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Lettuce and Peas and Spinach – oh my!

I think (I hope) things are finally going to start slowing down.  Of course I’ve said this before, so I could be wrong.  I survived my 6 week marathon of working just about every day, and 10-14 hour days at that.  And behind me now are the 10 straight days in a row that I had to drive in to London for one reason or another.  That’s 20 solid hours in my car.  No wonder I am getting so fat!  I can only fit into one or two pairs of pants at this point.  I am not at all happy about this.

Last week I decided that, despite the commute, I am going to stay put in my house at least for the summer.  There is only one week of classes left, and after that I will only need to drive into town on occasion.  Most of the summer can be lived very locally, including being only a few minutes from Orchard Hill CSA, which I am happy to say will be starting up very soon! (May)  I still have a bunch of veggies in the fridge that need to be eaten or preserved.  I tend to hoard fresh vegetables for as long as I can, and still have beets, cabbage, turnip, and a few other root veggies (plus half a dozen butternut squash) left from fall.  Now my goal is to eat this all up before May.  The celeriac & apple slaw was wonderful and I will post the recipe when I get back from my Easter trip to my parents.  Now to find equally fun and exciting recipes to finish off the last of the winter store.  Roasting or steaming them are no longer an option – I need change, or these will end up in the composter.

Speaking of which, I need to tackle our composters.  They are both full to brimming with the winter’s veggie scraps and we’ve been having to haul our compost to a neighbouring farm for nearly two months now.  Since I am staying put for the summer, I am going to build a raised garden bed in which to grow peas, lettuce, spinach and a few herbs and other greens that don’t  mind a fair bit of shade.  There’s another possible garden spot in which I may try to grow a few carrots and beets, but I won’t get that started until May or June.  For now I need to learn what’s needed to build a raised bed, and figure out how I’m going to get some soil to fill it with.  I would like to get this all done in the  next week or so, as it is time to plant peas!  In fact, I should have planted them already.

Tomorrow I am going to spend time getting my mother’s vegetable garden going.  I bought a bunch of sheep manure (although I have access to mountains of it for free where I train – I just need a way to transport it) and other soil in plastic bags, which as you can imagine didn’t make me overly happy.  I am constantly frustrated by how everything comes in plastic these days and need to really put some more effort into avoiding supporting this practice.  For my own garden I will likely line the back of my car with a big tarp (yes, plastic I know, but at least not single use) and load it up.  Hopefully it won’t end up smelling like sheep manure for the rest of the summer.  Then again, with the dogs constantly covered in it, my car usually smells like sheep anyway!  So perhaps I shouldn’t worry.

I’m going to get my mother’s garden started with peas, lettuce and spinach.  I tried to find some floating row cover but had no luck today, so will have to pick some up at home and bring it back next weekend.  This helps keep the soil warm and moist, and also protect the seeds as they germinate.

I wish I had more time to learn about building soil naturally, and to design a garden well.  I have been reading some introductory books on biodynamic gardening, but won’t have the time or ability to implement these theories this year.  Perhaps next year.  I am getting better at letting go of all the millions of things that I want to do, and trying to make time for just a couple that are top priority.  From that perspective, I shouldn’t grow anything this year.  But my personal philosophy dictates that I must, even if it’s just lettuce and peas.  So I’ll be learning more about building beds and building soil, and will share what I find here as I go.


One Response

  1. […] Lettuce and Peas and Spinach – oh my! « Southwestern Ontario Locavore: Since I am staying put for the summer, I am… http://bit.ly/dqihpS […]

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