Monday, 29 July 2013

Must Plan Better

As July comes to a close, I have harvested most of the garlic and earlier summer crops. The heat from a couple weeks ago put most of my lettuce etc into seed mode and so this weekend was spent pulling out and preparing the beds for second season planting. In the interim, the beds are pretty sparse and empty. Ideally I should have planted a few seed trays about 4 weeks ago and transplanted them in to the the beds now.

Sunday, 21 July 2013

Candy vs. Walla Walla - Onion taste tests

Candy and Walla Walla
Last year I grew regular shallots, leeks, green onions and bunching onions. This year I wanted to try the larger sweet onions. Candy is pretty common hybrid variety to grow, with additional disease resistance, and said to be the sweetest. Walla Walla is a heirloom and often said to mildest and sweetest. So I grew both, slightly leaning towards the heirloom.

Zero Fruit and Veg Mile - 1st Month

I said I would grow everything and buy only meat, bread and diary for the entire summer. This is not a long after-all.  Proving that there is no need for the food miles if everyone just grew a "victory" garden. Well, today I made 1 month ,and I have not bought a single fruit or vegetable from the store.  I was supplementing my veggies before and I am sure I will be after the 3 months.

Thursday, 18 July 2013

Garlic and Shallot Drying

French Grey and Garlic Ready for storage
Well we having a HOT dry week. Dry in no rain, hot in that its been 33 degrees every day, with humidex in 40-43. Worse is its that temperature by 8:00am to 9:00pm with no wind, and nigh-time low drops gradually to only about 24. Sitting, doing nothing even in the shade involves sweating and physical labour outdoors is very rough.

Sunday, 14 July 2013

First Tomato

Today I got to eat 3 cherry tomatoes. Sungold hybrid cherry, my only hybrid tomato. I bought seeds after reading about them on some of the garden blogs I follow in the hope that they would produce for a few weeks before others did.  Its a crazy spring, and I cant say for sure, but it looks like Krim and black cherry are not far behind.  Both heirlooms. The taste of the home grown tomato is divine, but I take a black cherry over the Sungold. That could just be my mind playing tricks and I will need to do a taste test together.

The Black cherry, Krim, Purple Cherokee, yellow pear and Belgium giant are starting to add loads of green tomatoes, currently more so than the Sungold. 

Saturday, 13 July 2013


First garlic harvest
Well, I planted garlic last year in 3 plantings, 2 weeks apart. The result was over 100 garlic plants.  I bought the garlic from the local farmers market and although some was music (or advertised as), I did not know the name of some of the others. I was keen to have a local strain and see what grew well for me as well as see when was the best time to really plant. I had heard everything from end of October to end of November and now I know.

Wednesday, 10 July 2013


Second Flood this Season
Mid June, my calculations put us 53% more rain in spring than last year. Here in Toronto we get a average 74.4 millimeters (roughly 3 inches) a month. Usually relying on supplementary watering during the heat of summer. Monday evening in a space of 2 hours we got  126 mm (5 inches) recorded at the airport, not 10 km from my house. A nearby weather station put it just of 130mm for the day.  A all time record for the most rain ever in a day for the city of Toronto, breaking a 1950's hurricane record. During the storm the entire city lost power, and it took 20 hours to get the power back on due to the flash flooding damage. Luckily my basement held up, many of my neighbors were not so lucky with puddles to feet of water running into their homes.

Sunday, 7 July 2013

First Zucchini

Mini Cauliflower
I planted 4 foot of Envy and another 4 feet of Bounty Edamame soy beans where my shallots came out. Last year, the label’s washed off. One I loved and the other was... OK. This year I put a large label cut from an old aluminium blind.

5 foot Krim Tomato Plant
I seem to be having no luck with cauliflower, another one in the garden (not beds) flowered with all of a 1 inch head. Is this due to too much nitrogen or bad seed? If you look back at my shallot harvest, the broccoli and spigarello are HUGE monsters. The Broccoli is 4 feet high and showing no head.

French Grey Shallots Harvest

First French Grey Shallot harvest
Well after searching for a couple years for a source of French Grey Shallots, as I had read so much about the "true Shallot. I posted on a discussion board in desperation, and to most wonderful girls, Prapti and Fanny from a local organic farm, Au Bon Hectare dropped me a email saying they have and selling them at local farmers market, Withrow Park. (Ironically, close to where I used to live in concrete city, before moving out to the "burbs".) I ran over, bought some at a ridiculously good price (considering what they would costs online) and planted them in 6 sq feet in the fall.