July 2022. The haskap has grown considerably and shares space with asparagus, strawberries, and sunflowers. Partly or completely obscured by the haskap and asparagus are Chocolate Cherry tomatoes, garlic, beans, tomatillos, broccoli, Chicago figs in pots.
Up against the foundation are ferns, more sunflowers, columbines, Purple Coneflowers, and more stuff I do not remember right now.
Some might call this untidy. Weedy. Even messy.
I say, less lawn to mow. More diverse. More welcoming to birds as well as pollinators and insects.
It is a little hard to see the seven asparagus spears in our small ‘spare grass’ patch. We have already enjoyed several fresh spears. The strawberries are starting to flower (though you cannot see the flowers in this image). The haskap bush in the background has flowered and should set fruit soon.
The three Chocolate Cherry Tomatoes we planted have been more successful than we anticipated. We have picked more than a dozen pints’ worth so far and have many more pints’ worth on the way.
WordPress is not allowing me to upload the photo. Imagine a jungle of three plants, six feet tall by six feet wide. Imagine crawling on elbows and knees into the jungle, looking for ripe tomatoes. This is the happy problem we have.
A very hard freeze is predicted so Faye cleaned up the vegetable garden today. Clockwise from upper left: Tomatoes; tomatillos; honey (not ours – locally sourced); home canned applesauce (not our apples though locally sourced); not quite ripe Chocolate Cherry tomatoes; little bitty poblanos; and jalapenos.
Our garlic is in, forty five bulbs worth. That is enough to plant this fall and have plenty to use in cooking well into, if not all the way through, winter. While probably not enough to be completely self sufficient, it is enough to reduce our dependence on store bought garlic.
Spring will be here soon and our seed order arrived today. Radishes, several different lettuce varieties, snow peas. Buckwheat to sow in the half of the vegetable garden that will lay fallow this year. Flowers including many natives to sow this fall, replacing a good good portion of the turfgrass in the front yard.
Our potato box was very productive. Last spring we started our potatoes in this approximately 3′ x 3′ box. As the vines grew we added boards to the box frame, layer by layer, and piled in straw with each layer until the straw was about 15″ deep. I harvested the bounty today and reaped about ten lbs. of potatoes and there may be even more below the level I dug to. Ten lbs. is certainly not enough to last all winter but we now have the confidence of knowing the method works for us. The earth I turned over is amazingly rich in organic matter, earthworms, and other good stuff. I suspect we’ll try again next year.
Faye started leek seeds a while ago, in anticipation of spring. Once they became too large to remain in their seed starting pods, she transplanted them into these milk bags, which she had saved for this purpose. Of course spring is not here yet, though when it does arrive these seedlings will be ready to go outside. In fact they are already – Faye put them in our portable greenhouse, where it’s about 10C even though the ambient temperature is about -6C.
We also have two Tiny Tim tomato seedlings, which we will pot and put outside hoping for an early harvest – perhaps in late June.
All are flanked by our African Violets, which have added colour and cheer to this long, cold, snowy winter.