Green Thumb -Chapter Two

Gardener’s weakness-gardening eyes bigger than gardening stomach

My community garden plot partner and I had to exercise some restraint.  She is much more the gardener than I am.  Particularly vegetable gardening.  The last big garden I worked in was on the farm in Saskatchewan a loooooonnngggg time ago.  My Mom would send us out, hoe in hand to hill the potatoes, pull the weeds, pick the peas and beans.  The memory is mostly of dry powdery soil and everyone hoping for rain….obviously the “dry years”.  Hours of weeding and hilling and picking and then eating fresh carrots and beans and new potatoes with dill and beets-it helped diminish the sense of servitude for having to do that work in the garden.  And here we are choosing to do this now and being anxious to get at it.

We started with a planning and coffee session.  We pulled out books and charts that tell you which vegetables make good neighbours and which don’t.  We talked about planting things that suit a garden at a distance from your home-not things that need daily attention.  We sketched out what would go where, how far apart they are supposed to be planted and then we sat back and added it up.  Based on our plans, we would fill 20 of the 50 feet in the garden!  Really?  That’s all?

Armed with this ‘information’ (and you will see later, it was not exact information), off we headed to the seed store.  We had to act as seed counsellors to each other….yes that’s on the list, let’s buy it…no, that isn’t on the list and remember we said we’d try our best to stick to our plan.  But it would be fun to try to grow it!  We were like two chocolate lovers who made a trip to Laura Secord or Bernard Callebaut’s stores and tried to keep to a pre-set list.  Red beets, yellow beets, ready in how many days?  Seed this one into the ground, start that one several weeks before the last frost (oh, oh-not this year).

It’s been very wet and mostly very cool and so there’s been no preparation of the ground.  We’re hoping that will happen this May long weekend-if Mother Nature agrees and we can lasso the local roto-tiller man.  Maybe that’s something I should do next year.  Buy a roto-tiller. I could be the local roto-tiller person.  I could figure out how to book things on-line and go techie (right?!).  It would be moderately strenuous but one could take breaks at the local coffee/bakeshop and generally watch the world go by.

Bringing the garden and its friends, indoors

Dear friends gave us some plants to put directly into the garden-broccoli, brussels sprouts, cauliflower and much more.  Lovely healthy plants.  With our cold weather I would put the plants out sporadically but bring them in when it looked close to frost.  Finally I left them out for a period of time and then one cold night decided to bring them in-maybe for the last time before they ultimately make their way to the garden plot.  The next day about noon a family member noticed a small army detail of tiny ants marching from the patio door into the kitchen.  I think they were carrying a little flag-a scouting detail no doubt.  Not just a few, not just 10 but likely 10 X 10.  Wee little guys-on the tile, on the carpet, under the carpet.  Fair to say the reaction was not one of “aren’t they cute!”  I went over to the tray of plants and the towel they were sitting on-and thought——–I wonder if the ants hitched a ride in on the plants.  It seems they did.  We must have an ant hill somewhere outside.  I can tell you they will be hunted down and found.  So the plants are outside for good and until they bring forth their bounty this summer.  They were unwitting accomplices.  The ants are gone from inside the house.

Where are we now?

Last night I had a much closer look at how much seed we have, just how much room it should be given to grow and what that leaves fallow.  The bottom line is there is no fallow-in fact-there’s perhaps not enough room for all we’d like to grow.  Gardening eyes big and bigger than gardening plot.  However, we haven’t even broken ground and as such, the story is far from told.

We would welcome any and all advice.  And if the garden is really bountiful, be careful for if we know your address we may be throwing zucchini into your backyard come fall.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s