Sunday, March 16, 2008

ten a week

Ten minutes at the garden was all it took this week. We realized that the soil was still to wet for beet seeds,(hopefully) squirrel proofed the onion sets, set out some more home made, organic, slug bate, and stood around admiring all the things that were already growing. I'm always a bit disappointed that it takes so little time to maintain the garden. I love being out there with the birds and the plants. But there is only so many weeds that need pulling.

Here is part of something I wrote in response to a query about my gardening experiences. I thought you might find it interesting.

Growing my own vegetables has been a part of my life as long as I can remember. When I was growing up, no matter the size of the yard, we have always kept a vegetable garden, fruit trees and berry bushes. I come from a long line of English gardeners and farm hands, so most of what I know has been handed down through the generations. That said, I also adore reading gardening books. No matter how long I’ve gardened, I find that there is always something more to learn and something new to try.

For the last five-plus years I have kept an allotment garden. The small size of my plot has taught me to economize and take advantage of every inch of space so that I can get two or more crops a year from the same spot. This requires close attention to the weather cycles and quite a bit of planning ahead. It is something I’ve never done before, but in the end, it is more than worth it. Canning and preserving go hand in hand with this. When the weather is all grey and winter-like, there is something so very comforting in eating a jar of healthy canned pears you grew and processed yourself. I have found that when a garden is kept year round, which is quite easy in our climate, it requires far less time and effort to maintain.

When I was first assigned my plot, it was a dismal sight. The soil was loamy clay, and it had only the most tenacious weeds growing in it. With a bit of effort, some luck and a whole lot of love, I was able to get a marvellous crop the first year in.

I love growing anything that can be eaten, be it berry bush or vegetable, be it something that grows high up on a tree or a potato buried deep beneath the earth. Keeping a garden doesn’t take much work when you know how. It is simply a matter of knowing when to do what and how much of it. The rest, the plants take care of all on their own.

I believe that it is an important aspect to living a wholesome life to know where your food comes from. What better way to do that than to grow your own?

Today? Well, it's a lazy, tired sort of day. The cherries may be in full bloom all around town, but the sky is grey. I'm making a double batch of hot cross buns now that the recipe is finally perfected, and reading Kant. That's about it really. Oh, ofcourse, playing with yarn, but that goes without saying.


Josiane said...

I'm a bit envious of your love for gardening... I've never had a green thumb, and have not enjoyed the little bit of gardening work I did as a kid - but I would love to grow my vegetables! You make it seem so easy... Unfortunately, that's not my experience, but one day (hopefully soon) I'll try it again. I think I'll start very small, with a few potted plants, like cherry tomatoes and herbs. I hope it works better than the last time I tried!

JustApril said...

I miss having a garden - we have sun baked clay for soil which is a challenge =) Every year I say I'm going to rope off a part of the back yard (to keep the dog and kids out) and put in a little garden, but it doesn't happen (yet) Maybe if I use the front yard? =)

Holly said...

any time you are bored, you are welcome to garden at my house. Lots of space and no real interest in doing anything with it.

I would rather be outside knitting or spinning.

I wish you the best with yours!