Friday, January 17, 2014

A Little January Gardening

Nova Scotia has had some great spring like days, today being another one. Almost all the snow shown in my earlier posts, has disappeared and although not double digits, it's been a great week getting up to 9 Celsius. Not to worry, the snow VILL BE BAKKK! Today, I lifted the plastic off the row tunnel inside the veg garden and pulled out a few baby beets that didn't mature in the fall. These hung out in the 'outdoor refrigerator' just chillin. They were made into a sort of course pesto, with black current balsamic, olive oil and salt. Fresh...that's what I'm craving...and home grown. The variety is Bulls Blood and think one cylindrical as well. Yes. Bulls Blood has a soft lovely tender leaf in spring and summer, deep burgundy, and delicious in salads plus hardy. When folks come to visit and I pick some for them to eat fresh, they are always surprised they taste like beets but not bitter and feel so soft and buttery in the mouth. If you haven't tried them, you might like to. The beetroot part doesn't grow as big as other types I have tried, I must say.

The raised beds outside the garden, of which there are two, and one has a cold frame lexan cover and the other sheet plastic over hoops..well they were pretty well picked over by late autumn. So I tidied up one of them today and broadcast some Green Ruffled Mustard and Arugula seeds. What is waiting to grow bigger..tatsoi, speedy winter veg mix and spinach below... yup....just chillin'.
I do miss my green salads, but we are just not organized enough to have a true four season garden. This time of year, I pluck some leaves off Kale stems, glean a few Brussels sprouts from their thick winter stems, although the Stink likes these a lot and we have to share. Chief (aka THE STINK) is our dog! Lots of parsley still good under the hoops so another pesto made with that, kale and purchased arugula.

It's time to think about starting sprouts for sandwiches and also pea shoots. Stand by. I am craving green and more green.

Saturday, January 4, 2014

After the Blizzard

A new slate, A New Year, a blizzard to start us off. The hoops are almost totally covered inside the garden fence and I don't think there is a hope of shovelling that off for awhile yet. However, the raised beds, especially the one with the Lexan cover, still holds some promise and although we aren't harvesting from there right now, we will later on. Just too blasted cold.
If this is a taste of the months to come, it will give us lots of time to dream about what to plant. But, it's a good time to get out the seed packages, read all the new seed catalogues and refresh what you think you know, by bringing out two good vegetable garden bibles, Eliot Coleman's Four-Season Harvest and Year-Round Vegetable Gardener by our own Niki Jabbour. By the way, she's coming out with a new book very soon!!
This year, there are some good dwarf offerings I am hoping to try, one being a dwarf French Bean Safari (Kenyan Bean) and a Broad Bean Robin Hood, ideal for containers or raised beds. Both will be going into the raised bed with the coldframe cover as early as possible. I've saved seed from last year's Fiesta Acorn squash I purchased and as it was delicious I hope we have some success growing it.

Always anticipating the New Year ahead when you're a gardener. Enjoy those catalogues and....Sweet dreams from the frozen north.