I have never had a garden before, but lately I have been thinking for reasons of economy it might be worth it to try my hand at gardening next year (since winter is about to set in up here in New Hampshire it oviously has to be next year.) So with that in mind I just bought the book "Grow Vegtables" by Alan Buckingham (it got good reviews on Amazon.com.) I have only thumbed through it since it came in only yesterday, but I do plan on giving it a proper read through. However, I thought it may be a good idea to join a forum to get more personalized and hands on type of feedback.
What I am looking for right now is a bit of general advice. I have a general idea of our property in mind for the plot that will give it the most sun exposure, though we do have a lot of tall trees that means this is all relative. The soil also is not the greatest, so I think I may have to lay down some loam. I have not measured the intended plot, but I would guess it will come out somewheres around 10-15 feet by 30, maybe 40 feet. I have read enough so far that my choice in vegtables should be simple (especially to start with) so I am looking at more of the vegtables we use regularly. I do plan on taking up canning/preserving (both pressure and water bath) and also freezing, so I think whatever we grow can reliably be preserved and used in the span of time they would be eaten. The vegtables I have in mind right now are:
cucumbers (smaller sized for pickling)
onions (this is a tough one since the book I have pointed out onions are already so cheap in the markets that growing for economy may really be marginal)
Strawberrys (another one I don't know about...I am thinking for the size plot I am working with and the plethora of "pick your own" farms it may be more economical to pick my own rather than grow)
Pumpkins (this is more a novelty I want to indulge myself for, mainly for the seeds which I LOVE roasted and salted, but also to use the flesh for pumpkin pies and the odd one for Halloween carving...either way I don'tplan on growing many, maybe half a dozen of jack-o-latern size)
Lettuce (one more questionable....since I can't think of a good way to preserve this I wonder if it will be worth it, or just plant very small amounts to use immediately just to have as a treat at harvest time)
I also want to grow tomato plants to use in pressure canning pasta sauces, but those I am thinking of growing in boxes on our back deck. I know that it takes a large amount of tomatoes (one site I saw calls for 30 pounds to make 9 pints), so realisticly how many plants and how much space will I need to yield 30 pounds of tomoatoes?
Now, I would appreciate any adivce, suggestions, tips and wisdom. Having never done this before I feel like this may be a bit daunting, but humans have been doing this for thousands of years, so I guess I should be able to suck it up and get it done.