Vegan Miscellanies may well return full force next spring. Moving back into a house, and not one shared with anyone else, has got me all excited about gardening again. And from gardening follows cooking.
A few weeks ago I went to the Stratford Garlic Festival where I not only immersed myself in all things garlic for a few hours, sampling various garlic dips, jellies and pesto, acquiring a couple of garlic-related kitchen items and attending talks on growing and braiding garlic. I also left with a bag of Ontario-grown, organic, hard-neck garlic to plant. I learned there that the best time to put garlic into the ground is late September through early October, before any chance of frost. Fortunately our friend and future landlady, into who's house we are moving at the end of October, was kind enough to let us prepare our garlic growing plot before we even move in and while she is still living there.
So last weekend, though rainy for much of it, we were able to go to her/our soon-to-be-home to dig up a section of sod in the most sunny, southerly portion of the yard for our garlic and pepper plot.
We had to stop short of removing all the sod from the plot last Saturday because of the rain, so we returned this weekend to not only finish that but also to construct a cedar wood frame for square foot gardening.
We are so excited about this! The last time we tried growing our own garlic, in the fall of 2008, we had put it into the ground and covered it for the winter, but had to move out, for reasons I shall not delve into here, just as a few garlic scapes began poking out of the ground in the spring. We were unable to enjoy that harvest and, it appears, the tenants who moved in after us never did anything with the plot.
In this plot we have planted 58 bulbs of garlic, leaving just one square foot empty for something else. We are thinking of allowing 3 of the 58 plants to flower, both for the beauty of their flowers and for the bulbules/seed. We are not sure yet whether we will set aside up to a quarter of the yield for the following year.
In the northern/bottom rectangle, also 21 square feet, we intend to plant various peppers, from red finger chillies to jalapenos to scotch bonnet to bell peppers.
In the plot against the garage wall, on the other side of the walkway, we will leave the lavender in place and add pole beans and tomatoes (hopefully two or three heirloom varieties).
The yard has three more sections where we can garden -- another strip against the fence near the house for various lettuces (as it gets less sun), a small mound of about 4 square feet of herbs (sweet basil, holy basil, Thai basil, sage, rosemary, french tarragon), some of which are perennials, and a 63' plot (rough estimate) next to the house on the western side. It is this largest section we have not yet planned out, though we have some ideas. But we have the winter to plan that.
So with the move into a nice little house with lots of gardening opportunities, I may well bring this blog back to life with more frequent posts on our gardening (and other urban/local gardening-related issues) and our cooking (with occasional reviews of other local food-related issues). Look for more vegan miscellanies next spring!