We spent a day in the fields today. For future refernce (because I know you MUST be visiting and reading my site fanatically!) Saturday or Sunday means garden day.
Unfortunately, and if you followed along last summer you probably know, we live in the city. Not that living in the city is unfortunate, there are plenty of good things about living in the city and at this point in our lives it just makes sense to be close to everything. But, I was raised in the country and would like to find my way back sometime before I retire
The unfortunate thing, and likely my least favourite part of city living, is our postage-stamp sized back yard. It’s big enough for a shed, a small deck and a large childrens play center (slide and swings), with just enough grass left over for the dog to do her serious business.
…definitely NOT large enough for a garden.
Community Supported Agriculture
Last year we signed up for a local CSA (a what!?), which was a great experience. It was a particularly hot and dry year, so the produce occasionally left something to be desired, but on a whole we were very happy to participate and the kids will miss not being able to visit the animals every week (my son is already talking about Flash, the farm horse!)
We’d be signing up again this year too, but the opportunity arose to plant our own garden on a plot of land about 27×35 feet (or just shy of 1000 square feet), and we couldn’t pass it up. My wife’s parents own about 4 acres off of Lake Simcoe and despite the fact that it is a 45 minute drive away, we tilled the land and are ready for a summer of Sundays at the inlaws.
If you can’t grow your own garden and have thought about CSA, or have never even heard of CSA before, you should stop by Heritage Hill Organics, just outside of Barrie, for their open house on May 10th. I think we’ll be making excuses to stop by over the summer a few times still.
The Summer Garden Series
So, long story short, this is the first installment of our ‘Summer Garden’ series. Actually, I have a lot to tell already as I spent a month clearing and double-turning the land last fall, began an epic battle against the ant hordes and started growing veggies in the basement almost a month ago now!
In fact, we put our first vegetables in the garden today: onions, cucumbers, cantaloupe, and garlic. It’s still a bit early, but I’m making some clotches (I think that’s the right spelling) and loaded on the mulch to keep the ground temp. up as much as possible… So we’ll see; this whole summer is going to be an experiment in organic gardening and I wanted to test how early I could get things in the ground (my fingers are x’d against any late frosts).
Not only did I plant today, I already began the harvest! There are a few things growing that were in the ground still from last summer (in a pre-existing garden) and we picked a pile of onions whose tops were already over 2 feet high! We’re going to use the tops as ‘green onions’ and replant the smallish bulbs!
My goal for the next week is to figure out which vegetables I still need to pick up, whether that will be in seed or plant form and the general layout of the entire garden (got to go in with a plan!). I have to finish the clotches, pick up more peat and mulch and find a hot tub to soak in (Hey! I have a desk job… I’m sore after a day in the garden.)
So much to do… so little time!