Saturday, April 16, 2011
Hints of Things to Come
The expression April is a cruelest month has never seemed more fitting than this year; not only has the weather been a major tease but this prolonged cold has everything growing slowly as well. Even Easter is late this year although I can't really blame that on the weather! (I'm looking at you, moon)
There's nothing so cruel as longing for the tastes of spring and knowing that local asparagus is still weeks if not months away from hitting the markets. Of course the stores are full of not-so-local asparagus and rhubarb and it's difficult not to succumb; those of you further south of here who post gloating photos of your spring harvests are rubbing salt in my wounds! My rhubarb is barely up, my herbs declined to return this year and aside from a few spring onions I won't be nibbling on anything freshly grown for a long while yet.
My gardens are still looking bleak and mostly barren but a few things are peeping up including this pleasant surprise I know I didn't plant - they just appeared in the grass thicket!
Even my seedling trays are decidely retarded this year and who can blame them? Every time the weather's warmed up enough to consider putting them outside for a bit, Mother Nature goes and sends something dramatic like thunderstorms or snow. Today it's only slightly above freezing, raining and gusting winds, with a chance of snow tonight. Fantastic, thanks for that.
On a more promising note I do have some fun stuff to share! These lovely eggplant seeds arrived in my mailbox last week and are about to be seeded.
They are a gift from the Ottawa Gardener at The Veggie Patch Reimagined and I'm excited to see if they handle my somewhat shady garden.
My bee nesting box is due to arrive next week and I am excited to know I'll be creating a habitat to encourage more pollinators to my gardens this year. Now if only we can convince Shadow not to eat them!
The Canning season is gearing up again and the folks at the West End Food Coop have put together a guide on how to set up a community cannery, similar to the one I taught at last year. It includes details of budgeting, planning, using local produce and a whole lot of recipes that we taught last year. It's available free of charge to non profits and community organizations by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
And here's the highlight of my week- remember the tomato plants that accidently sprouted from worm compost and have been growing indoors all winter? I ended up with two distinct varieties- one is a small detirminate - I'm hoping it's a ditmarsher which gave such lovely early cherries last year. The other is obviously NOT a detirminate as it is currently about 5 ft long and wound around a lamp among other things. Against all odds it's thriving indoors and just recently these appeared!
I suspect there's not much of a chance that they will pollinate and even if they do the stem isn't strong enough to support much weight in it's current state. If and when I can get it outside I will have to stake it well and hope for the best
So all is not lost, just delayed. Which is probably a good thing since I haven't had much time to think about gardens recently. As all of my fellow Canucks are aware, we are heading for a federal election in May. As an occasional Elections Canada employee, I'm currently working long hours on the voter's list, making sure everyone who's eligible and wishes to has the opportunity to cast their vote. Recent world events have made it very clear how blessed we are to live in a democracy and I encourage you all to take advantage of that and vote!