Posts Tagged ‘Gardening’

Getting ready for more local eating

Monday, May 18th, 2009

Josh and I have just spent a lovely and productive Victoria Day weekend planting our newly expanded vegetable garden.  We’ve converted two of our flower beds to accommodate our 25 strawberry plants and 7 tomato plants, amongst other newcomers.  I’m very excited for our edible garden this year.  We actually started our seeds early enough this year and our tomato plants are over a foot tall already!  We also have a variety of herbs this year and our watermelon seedling is still alive!

Here’s a list of what’s in our garden this year:

  • tomatoes: black cherry, blanche beaute, new: yellow cherry, beefsteak and ruffled red
  • herbs: sweet basil, thyme, chives, cilantro and parsley
  • potatoes
  • garlic: five different varieties (one did not survive the fridge)
  • sweet red pepper
  • wax beans
  • sugar snap peas
  • carrots: scarlet nantes and Chanteny
  • veestar strawberries
  • blueberries: northland and northcountry
  • raspberries

not planted yet: golden midget watermelon

Our local CSA share starts up again in 3 weeks.  Soon, we’ll be back to eating all local, all the time.


Garden Update

Friday, April 24th, 2009

Our sprouts are taking off like crazy! Our tomato plants are huge now, especially our beefsteak tomatoes. Altogether we have ten tomato plants, two basil, a bunch of thyme and two peppers. My parents just brought us some seed potatoes and we have Veestar strawberries on order. I’m feeling like it’s going to be a good harvest this year. Last year we didn’t start our seeds soon enough and they were late blooming.

Speaking of late seedings, we probably need to get our watermelon seeds started this week. Tanny’s probably going to get more basil started as well.


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Suspended animation, garlic, Rip Van Winkle

Thursday, April 23rd, 2009

Happy Earth Day!

Our garlic, like Rip Van Winkle, is in suspended animation. Or so I hope. In fact, it’s just in paper bags in our fridge. Dormant; not dead.

What’s next? Good question! When we bought our garlic starts at Seedy Saturday, we were told to keep them in the fridge until final frost has passed, introduce them slowly to the outside and then plant them. Seems simple, but I think I need more details. Anyone have any experience with growing garlic from a start?


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Time to think about seeds again

Sunday, February 15th, 2009

Even though we’re still in the middle of winter, last week’s (almost) spring-like weather is a gentle reminder that spring is coming. It’s time to head to your local Seedy Saturday/Sunday to swap and buy seeds, attend workshops and get inspired to grow your own food.  I am obsessed with the heirloom tomato varieties and can’t wait to buy more unusual tomato seeds.  After eating only Ontario garlic this past year (it tastes so much better, a milder taste, not pungent at all), I’m inspired to try growing my own. 

The Seedy Saturday in Toronto is on February 28 this year, at a new location – the Wychwood Barn. The theme this year is potatoes.

Here’s a list of Seedy events in the next month in Canada. 

Ontario

Date

City

Location

Saturday Feb 21

Port Burwell, ON

Trinity Church

 

Hamilton, ON

Royal Botanical Gardens

Saturday Feb 28

Mississauga, ON

Unitarian Congregation, S Service Rd

 

Sault Ste Marie, ON

Sault College-Native Centre-G Wing

 

Toronto, ON

Artscape Wychwood Barns

Saturday March 7

London, ON

Siloam United Church

 

Ottawa, ON

Ron Kolbus Lakeside Centre

 

Peterborough, ON

St. James United Church, Romaine St

Sunday March 8

Pembroke, ON

Fellowes High School, 420 Bell Street

Saturday March 14

Kingston, ON

Kingston’s Central Branch Library

BC

Date

City

Location

Saturday Feb 21

Victoria, BC

Victoria Conference Centre

 

Prince George, BC

Exploration Place

Saturday Feb 28

Vancouver, BC

VanDusen Botanical Gardens

Sunday March 1

Nanaimo, BC

Bowen Park Auditorium

Saturday March 7

Courtenay, BC

Filberg Centre

 

Fernie, BC

Fernie Community Centre

 

Enderby, BC

A.L.Fortune Secondary School

 

Robert’s Creek, BC

Robert’s Creek Hall

 

Richmond, BC

Terra Nova Barn, 2631 Westminster Hwy

Saturday March 14

Kelowna, BC

Rutland Centennial Hall

 

Cobble Hill, BC

Cobble Hill Hall

 

Powell River, BC

Community Living Place, Artaban St

Manitoba

Date

City

Location

Saturday Feb 21

Garson, MB

 

Quebec

Date

City

Location

Sunday Feb 22

St. Appollinaire , QC

83 rue Boucher

Saturday Feb 28

St. Vallier de Bellechase, QC

école La Ruche de Lanaudière

Sunday March 8

Lanaudière, QC

Centre communautaire Le Rodriguais à Saint-Alphonse-Rodriguez

Nova Scotia/New Brunswick

Date

City

Location

Saturday Feb 28

Truro, NS

Holiday Inn on Prince St.

Saturday March 7

Cocagne, NB

Ecole Blanche Bourgeouis

Saskatchewan

Date

City

Location

Saturday March 14

Saskatoon, SK

Princess Alexandra School


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Garden Update - July

Monday, July 28th, 2008

It’s been too long since I’ve written an update of our garden.  We were lucky to have lots of rain while we were away, the garden was just thriving when we got back.  Everything got huge!  Our peas, basil and tomatoes have grown so tall.  The carrots are looking more promising.  The parsnips are officially dead - well, I don’t think they sprouted.  We planted two corns for fun, and they’re about a foot and a half tall, I don’t think we’ll get any corn, though.  We were very happy to find the raspberries just about ready for picking.

We’ve been picking the sweet peas and raspberries daily, I don’t think any of them made their way back to the kitchen.  I’ve never had fresh sweet peas before - it’s fun to pick them and eat the peas right out of the pod.  I had plans to make some raspberry tarts, but we haven’t been able to save them from Ella yet.

Here are some pictures from our garden.

The tomatoes plants are looking wild.  They are starting to flower.  I can’t wait for fresh tomatoes.

Sweet Basil

We’ve harvested some basil for pesto already.  

The peas look so overgrown. 

Sweet Corn

Our two stalks of corn.

Carrots

The carrot patch.

Raspberries

Raspberries



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Happy Victoria Day

Monday, May 19th, 2008

Tanny and the seedlings.

This weekend Tanny and I had some time to work on the website and the garden. Tanny added some more soil to her tomato seedlings and pinched off the weaker ones. I worked some compost into the garden and got it primed for planting. Unfortunately the temperature is just barely into the double digits so we’re going to wait until next weekend to plant.

Also - the seasonal food list now has lists for BC and PEI.


Sprouts update - Week 5

Saturday, May 17th, 2008

McMullen tomatoes - over 3 inches tall

Sweet Basil

Golden Midget Watermelon brown leaves

With the exception of the watermelon, my seedlings are doing quite well.  Most have at least one set of “true” leaves.  The McMullen tomatoes are over 3 inches tall! I’m supposed to pinch back the weaker seedling in each pot, but I can’t bring myself to do it just yet. One more week.

This weekend (Victoria Day Weekend) marks the beginning of the growing season for us in the Toronto area.  I didn’t start my seedling early enough to transplant this weekend, but I will be sowing some carrots, parsnips and peas directly in the garden.

 

 


Yellowing Golden Midget Watermelon Leaves – Help!

Friday, May 16th, 2008

Golden Midget Watermelon yellowing leaves

Golden Midget Watermelon brown and drying leaves

My golden midget watermelon seedlings are not doing so well.  The leaves are looking yellowish, and on one of the seedlings, the first set leaves have started to turn brown and dry.  Has anyone else experienced this?  Is this normal?

 

 


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Getting the Garden Ready - Part 1

Sunday, April 27th, 2008

We’ve had a full week of warm, sunny days here in Toronto.  Our daffodils are blooming, the lily-of-the-valley have come up from the ground, the forsythias and other flowering trees are, well, flowering.  We finally got the hedges in our backyard trimmed last week.  We spent today raking the last of the leaves from last fall, and pulling out many, many dandelions.  Our garden is almost ready for planting.  Josh raked the leaves and the next step is to turn the soil and work in the compost we got for free at the Earth Day celebration at Downsview Park.  Just a few more weeks…

 

 

 


Mini Greenhouse

Wednesday, April 16th, 2008

I finally got around to planting my seeds over the weekend.  After checking the packages, it turns out that I only have to start the seedling for tomatoes, basils and watermelon indoors.  The rest I should wait until after the last frost and plant them in the garden directly.  I planted the seeds in a mini greenhouse that fits on a window sill.  Since Sunday, I’ve been eagerly checking everyday for sprouts and today, I noticed mold on the watermelon soil!  It’s only day 3 and already I’m having problems.  According to various gardening websites, the mold is probably from overwatering.  So I removed the moldy parts and opened the greenhouse. Hopefully, the mold won’t come back.