Tuesday, 30 April 2013

31 April

There is nothing that tastes as good as veggies grown in your own garden. I got to make a salad with the red mustard leaf, pak choy and lettuce, radishes our of the cold frame. Here all my Pepper & tomato plants keeping my cold frame veggies company. On sunny days it gets well into the upper 30 degrees in "the box"
Cold Frame
The beds are currently dominated by garlic and shallots (french grey here in front left). The unknown kale/broccoli on the right and pak choy in the middle section on the left. Peas are up, but taking their time. only 5odd cm

The smell is slowly receding, but having a tough time working it into the soil now.

Little concerned my grape vines look dead, but the first flowers on the apricot are out and my pear looks ready to explode.

Thursday, 25 April 2013

In praise of Lee Valley

So when I bought this house 4 years back, I decided I needed a really good spade and fork, since nothing grew in the yard. Enter Lee Valley . Their stainless steel spade and fork was twice the weight, but oh so sturdy, well shaped and just right length. Although slightly more than big box stores so I bought the pair http://www.leevalley.com/en/Garden/page.aspx?p=45712&cat=2,64944&ap=1

Last year I snapped the spade in early spring and had a friend try weld it back together but snapped it again soon afterwards. Just planting a couple fruit trees, but it had being VERY well used and abused by this point. in planting, digging, shoveling and making flower beds. I thew it out. This spring, the fork broke - just the pin in the handle falling out, but none the less. I was online, about to order a new set, when I saw - We guarantee these tools fully and will replace any that fail you in use. So I dropped them a email and said, I threw the spade out, but just broke the fork.

Today the postman delivered me a new fork AND the spade. With a request to send back the broken fork and to please hold on to broken ones in future. Lee Valley - YOU ROCK! These where now worth every penny and then some and may I suggest everyone buy a set.

Earthday Challenge

So I may not be the best recycler always, and I don't drive a hybrid car, or live off grid. Sure I try, I use public transit and am aware, but I still leave a far larger carbon footprint and live the usual unsustainable lifestyle of a city dweller.

Some small part of my original goal in learning to grow edibles was desire to be more sustainable, organic and offering homage to the skills and lifestyles of years past. My Victory Garden. So since I am in full swing, here is my goal. Organic sustainable growth of all veggies and hopefully fruits this summer. Well almost (I did have seeds shipped). But forget the 100 mile diet, I going for the 100m diet.

Friday, 19 April 2013


I remember when I lived out in Mennonite farm area, the smell in spring. As things defrosted, and farmers worked the land, the air was filled with the smell of manure for those first 2 weeks of spring.

Meanwhile back at the ranch house, I spread out about 50kg (110 lbs) of chicken manure in my beds last weekend. Its Friday now, and I still choke when I walk outside. Even the kids in the school, park behind my house are staying well away from the fence. A cold front and rain is forecast and I am hoping it wash down that smell.

Yesterday I added to this, with some sulfur spray (yes is not really organic) on my Asian Pear. This served to add a rotten egg smell to stink of manure. Good weather or not, I decided to not BBQ out back for dinner.