Friday, May 15, 2009

Garden ramble

My mind has been on the garden and the weather for the last few weeks. I have everything out: tomatoes, peppers, squash, corn, beans, onions, beets, lettuce, radishes, cucumbers, spinach, peas and a few potatoes. I also started rhubarb and Jerusalem artichokes. Growing from before is horseradish and strawberries.

Hopefully this year I'll be canning tomatoes, zucchini with tomatoes, green beans and beets. I'll have onions to braid and hang, and a few meals' worth of potatoes. If I'm lucky, there will be a few peas left to freeze, corn to freeze as well as make cornmeal from, peppers to dehydrate and tomato sauce and tomato juice to freeze.

Not bad for a city backyard, but I'd like to grow more. With prices still going up and up and up, anything you can grow yourself will save money. Even if it's a few herbs in pots, if you don't have to buy them, you save.

The more you can grow, the more you save, of course, but don't not garden because your soil is like fired brick or beach sand.

Compost, compost, compost. Spring, summer and fall are the times to compost, so now's the time to start. It doesn't take much of anything and you don't need a fancy composter. Just designate a piece of dirt (or a container of dirt) and start putting in used tea leaves, a few coffee grounds, chopped raw vegetables, cooked vegetables if they don't have salt or butter, a few grass clippings, leaves, shredded paper... keep it damp but not wet and turn it now and then, whenever you think of it. Soon it will turn into rich soil.

Mix it into your garden area and make more. And more. Nature is bountiful. Not only does it create new, wonderful dirt from what we call trash, it grows wonderful, healthy food from the same dirt. Trash to food. Can't beat that. That's the original recycling plan and it works.

What a miracle of life, to watch and be a part of the entire cycle.


  1. Pat so glad to hear about your garden. Now for a question, How do you use the Horse radish? I was told to grate it and mix it with vinegar. Yuk! and it is spreading like wild fire in the garden. This spring I thought I had gotten it all out, but I noticed 3 little sprouts, so if I can use them I will dig them out and plant them outside my fenced garden in a deer friendly area.
    Also if you have the space, I have free sources of soil. When ever the trees are being cut away from the power lines I offer to let them dump the mulch in the back of the acerage. This year Dh welded some things for a neighbour and he has dumped two truck loads of horse manure for us. I was so excited. I still need to plant the garden but most of it will still need to wait a week. Peas though will go in this week end.
    Things that made it through the winter so far, are green onions, garlic, rhubarb, raspberries, gooseberry plant, red and black current bushes, lovage, sage, chives, and garlic chives, the little purple violas ( I love the flowers in salads and they decorate a cake beautifully). Oh and of course the dandilions and Saskatoon bushes that nature gives us free, gratis :)
    T'other Pat in Kitchener

  2. I grate the horseradish and mix it with mayonnaise. It keeps a good long while like that. I tried it with vinegar too, but didn't care for it. If you want to keep it contained, plant it in a bottomless container and it will grow downward instead of out.

    I don't have room for anyone to dump anything here, unfortunately! If I had room, I'd probably plant blackberries, elderberry, and a lot more herbs. So I still wouldn't have room for anyone to dump anything. :)

  3. I have my tomatoes out and would have liked to have put out more. Are you going to take some pictures and post them?

    You are definitely going to be cutting your grocery bill at harvest time!!!

  4. JT, I'll try to get some pictures when things start growing. Right now, there's a lot of bare space between the tomatoes and son on - not very impressive!