Tuesday, 24 April 2012

Of basement garden adventures and too much kale

Due to the all-consuming monster that is the English exam, I haven't written anything for over a week.
The downside to this is that I now have all sorts of unarticulated & partially formed ideas floating around in my head, jostling each other for space, and making my mind feel about as lucid as a muddy puddle.

So, to get back into things, I'll make this a simple update post: what's going on in my garden?

Yesterday I awoke to see white out my window - fortunately spring flowers are designed to take the cold, and they're still going as strong as ever! My mom noticed the beautiful contrast between the snow and the bright flowers and went out to take pictures.

Over the last few days, I've been busy in the basement:

Thursday, 12 April 2012

Second planting & seedling updates

My seedlings have been up for about a week now and I'm starting to see their first true leaves.

On Tuesday, I replanted my lettuce (since my germination was lousy - 3 our of 9 cells the first go round) and I filled in the kale seedlings that didn't come up (this time I double planted to make sure I got something).

I also planted cosmos, globe amaranth, and poppies. I probably won't obsess so much about these, as I already have my other "babies" to watch.

Monday, 9 April 2012

A brief history of the tomato

Our common summer veggies all have a history behind them, of thousands of years of cultivation, selection, and transportation.

Take tomatoes, for example.

In North America, tomatoes are just such a quintessential garden vegetable (or fruit, technically, but more on that later) - summer just wouldn't be complete without fresh, juicy tomatoes.

I was up at my Nana's place in Kingston for Easter. My mom usually doesn't buy tomatoes out of season - they're so hit and miss, and often mealy. The taste of just-toasted (gluten free) bread, with hummus, and ham, and cheese, and mustard - with a nice thick slice of tomato to complete it.
It just melted in my mouth, all the flavours melding together into perfection. Mouthwatering.
The taste of tomatoes in April sends me back to the hot July days we spend up at our cottage. It's hard to imagine life without tomatoes.

But at one point, they tomatoes weren't so widespread. In fact, they were considered toxic: they is, after all, related to deadly nightshade! In fact, according to one 17th century writer "Tomatoes should never be eaten raw as death will be instantaneous."

Monday, 2 April 2012

Seedlings emerge

I was sitting on the bus on my way back from my English class at the University of Ottawa, wondering rather glumly what I could write about.
Since the weather has decided to be consistently Aprilish, there wasn't anything much to do in the garden - freezing nights aren't wonderful for weeds - or digging.
And of course I wasn't expecting my seeds to germinate until Thursday (a week from when they were planted). Tuesday at the earliest. I was being determinedly patient.

So when I ambled down to the basement to check on my seed trays *again*, I wasn't expecting much of anything - just some more agonizing about whether they were too damp or not and were they warm enough?
And then I saw it.
First I thought - well, that's a strange looking piece of potting mix.
No, it can't be a seedling. I'm certain I didn't plant any that close to the edge.
They're not supposed to be up yet anyhow.
But upon further inspection, there was one kale seedling:

And then another: