Sunday, July 26, 2009

Garden VIPs

Today the garden had some very important visitors.

My brother, Femi and sister, Rachel,
and my parents, Lynda and Rod.

They journeyed here from Indiana to spend a weekend with me at the lake house of some good friends on Lake Erie. On Friday we went to Fort George, and on Saturday we visited Niagara Falls and took a ride on the Maid of the Mist (or perhaps Maid of the Deluge would be more accurate, as my father pointed out). I've talked to them so much about this garden that they decided to take a little detour on their way home to check it out (and eat some delicious Ethiopian at AM Africa). But this is not "my" blog (although I have noticed that I'm the most avid blogger among our gardening group), so if you're interested in my family time you can read my personal blog

Along with important visitors, some new new citizens have arrived in our garden as well:

Madame La Courgette Verte
Mademoiselle La Petite Courgette Jaune
Señor brécol

We at Groovy Roots KW are thrilled to have these new friends with us and are looking forward to having them for dinner quite soon.

Monday, July 13, 2009

hard work x expert help = Garden goodness

Okay everyone, it's been awhile. Many things have happened in the epic saga of our community garden. Bad news first: there was a period of about two weeks where everyone was gone/busy/didn't have transportation. Which equals not a lot of time spent in the garden. Add a lot of rain and that equals.... a meadow of weeds. Literally. Here's the equation for you math people:

ppl gone/busy/no transport=no time in garden+rain=WEEDS

I hope that's clear. It does make sense if you think about it. However, when John, Sarah and I showed up after that period of neglect, it was a bit of a rude shock. I just wanted to sit down and cry. You couldn't even tell that we had a garden. However, John was positive to the point of being ridiculous. He was the only reason that I didn't burst into tears. (Thanks, John.) We went out and bought some hardcore weeding implements (one of which is currently missing... if anyone knows where our hoe is let us know). And two weeks after that, here we are. And let me tell you, we are in a good spot. This is how we got there: people's dedication. Thanks to Sarah, Jess, Leena, Angie, John, and anyone else who has been out recently working hard. Another big thank you is due to Clem and Glen (cute, huh? they rhyme). They were our tomato saviours last night. I honestly don't know where we would be without all of our expert gardeners, but especially Glen. (Garden Party in his honour - let's start planning).
Clem, Glen, and yours truly as the lovely assistant

We're getting into the exciting part of having a garden. Eating! So far we've harvested lettuce, sugar snap peas and nasturtiums.
Or nasturtiums, peas and lettuce, if you want it in the same order as the pictures. They are all delicious. And I hate peas. But garden peas do not equal normal peas. Garden peas are good. The cold peas that my aunt made me sit at the table and finish when I was three years old that have led to my hatred of peas were not good. But I digress. Oh, so, this is what I learned yesterday: Nasturtiums taste sweet. And then spicy. It's an incredible taste experience. If you've never eaten a nasturtium, I strongly encourage you to do so. You'll be surprised. Or you could eat a pansy if you like. Those taste exactly like Wrigley's Spearmint Gum.

And there's the promise of these to come...
especially since Glen taught us how to make our tomato plants "happy." This means staking them properly, cutting off the suckers (one of the most confusing gardening lessons ever - Glen taught it well, it's just difficult) and cultivating around the plant to aerate the soil and let the water get in more easily and make it easier for the roots to expand. Glen has the happiest garden ever. He shared some of his peas with us. And a head of lettuce bigger than any of our heads. (No picture - the camera batteries ran out!)
Leena and Angie practice their gardening zen
John is a machine. The friendliest, most huggable machine I've ever met.

I think that last night we discovered exactly what we hoped this summer garden would bring us - learning, hard work, new friends, good friends, laughter, beauty and delicious fresh veggies. And there's lots more in store.