I don’t know if it’s the January blues, but I’ve been acting a little odd. Today at work, I’ve been getting far too excited about the potential of a door access control system.
On Tuesday, I was naming parts of my garden after cats, and yesterday I started ranking vegetables on things like Tasteability and How-Much-Do-We-Eat-ability.
The Veg Growing Priority Spreadsheet
Yes, I’ve been back on the fruit and veg spreadsheets. I don’t know, maybe I’m just looking for any excuse to think about vegetables when the weather’s rubbish. Maybe I’m just destined to be an accountant one day.
Anyway, I started a new spreadsheet to help me decide on the most important vegetables to grow in my new kitchen garden. This came as a result of starting work on my Plot Plan 2013 and the sudden realisation that some days, I stand over the space and panic that I’ve got nowhere near as much room as I thought. Therefore, a list of priority veg is required.
So, I made up some criteria to help me with this. I rated veg between 1 and 5 on space efficiency (how much space do I need for a decent crop), the cost in shops, reliability, how tasty we find the veg, how well they keep or freeze, and how much of the veg we eat.
Not All Veg are Equal
5 was a good rating, and 1 was poor. Some of the criteria, like the cost in shops, were generic, but others were personal to me. Not all veg are equal to my palate. Tomatoes rock my tastebuds, but turnips… well, turn me off.
I’ve found reliability is also subjective. Squash is one of the most dependable veg I’ve grown, but I know plenty who have struggled with it. Yet, I’ve never managed a decent crop of spring onion, which by all accounts but mine, are a cinch to grow.
Once I’d rated all the veg, I totted up the totals and sorted by the highest scoring. The theory is that I can ensure I grow all the veg that give me the best results, from the taste on my plate to the pennies in my pocket. Leeks, French beans, squash, tomatoes, cavolo nero, mangetout, beetroot, curly kale, perpetual spinach, and purple sprouting broccoli scored higher than 20, and they’ve all got a spot in my plan.
Fitting in the Luxury Veg
This means that I can also enjoy the idea of fitting my luxury vegetables around these staples. I’m thinking some pink fir apples here and there, the odd cauliflower challenge in amongst the fruit bushes and an experimental wigwam of last year’s heritage peas, perhaps.
For me, this is a fun but functional approach to planning my plot. I get the steady stuff in so I can be confident of a good harvest, but then I can mess around with other interesting veg without worrying that they’re taking up useful space.
I’m now really close to completing my Plot Plan 2013, which is always an exciting New Year milestone. It might well be cold and dark, but next week I’ll be ordering seeds and dreaming about the summer.