How Do You Deal With the Heat

June 20, 2010 :: Posted by - Summer :: Garden :: Comments Off

My poor plants!

The peppers and strawberries seem to be fading fast in the heat, and I think the peas are already goners. Despite keeping them in the shade during the hottest parts of the day, and making sure they are watered deeply, the heat is shriveling them up. And we haven’t even hit the hottest part of the summer yet. Read more…

Berry, Berry Exciting

June 18, 2010 :: Posted by - Summer :: Garden :: Comments Off

Yesterday was the local food coop pick-up day, and along with some yummy foods I also walked away with a collection of plants. Four small strawberry plants, and one large thornless blackberry plant. Tomorrow they get to be moved onto the back patio with the rest of my container garden, where they will hopefully make good friends.

I know it is a little (or a lot) late in the season, but when I saw that a local farm was selling them I could not pass up the opportunity. I loved picking fresh berries at my grandmother’s house when I was a little girl. How could I not want to pass on a tradition like that? Read more…

When Green Things Appear Right Before Yor Eyes

May 28, 2010 :: Posted by - Summer :: Garden, Green Living :: Comments Off

green onion bulbs

Sometimes you just know something can be reused, even if you don’t just how yet.

We like green onions around here. They go in soups, in rice, in casseroles, and pretty much anything I think to toss a handful in. But silly me, I’ve always tossed the bulbs into the compost and bought a new bunch. Then yesterday, I stood holding the bulbs in my hand and had a thought. What is cutting them up isn’t killing them? Read more…

I’m Back! And Greener Gardening

May 20, 2010 :: Posted by - Summer :: Garden, Green Living :: (2) Comments

container gardening

Wow, has it been a long, strange several months! Things happened, like moving again. This time across the state, and into a much smaller townhouse. My big backyard has been replaced by a tiny patch of dirt that doesn’t seem fit to grow anything.

So as I waved my garden goodbye, I made plans to grow a new one. A greener, smaller one. OK, so I won’t be feeding my entire family on everything I’m growing (sorry Backyard Homestead), but I can at least make a mean salsa from the tomatoes, peppers, and herbs. Read more…

Local Food. Really Local.

December 07, 2009 :: Posted by - Summer :: Food, Garden :: Comments Off

Canada - Ontario Apple picking - 01
Creative Commons License photo credit: mckaysavage

Food has a life, a story. The environment it grew in, the people who produce it. And usually it’s traveled an awefully long way to get to our plates. I’d like to know these things.

There’s a moment, when you realize that the apple you are biting into was probably picked several days ago in a foreign country, that hits you. The moment is a collision, a crash of this new fact and the memory of picking an apple off the tree in your own yard and taking a bite.

I don’t remember when I realized that the food I was eating wasn’t from some nearby farmer. I do remember a bit of a panic, of fear, and horror. Why was my food being shipped to me when there was perfectly good land right here to grow food on? Of course I hadn’t yet heard of the locavore movement, or even considered such a movement might exist. It seemed natural to me, that food would come from nearby. Read more…

Preparing My Gardens For Spring

November 23, 2009 :: Posted by - Summer :: Books, Garden :: (1) Comment

At my local library I found a copy of The Urban Homestead and have most of the weekend reading it. I’m not sure what I’m going to do when I have to give it back next week. There may be a few tears in my eyes.

Though winter is almost here I’m getting my gardening plans ready, and my gardening areas. I want to try a few ideas from the book, like raised beds. Especially since we are renting and I don’t know if my landlady would be pleased with big areas of the yard dug up. The former flower bed (picture above) in front has bee dug up, covered with newspaper, and mulched with leaves. I’m going to try to keep it mulched down and hopefully kill any remaining flower seeds. There were also some decorative bushes planted in there with roots too deep and long to dig out. Hopefully by spring they’ll be dead, or at leask weak enough I can get them out. Read more…

Composting Life Away

November 17, 2009 :: Posted by - Summer :: Garden :: Comments Off

With my garden plans this spring I’m making an effort to compost our food scraps as much as possible. I keep a little ceramic bowl in the kitchen that I fill up and dump back out in our big barrel outside.

Composting has several benefits, all of which I’m enjoying.

  • less garbage to toss out
  • happy plants in my garden
  • sweet hippie cred

Read more…

I Am Woman, See Me Garden

November 12, 2009 :: Posted by - Summer :: Food, Garden :: Comments Off

Creative Commons License photo credit: Nessa Land

Yesterday I bought a shovel.

There’s something empowering about walking through a huge Lowe’s, carrying a shovel that’s nearly as big as I am. Slung over my shoulder, the shovel started whispering in my ear that I needed power tools and one of the big wheelbarrows outside. Somehow I managed to escape with only the shovel.

In my front yard, next to the porch, there is an old garden plot marked off with bricks. Weeds have taken over, along with some sort of small tree grouping. I spent the afternoon digging out roots and tiny tree stumps, which is not quite as easy as it seems. Those roots can travel down for what feels like miles and are tough as leather. At one point I had to get my garden sheers and try cutting through roots so that I could get the rest of the stump out. Slowly I cleared it, making it ready for my coming vegetable garden. Read more…

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