Garden Cleanup and Thoughts on Self-Sufficiency
Saturday morning dawned sunny and bright. Fortunately, I wasn't up in time to see the actual dawn. Getting up on weekday mornings in the dark is enough for me.
My self-appointed task for the day - garden clean up.
The petunias in the deck flower boxes did poorly this year. Lack of warmth and sunshine perhaps, until too late in the season. For whatever reason, I was happy to tug them out and replace them with dark purple pansies that will provide a bit of colour throughout the winter.
Next, I harvested all the tomatoes lingering on the vines. Three large shallow bowls hold green and semi-ripe tomatoes on the dry sink. I'm hoping they will eventually ripen.
After pulling the vines and the accompany weeds, I planted some fall starters - spinach, lettuce, and cauliflower. This is something new for me - fall gardening. I'm not certain that I like it. Autumn is usually the time to put the garden to bed for the season and take a break. However, in an effort to grow a little more of our own food, I've made the effort. We'll see what the result is.
I planted 6 lettuces in the beginning of September and we're now harvesting enough for a salad every other day or so.
Spreading compost over the garden in the spring means lots of volunteer plants. These are mostly tomatoes and squashes, but this year, I discovered a number of avocado plants. So I rescued three of them and planted two of them in a pot which I left outside all summer. It's still sitting on the deck. The other I found on Saturday and brought it into the house. The plants grow well although I have no illusions of ever harvesting an avocado from them. More's the pity since I do love avocados. We had them on our property in Ecuador, along with lemon trees.
We brought the table up from the lawn to the deck. Whoever planned this house didn't think much of privacy. The deck is in full view of two streets and I'm not about to have my dinner out there. On the other hand, there is a beautiful view of the mountain from the deck, easily visible over the tops of cars and passersby. Still - I prefer eating in privacy.
These herbs, rosemary, thyme and variegated sage, should survive the winter in their pots and they provide a little more life to the deck.
I recently read this book -
and it has me thinking about how we eat. We meaning my husband and myself. We've often joked that if our food consumption was dependent on our production of food, we'd be dead in no time. I love harvesting fresh food from the garden and eating it during the summer, but my focus is not preserving food for the winter, as my grandmothers and mother once did.
I do make jams and jellies from fruits in season, freeze large quantities of berries, can a few pints of tomatoes, dry a few more and so on. I like buying locally produced meat and cheeses, but only when convenient. (Right now it's a 15 minute walk to the Cheeseworks where a deep freeze also holds beef, pork, and lamb.) The thought, though, of relying almost solely on local or my own food production is daunting. It would be a full-time job for the spring and summer.
Have any of you read this book? What did you think? How much food do you produce or buy locally?