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3rd year gardening in High Park Allotment in Toronto

a dream of gardens foretells great joy ...

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Friday, August 5, 2011

this year ... my all time favourite-lookers

I think today, these ones are my favourite looking tomatoes
- just ever so delicately pink blushing on yellow - if my tags
were on correctly (who knows if there were) they are Persimmons!
... and they are ever so slightly velvet-furry a wee bit ...

Sunday, December 12, 2010

kale chips, caramelized leeks and rose hips

I was lazy this year and am starting to think there IS a certain genius to it. Taking so long to go get the kale and the leeks allowed them to reach their full potential and let me attend to 'other', nongarden-related pressing matters. I just chopped the entire kale tops off and yanked all the leeks out about a week ago (Thursday 2 Dec) - just before it got really really cold.

I washed the leeks and caramelized them in EVOO with some organic cane sugar and a little balsamic vinegar. I was shocked that after so much had gone into growing them from seed, etc., I only had a half jar of leek jam.

They are a precious commodity now ... you can almost see them if you squint at this blurry shot of them (see brown in a little bowl in amidst the salami w three french cheeses I picked up at La Fromagerie on Friday). I think I'll just go to the farmers market next year (or maybe plant closer together). How can I give up growing my own leeks? I'll see.

I wiped the kale off and checked every crook & crany for bugs (found a few little guys), ripped it up, threw it into a big bowl and tossed it with EVOO, cayenne pepper flakes, salt and a little sugar (I have since gotten some organic garlic powder which I'm going to toss a few in and try) and ripped it up and put it into the dehydrator ... the chips were done within a few hours. Again, a whole lot of shrinkage!

Back to being lazy ... David gave me a big bag of rose hips and I kept meaning to get to them. They remained underfoot in my kitchen as a reminder of my recalcitrance until now - not that I didn't almost do 'something' with them a few times, but truth ... I wasn't sure what to do ... and 'other', nongarden-related ... (blah blah) ... so today I googled and found what I could do now (that they were shriveled up little knobs of maroon) phew.

All I needed to do was separate them from their thorny stems (as task probably best done wearing gloves) and then I used my kitchen scissors and cut off the furry bits and stems, threw them into the blender and sifted them so the powdery bits and fur fell through.

And voila - now I have a jar of hips for winter tea! And I saved a few seeds from the blades and will google to see if I might be able to try growing roses from seed! There is something about cold stratification I need to look into before they are planted! I have access to a neighbourhood greenhouse so I might want to do this sooner rather than later - stalling on finding out more abut this might just be someplace where laziness might not be smart!

... 'cold stratification' ...

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Creeping Charlie

I've just been told the ground cover (see top right corner and in between all the kale leaves) is something called 'creeping charlie aka Lamiaceae, an aromatic perennial that has been around for a long time and it has been used for many ailments - one of which is ringing in the ears. Now I'm tempted as I've suffered from this for ages!

I loved davesgarden entire blog about Creeping Charlie ... Aunt Bett made tea from its tiny leaves. She said that the tea was a remedy for coughs, but I am here to tell you that when she made it for me it was such a nasty bitter drink that I coughed even more. She added honey to it and told me to drink it anyway. It tasted as terrible as an asphidity bag smelled.

Some sites say it is invasive and can only be taken out with the 'big guns' ...

I think what I will probably have to do is cover the ground with weed cloth and be vigilant next Summer with it. I'll save some for a hanging basket on the roof! I'll be doing more research on how to use it properly because as you may have noticed there are some safety concerns sounded on the wikipedia site that too much of it can make you so sick a horse could abort ... hmmmm (maybe I need to read that one more time) ... off I go!

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Putting the Garden to Bed

I spent a couple of days (only a couple of hours each day) pulling out tomato stakes, undoing the twist ties to save for next year, saving little incised copper nameplates and taking tomato plants out of the ground and getting them off site - just in case they carry any old spores that could ruin next years crop. I am hoping to do a little crop rotation next year where possible. As well, I clipped a fair amount of overgrowth along the edges of the plot and spread oak leaves around. I have left the red mulch plastic and will see how well it protects the ground from weeds come spring. I want to bring more leaves to cover the ground and I have just left all the hoses in place - so I may need to purchase a few new ones for areas I left lie fallow this year - especially if I am planning to use these new areas for my tomatoes.

The temperatures have dropped substantially - I think I was around 10C tops and I've not really attended to this section of the garden - other than to weed out the strawberry patch and put poles beside the berry canes. I placed the fennel fronds along the path in beside the poor old pea patch gone wild. There is still kale, some leeks and herbs (parsley, rosemary, thyme, savory and stevia) to harvest on my next trip back with leaves. But for now - some rest for my aching back!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Day 17 - More Tomatoes (The Final Haul)

I stopped by the garden on my way home from school ... everyone's garden looks like it mine ... the tomatoes are done (I left a few dangling on the vine but will probably need to pick them green and do something relish-like with them). I will put these ones in the slow cookers tomorrow and water bath can more thick sauce Friday evening.

Here's the batch from last weekend (one medium-size jar lid didn't take - I didn't put the ring on properly).

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Today is dedicated to someone I loved

for you Wayne. The Outdoor Classroom ...

Friday, August 20, 2010

Day 16 - Tonnes of Tomatoes

These lovlies took about an hour and a half to
pick & bag. I've named them to the best of my
ability below. I've got one tray in the oven
roasting and will dedicate the weekend to dealing
with the rest (again - to the best of my ability).

tomatilloes, chadwick cherries, reisenberg, sweetie, copia

sweet pea, sungold, black eyed peas, savignac

san marzanoes, principe borgeses

red fig, cosmanaught volkov, big ass red,
prudholms purple, azoychucks, rosemary & thyme

Fancy Tomatoes: pink accordian, black from tula
yellow ruffle and persimmon (still my favourites)

black plums and eva purple balls

black brandywine, eva purple ball, black krim

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