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Our 2017 Garden Plan – Growing Incredible Flavor In The Garden

It’s time for our 2017 garden plan! To an avid gardener, creating a garden plan is like trying to paint a masterpiece. Or perhaps, attempting to write a prize-winning novel. For us, it has always been a great way to look to summer while the cold harsh winter stirs outside. It’s also a chance for us to dream of the wonderful things soon to grow from the soil.

This year’s plan for our garden is all about celebrating and growing flavor! With our move to the farm now complete, and the last child heading off to college in the fall, the mass food production goals have taken a back seat. In its place – pure flavor!

2017 Garden PlanIt wasn’t long ago that our entire garden plan was centered on feeding a family with four hungry teenagers. We could watch the jars of salsa, pickles, pasta sauce and more fly off the pantry shelves. And we had to plant and grow accordingly.

But with those needs to produce huge quantities of food relaxing a bit, we decided to use this year’s garden space to try out a huge range of exciting varieties and flavors! One of the benefits of a raised row garden is that the plans can change every year, but the ease of planting, maintenance and harvest remain simple and easy.  See : How To Garden With Raised Rows.

With our move to the farm complete, our goal is to spend a lot more time outside. Time now spent cooking, grilling and eating straight from the garden. 

With that said, this year’s garden is all about celebrating flavor. We have included the plan at the very bottom in full size. We have included links for the seeds of what we will be growing at the end of each section.

The 2017 Garden Plan Overview

Tomatoes Full of Flavor:  

This years garden is chock full of heirloom tomatoes, nearly 30 different varieties in fact! Amish paste and Roma (for the sauce and salsa bases) are the only tomatoes we will plant more than 1 of.

2017 garden plan

Fresh sliced Black Krim and Amish Paste tomatoes from the garden. Unbelievable flavor!

But the rest of the garden is full of heirlooms like Cherokee Purple, Mortgage Lifter, Brandywine, Chocolate Cherry, Tiger Blush, Seaman, Black Krim and more. Our goal – to  have a mid-summer tomato tasting event with friends and family and try them all!

Tomato Seed Links  : Amish PasteBlack Krim, Cherokee Purple, Mortgage Lifter, Brandywine, Chocolate Cherry, Mr. Stripey, Tiger Blush, Black Seaman.  You can also do a variety pack if you are looking to try a lot of different types : Heirloom Pack of 20 Varieties 


The Italian Roaster has become the star of our garden the past two years. The flavor is amazing, and the big, beautiful, thick-walled peppers are perfect fresh or on the grill. We will also grow sweet red, yellow and orange bell peppers, perfect for grilling or fresh eating. In addition, lunchbox sweet peppers stay in the mix.. They are a great snacking pepper.

2017 Garden Plan

Italian Roaster Peppers and sweet purple bell

If you follow us,you know we love hot peppers! And yes, our favorite is still the Chinese 5 Color by far. Amazing to eat fresh, or in salsa, salads and more. The pepper is perfect for drying into powder and hot pepper flakes.

It is also one of the most beautiful plants in the landscape. It becomes filled with hundred of 1″ peppers in a gorgeous array of 5 colors. Our other favorite in the hot category is the Cajun Belle. 

Including the Chinese 5 Color Peppers, we will have 16 varieties of ornamental peppers growing in pots, flowerbeds and hanging baskets around the farm.  

Pepper Seed Links :  Italian Roaster, Chinese Five Color, Cajun Belle , Lunchbox Sweet Pepper Seeds

2017 garden plan

The beauty of purple green beans

Classic Veggies

The rest of the garden is filled with what we love to eat every day! Purple green beans, strawberry and Ladyfinger popcorn, cucumbers, garlic, zucchini and more! We even have a new favorite we fell in love with after purchasing last year at a farmers market – Brussel sprouts! We love them on the grill with just a touch of olive oil and salt or hot pepper flakes.

Vegetable Seeds : Purple Green Beans, Pickling Cucumbers

Here’s to planning out your 2017 garden plan!  Happy Gardening – Jim and Mary  

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2017 Garden Plan