Monday, November 29, 2010

Harvest 2010- Thank God for the Grocery Store

I know it's late to be posting an update on September's harvest, but I needed some time to come to terms with my meagre gleanings. It was a tough year this year. Everything started out looking so lovely and green, then...
Clearing the garden.

1. My onions were eaten by the onion fly (again!).
2. My broccoli and kale crawled with the cabbage moth's pre-winged worms.
3. My crab apple tree caught a fungus and dropped all its leaves in May.
4. Only half my potatoes grew.
5. The squash grew slowly.
6. The eggplant grew even slower. 
7. My four harvestable corn tasted... hmmm, like wood?
The corn sure looked promising-- before August when they stunted.
The aesthetic of these carrots is great but our general consensus was that the traditional orange tasted best.
Two eggplant struggled to palm size. Too much rain, too little heat.

Late season broccoli was the only thing that survived the cabbage fly's summer assault.

There were some real hits- like the arugula, borage and many of my Italian herbs (and of course mint) that produced like crazy. I tasted the first fruits of my honey berry bush while the strawberries exploded. All the strawberry spinach and wild strawberry seeds I planted grew happily. I harvested grapes! And my carrots did a nice job of growing sweet with funky colours. And cucumbers! Cucumbers finally flourished in my garden thanks to rain, rain, constant rain.

But its all got me thinking about food security. If I depended on my yard this year for food, well, I'd have some great flavoured Italian water-soup and nice tea with cucumber slices.

I often joke I'm a lot like Marie Antoinette with her Versailles' garden. She ran a little hobby farm. She dabbled in growing the palace food but she depended on a much broader source of food production to keep the castle happy and fed. Her wealth allowed her the opportunity to glean the spiritual benefits of getting her hands dirty without any physical consequences when nature had its way.

This about sums up my gardening experience this year. I harvest much joy and rhythm in my urban yard. But this year I'm thankful to live in a time and place of plenty- where my garden doesn't drive my decisions about vacations or my children's survival rates.

I like to think I keep a garden as a food source. But in truth, quite thankfully, I garden as a hobby.  


Piitaa said...

Hear, hear! Exactly how I feel about mine. I'm glad I'm not the only one :)

Kevin Kossowan said...

I'm still in denial. My cellar's still full of veg and preserves from the garden, and I have a smaller city lot than most. We also only had about half of the full garden plan planted this year in veg [some cover cropped, freshly sheet mulched, etc]. I think it's possible on the fruit and veg side. I'm out to prove it! :)

Our carrot taste testing yielded the same results as yours.

An Avenue Homesteader said...

I'm rooting for your Kevin!