David Hinks

by David Hinks

What a difference a week makes – the following photo shows a dahlia bloom in all its glory last Tuesday.

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The next photo shows the dahlia as it now appears.

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The flower in front of the dahlia is an ‘Early Sunrise’ Coreopsis. I had started this perennial flower from seed on February 24 and then transplanted it to my front flower bed in mid-June.

It always amazes me that many of our flowering plants have so much built-in tolerance for cold. It’s the same way for vegetables. The tomatoes, peppers, squash and basil are gone for the season and their spaces can now be cleared, spread with compost and spaded to be ready for next season. But some of the really hardy vegetables will still be around for some time. The following photo shows chard, sorrel and kale untouched by frost and still available for more picking of fresh greens.

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The same is true for many of our herbs such as parsley, sage and thyme – but the basil and rosemary better be harvested or potted up and moved inside.

For me this underlines the importance of knowing the growing requirements of vegetables and how they fit with the realities of the Almonte climate. Plan to take some workshops with the Neighbourhood Tomato in the spring as we share our experience with starting seedlings indoors and getting our gardens ready for another year.

A very enthusiastic crowd of 45 gardeners attended the vegetable gardening workshop in Carleton Place on Saturday. It was an all-day seminar on growing your own Modern Victory Garden. Topics included permaculture, bringing “victorious vegetables” to the people, and organic techniques for dealing with those pesky veggie pests. Renowned author Janette Haas served up her recipe for the Modern
Victory Garden. Permaculture principles discussed included caring for people, caring for the earth and growing enough food to share. Food security was an important topic with concerns expressed that our current global system of production is just not sustainable. Only with relatively cheap energy can we continue to put far more energy into the production of food than we are getting out (of course much of the energy consumed to put our food on our table is the average 4,500 kilometres that our food is transported). Ms Haas showed how she is able to produce enough vegetables for a family of four on 400 square feet of garden. Victory garden eating means eating cyclically – do we need to have ‘fresh’ asparagus 52 weeks of the year?

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Don’t forget to attend the third community potluck being sponsored by the Neighbourhood Tomato Community Gardens. It will take place Tuesday October 29 at 5:30 pm at the Almonte Legion. Come and share some great food and conversation with your neighbours!

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