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Sunday, February 19, 2012

Slacker

I'm sorry that I've been a slack blogger the past few weeks! I have deadlines looming over my head (I don't dare look up because I know they're just hovering above me!) and I learned that if you spill tea (my hourly fuel) on your computer, it may not like that.. so, I was down for a few days with computer issues. Thankfully, they seem to have improved with a bit of TLC and a quick (aka panicked!) visit to the macstore.

I had a great book signing at the Seaport Farmer's Market in Halifax yesterday. It was great to see so many avid gardeners ready for spring! Thanks so much to Halifax Seed for hosting that book table and helping out. It was also lovely to see the return of Owen Bridge to the market. He brought his seed racks (Annapolis Seeds) filled with the promise of juicy, heirloom tomatoes, non-stop organic salad greens and much much more! His was a busy spot and by the time I left, his racks were starting to get a bit low. Also, Halifax Seed is now offering his seed in-store! So, if you can't get to the market, pop into Halifax Seed to check out locally grown, heirloom seeds from Owen. LOVE it!!

To procrastinate from work, I've been flipping through some of my favourite images from last summer's garden. Thought I'd share a few of them now. But, don't let the fact that it's still mid-winter stop you from planting. If you have a cold frame, get out and start seeding! I sowed a handful of cold season greens this past week in the empty areas of our cold frames - Wasabi arugula, Green Wave mustard, tatsoi, Red Salad Bowl lettuce and some spinach..

Broccoli raab interplanted between celeriac

Hello romaine!

For fun - On the left, here's what happens when you transplant carrots! On the right, a direct seeded root.

A lovely mixture of summer squash

Lemon cukes!! Can't wait for summer..

11 comments:

  1. Niki, I've been hunkered down with your book and all my new seeds of late and I'm enjoying every minute. Lots of great information and I was stunned to find I can start planting lettuce and peas much earlier than I had supposed. A great read so far and I can see several changes I'll be making in the garden this year.

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  2. You are such an insperation for the rest of us!

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  3. I just got your book and read the whole thing this weekend I just couldn't put it down .....I will be trying this next year for sure : ) I have my dad building a cold frame for me from an old sliding glass door ( that was how I came across your book actualy ) anyway THANK YOU!!!!

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  4. Thanks so much guys!! Glad you're enjoying the book.. It's so amazing to be able to go out and plant in the cold frames this time of the year! It's cold today, but spring is coming!! :)

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  5. I was at Halifax Seed today picking up supplies and asked about Owen's seeds(Annapolis Heirloom Seeds). They had received them but were in the process of getting the seed packages ready to be displayed in the store. So I will be returning to Halifax Seed tomorrow morning to take a look at these wonderful seeds.

    Niki, I, too, am in the process of reading your fabulous book!! I just can't put it down.

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  6. Hi Niki, count me as another one spending (too many!!) hours with the book! So much rich information, definitely will be updating some techniques with what I'm learning from your and others' experiences.
    A question if you have a moment: For watering cold frames and hoop tunnels, how does one manage watering and using hoses in March and April when the nights still can drop way below freezing? Without bursting hoses and outdoor taps? Do you attach them indoors, drain and bring them indoors each time (lotta work) or haul all the water by hand from indoors (even more work)? );
    On another (amusing) note, both photos in the book from my garden were of 'volunteers', ie nothing that I planted! I have no idea where that redbor kale showed up from, but it sure looked good. And the plastic draped over the tomato cage was covering a very late volunteer cherry tomato that came up from some compost thrown around a mid summer greens planting! I saw the tomato 1st week of August, only a few inches tall then but figured I might as well keep it and see what happened. Nurtured and covered it late in the season and yes I did get some delicious cherry tomatoes from it before the cold set in.

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  7. I am going to give those lemon cucumbers a go this year.

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  8. Thanks Peter and Susan for your comments! Sorry those seeds weren't out Susan.. I was told they were going to be ready last Sat! I hope you get a chance to check them out however, great seed and locally grown! :)

    Peter - that is so funny about your volunteer plants. I always think volunteer plants are sometimes the most successful! As for winter watering, I never water in winter - a polytunnel or greenhouse may need some watering though and I know you have a small greenhouse. In late March or early April, there are times (usually early to mid-April when I'm seeding and do need to water) when I just use a watering can to irrigate the cold frames - it's the easiest way, especially for such a small space. In late April - early May, I'll bring out the main garden hose, but I just don't need it any earlier.. You could use a hose and then just re-coil and store in a garage or basement to prevent re-freezing if you felt that you needed to water and didn't want to bother with a watering can..

    Thanks again!!

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  9. I just caught the tail end of an interview with you on CBC radio. So sorry I missed most of it!
    -Karen

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  10. Here's the link for the cbc interview.. I should put together a post on some of the podcasts, online interviews I've done.. soon.. :)

    http://www.cbc.ca/thestoryfromhere/

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  11. Ok thanks Niki, yes late April early May is when I hook the hoses up, usually past the deepest freezes by then. Before then I'll just stick to the time honored method of collecting some rainwater in tubs and buckets! No great loss if a cheap bucket splits with freezing. Often I bring them in the greenhouse to warm a bit, then distributing them in watering cans as needed. It's a long haul from my house taps to the back of the garden where most of the vege action is, I try my best to avoid that.

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Please feel free to leave comments. I welcome your tips, questions, thoughts and ideas (and suggestions for new veggies to grow!)