This spring we are expanding into the “back 40” as my dad used to call the back pasture on the farm. This is an area we recently had to fence because we joined the lot behind us with our main house lot. In doing that we had to clear out the branches and brambles and big stumps that were in the way. And so we were left with a field. A new planting opportunity. This post looks at edible shrubs and will be of special interest to green-thumb gardeners or farmers on a budget.
I was asked to mentor youth as part of the Goodseeds program earlier this winter and I wondered what two students and I would do together for a week once my shed was clean and shears sharpened. It was snowy outdoors so we couldn’t attack my unlimited weeding. I had to get more creative….
So recently there was some humble pie served in our kitchen. My Helpful Husband did a price check and found out butternut squash costs more than ten dollars each last week. I am bad with numbers so it might have been 12 dollars or 17 dollars – I can’t remember exactly. What I do remember is that when we first discussed Helpful Husband’s cost-efficient, engineered solution to gardening it was fall and squash were falling off trucks and being virtually given away by farmers. He couldn’t see why I bothered to grow them…. I understand the trend where farmers grow only the most cost-efficient crops on their land and I see where Helpful Husband was going with his gentle suggestion. He wants me to be a farmer. But then again he wouldn’t let me cash in the house to buy that small farm
What a thrill to go into downtown Vancouver to the big CBC building and meet NXNW host Sheryl Mackay in person this weekend! I have loved and followed her show for years and I have had some interviews with her over the phone and in the Victoria studio. But this time we met face to face.
Three Year Gardener’s Gratitude Journal, by Chelsie Anderson and Donna Balzer (240 pages, soft cover, $28.55): An effective agent for firing up enthusiasm for a new gardening season is a lighthearted and warmly encouraging garden journal like this one.
So to be clear I am still growing on the same amount of space but I now know its limitations. My outdoor garden is largely hugelkultur which means there are branches and wood piled on top of my sketchy soil. If I try to grow carrots on this wood pile they end up all gnarled as they try to push through the piles of branches.