Posts Tagged ‘ garden ’
My four-day Easter weekend started with a beautiful sunny day, so I asked Brock what I could do in my garden. (How handy, to have my own personal gardening advisor.)
Brock had spaded my kitchen garden a week or two ago, but he wasn’t able to get at the 15′-ish-long row between the two fruit trees. So he suggested I weed it, either using our BCS rototiller or a hoe. (Also handy: to have access to the tractor and tools of a professional farmer.)
The BCS rototiller would have been the most efficient and effective option, but that would require a quick re-teaching from Brock on how to start and drive the thing, and I knew he was busy working. So I opted for a stirrup hoe, and got down to business.
It was hard. I haven’t done physical work since October, and I could feel it in my shoulders and back. I got sweaty. Short breaks were required.
After all that hard work I wanted to actually plant something in my garden, to celebrate. It’s still a bit early, weather-wise, and the soil isn’t ready in my garden: Brock will till it with the tractor before I do my big plant-out in a week or two.
Luckily, that row between the trees isn’t tractor-tillable, so I could plant something there and it wouldn’t get in the way. I’ve planned to have my few perennials in that spot (mostly herbs). And we had two pots of chives that Graden and Nancy had given us years ago, which had been living in their containers ever since. So those aromatic chives finally found a home in my garden.
I raked off the weed clumps, hoed out the stubborn areas, and dug two holes for my transplants. Ideally I would have forked up the soil to loosen it first, but I couldn’t figure out where Brock had hid the tools so c’est la vie. My chives went in.
I love chives. They are one of the few plants I vividly remember from my mom’s garden, along with honeysuckles and bleeding hearts. And now that we eat mostly food we grow ourselves, I find that there’s a noticeable gap in onion availability in springtime: my chives will add oniony flavour to our grain salads and egg salad sandwiches.
So here’s my updated garden, with its first inhabitants:Continue Reading »
With 6 acres of organic vegetables in production on our farm every summer, it may seem odd that I want to have a garden. And inefficient. Doesn’t it make more sense to wander out to the fields and cut myself some fresh salad greens, a head of broccoli, dig up the potatoes and yank a bulb of fresh garlic for dinner?
Actually, yes, that makes a lot more sense…
When we bought our land in June 2007 I was a complete newbie to the notion of growing food. Aside from an adorable 10′ by 10′ garden that my parents kindly built me in my teens (which I forsake once the aphids attacked), I had never planted, weeded, or harvested a thing. I learned how to grow garlic from Ken of Gabriola Garlic at the farmer’s market our first summer in Duncan, and those first 10 or 20 bulbs were the first food I ever really planted. And harvested. And ate.
In the last 3.5 years I’ve learned more than I ever thought I wanted to learn about organic soil management, microbiology, N-P-K ratios, and the logistics of planting, tending, picking and preparing food. Last summer I attempted to work full-time on our farm, assuming that I would relish every filthy minute. But this was not the case. Perhaps it’s my Generation Y attention span deficiencies, or my distaste of routine physical labour, but by the end of the season I knew I wasn’t a farmer, certainly not like my sweetie is. This man reads tractor catalogues in bed. He watches YouTube videos of farm tours. I’d much rather watch Madmen episodes and do a Sudoku puzzle.
So I’ve returned to my indoor career as a communications professional, and am grateful for it.
But still … I love sunshine, I love planting seeds. Exercise is especially important when I’m staring at a computer for the majority of my day.
Therefore: my kitchen garden. We’ve set aside approximately 3,000 sq.ft. at the front of our farming area for me to grow all the things that our farm doesn’t grow on a large scale. For example: sweet potatoes. I’ll also plant flowers, establish some perennials, and test out some medicinal herbs.
I’m looking forward to ending my work day with a few hours in the sunshine playing with my plants, experimenting with herbal teas and adding random vegetables to our meals. I might not use the entire 3,000 sq.ft. (that’s a lot of weeding). But having this much soil to play with is a luxury, and I am grateful for it.Continue Reading »