Little Green Garden

The blog has just been reactivated after a short pause, during which I escaped to a friend’s farm on Ontario’s spectacular Bruce Peninsula. The Peninsula is itself just waking up after a long winter, and the trees are still bare. The fields were green, though, and my eyes enjoyed that much-missed colour that I crave during Toronto’s grey-white-brown season.

During my stay, it was time for planting, and so onions, potatoes, peas, radishes, and spinach went into the freshly tilled earth.

It is wonderful to think that over the next months, my friends will enjoy a garden bounty, enough to last through the fall and even into the winter and following spring. I have a deep desire to grow my own food. I think it’s a wonderful way to connect to what we eat, and it keeps us attached to the earth, even when our feet spend most of the time on concrete. Since you can harvest many things according to your needs, having a garden can also reduce waste. Eric and I are forced to buy a giant bunch of parsley every time we need two tablespoons of it, and despite our best efforts, at least half often ends up in our vermicomposter or the city’s green bin.

Here in downtown Toronto, I have a tiny backyard without much sunlight. I’ve been able to grow kale and rhubarb, but the lack of sun poses a challenge when it comes to most other veggies. Last year, I got into container gardening (since the front of our house, with its tiny porch and stairs, is soaked in sun for most of the day) and found that some plants thrived while others failed. Tomatoes did okay, basil flourished, potatoes yielded a small successful crop from an extra-large container, but leafy greens were sad, tiny, and wilted. This year, more potatoes and basil, leafy greens with well-aerated soil and more space, and likely parsley, thyme, and mint, since we’ve been using a lot for our cooking assignments.

We’ll see what this growing season holds for my little garden. Hopefully we’ll be adding some fresh, very local produce to some of our future WSW dishes.

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