Saturday, 7 August 2010

Weeding and then soup for tea.

It has been a busy week...  corflutes, writing press releases and shaking hands etc.  I have enjoyed it all,  but I do need to plant some more vegetables.
There's an important thing to remember when you wnat to eat from teh garden and that is that whenever you remove something to eat,  you also need to plant something else.  It's an ongoing business,  not just a "one off" planting of seeds at one time of the year.

I have grown vegetables in my garden in Canada where the growing season is much more limited.  That means that one has to grow enough for the whole year and preserve it for the winter.  Here,  we have a winter season and a summer season and very different food plants to include at each time.  While there are some advantages in this....  picking and planting all year round..... the disadvantage is the lack of a "pest kill" (with very low winter temperatures) and the seeming never-ending garden work to be done.

With the changing climate (and it is obvious to anyone who grows similar crops annually that it is changing) this means that it is necessary to be forever vigilant and constantly changing tactics to produce sufficient food.  It feels a bit like "not putting all of your eggs in one basket"  as you plant a few different species and varieties in the hope that one or another will survive and produce something worthwhile.

I have been looking at a "moon planting"  schedule.  I have no idea how this might work,  and I am not superstitious at all,  but my grandmother used to swear by it,  and she was not the only one.  It might even be a means of separating pests or opportunistic companion plants... I have no idea.  It may even be that it is an excuse not to have to do some kinds of garden chores at some times.  Anyway,  when I looked at the moon planting guide recently,  it suggested that yesterday and today were the days to plant underground vegetables and bulbs.  And so I did.
I have planted carrots,  beets, potatoes and some flowering bulbs.  I did plant some kale and kohlrabi as well... we'll see how that goes!
I also picked enough vegetables to go into the soup for dinner....
.... these as well as quite a few potatoes.  (We haven't had a serious frost this year yet,  so we still have potatoes in the ground.)

I cleaned out a lot of weeds and the last of the vegetable in the old patch are still keeping us going.  Here are fennel, onions, the last of the carrots, leeks,  beetroot, lettuce, and quite a bit more....  winter vegetables...
... the broad beans are flowering profusely now... still no beans until the weather warms up.  We haven't had to resort to eating the leaves yet though (plenty of cabbages) so the bean plants are looking healthy.

The blood lilies are living amongst the weeds now,  and the leaves are up to a metre long....  (I showed the red and yellow flowers some time ago, and the leaves that catch the rain.)

Inside,  cooking dinner....
...  these are the vegetables for the soup... all from the garden.... cauliflower, potatoes, carrots, baby swedes, leeks, celery and spring onions.  The spring onions are just that,  onions that I have taken out of the row to thin the crop so that I can get some onion bulbs later in the season.  The soup is made with bacon bones and a mixture of lentils and barley and it smells very good.

I also planted some flower bulbs today....  surprising to many people as I rarely plant anything the doesn't produce food.  Perhaps this is an indication that I have plenty of food out there!

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