I love to can...I enjoy cooking and baking...I love having fresh ingredients on hand...
However, I just have trouble getting excited about gardening!
I've had 4 vegetable gardens in my life. One at my parent's house while we were waiting on family housing at the university, not a great plan, as we had moved by the time most items were ready to harvest. I did, however, make my first ever pressure canned item...12 jars of spaghetti sauce...AWFUL recipe...I still think that the 12 bay leaves really should have read 1-2 bay leaves!
Our second one was at a community garden at family housing...all went really well until serious watering restrictions were put on the gardens, and we were only allowed to water for 15 mins per plot three times a week...of course, EVERYONE had to water on the same days, and there was only one hose...so we had to wait in line for an hour or more just to water.
The third was at our first house...I was VERY pregnant with Eva, which made everything difficult! Of course, Eva was born in late August, so I did get some canning and freezing done, but not to the extent that I would have liked.
The fourth was the following year. Gardening was quite a bit easier with a one year old than while hugely pregnant. I did a lot of canning and freezing this time...I still have some of the canned goods, and I gave a bunch of them to my MIL 6 months ago, or so.
So, I haven't had a garden at our new house (that we've been in for two years) and I'm gearing up to have one this year. I participated in a phone conference from the Urban Homemaker about gardening on Thursday, and have been printing articles to figure out how to best do this gardening thing this year. We have plenty of space, but we also have a pretty serious sandbur problem. I'm trying to figure out what veggies I should start with.
I know that I want tomatoes, probably some peppers, and some cucumbers. I've not had much success with beans or salad greens in the past...I know that I can grow zucchini, I'm just not sure I want to! (Although, I don't know my neighbors very well, so I probably could drop bushels of zucchini on their porches!)
Do you have any suggestions for easy to grow vegetables? I'd love to branch out from the types of foods we can get at our supermarket, but don't know which are relatively easy to grow. For instance, we can't get leeks, or any types of greens other than spinach, green leaf lettuce and iceberg...I'm sure that there are tons more, but my brain isn't coming up with them right now...
What is most worth your time and energy to grow? Any gardening expertise you'd like to share with a novice gardener?