It is gratifying to see lots of seedlings poking their heads out of the soil in plant pots and garden beds. I started planting our autumn/ winter garden very late this year, and hope we’ll still get some vegetables to harvest despite my tardiness. Noticing how late it was, I compromised and bought some seedlings for broccoli, spinach and swiss chard at the local hardware store. All seem to be doing well in the garden. I direct seeded two kinds of radishes (cherrybelle and black spanish), bull’s blood beets, turnips, miner’s lettuce and corn salad. In pots, I’ve started cilantro, garden cress, red cabbage, and two kinds of lettuce (“Asian red” and “Winter”). We’ve not tried growing miner’s lettuce and winter lettuce before, so it will be interesting to see how these cool-season greens fare in our garden.
Kevin has been digging potatoes, and I’ve been grubbing around for kumara to add sweetness to our dinners. We are still harvesting carrots, salsify, and late zucchini, as well as our trusty welsh bunching onions, collard greens and a bit of kale. It’s an interesting game, juggling baby and garden, but I’m enjoying getting my hands back in the dirt as much as possible. It’s fun to watch Owen’s growing fascination with animals, leaves, rain drops and the wonderful natural world all around him. While one part of me is dreading the destructive force of a crawly/toddling little human in our garden, another part of me thrills at the thought of him enjoying his early contact with earth, mud, slugs, and even his mother’s precious vegetable seedlings! My brother, sister and I grew up around gardens, and I think we were very lucky. I know it took a lot of patience from our parents and grandparents as they taught us the right way to pick ripe produce and to help out in the garden without leaving a trail of destruction behind us.
What else is going on around here?
I’ve taken over the ordering for our local whole foods co-op. This means gathering up order details from all the members and submitting them to the wholesaler. It’s actually been a frustrating business so far due to our phone line being dead for over a week while I was trying to take orders. (It got fried up in an electrical storm!) Still, it’s given me the chance to network with some really interesting people, and it feels right to be sharing the responsibility for this valuable service rather than leaving all the work to someone else.
On the “to do” list:
Plant onion seeds so that the seedlings will be ready to set out in the garden in a couple of months.
Plant broad beans. Better hurry, or they won’t get a decent start before the cold weather sets in.
I have made a huge pile of grass clippings, and Kevin is wondering if we might use them to attempt to grow a winter potato crop in a large barrel in a warm sheltered spot. I’ll be sure to report on anything that develops on this front!