited! 

Sweet Corn Seedlings

By the way, I’ll be off next month to visit the Monsanto factory to learn a little bit more about the company that seems to be in the crosshairs of so many people. I’m curious about lots of things, and I’m looking forward to the trip. I’m hoping that the people who read this blog can participate in some thoughtful discussion and we can respect each others choices. Until then, I’ll keep you updated on the gardening, and what we harvest! 

If you’re looking for other posts in this series, feel free to check these out:

Illinois Farm Families – Learn More About Your Food

Where Does That Christmas Ham Come From? 

Learning About Food OFF the Farm

Farming During The Winter