August planning pays off in November

By Tom Read

I uprooted these carrots yesterday. They not only look lovely, but they taste really good, too. The standard-sized teaspoon gives a sense of scale. Linda assures me the spoon was clean when she took this photo, but the lights reflecting on it make it look kind of grungy. She cut up these Nantes-variety carrots shortly after taking the picture, and we enjoyed them in our yummy chicken-and-dumplings dinner. Yours truly made the dumplings!

It’s the third week of November and our kitchen garden is still providing a fine harvest. The carrots are sweeter than they were this past summer, thanks to the onset of colder weather. Also yielding well are parsnip, kale, arugula, bok choy, romaine lettuce and various other greens.  Most of our potatoes are still in the ground, but they will have to come out in the next few days because their bed has become waterlogged given the last two nights of torrential, deafening-on-the-roof-for-hours rainfall.

Our attempt this year to grow food through the winter started last August when I attended Carolyn Heriot’s excellent workshop on winter gardening, sponsored by the Texada Garden Club. Looking back over my notes from that day, I can see that with a little more foresight and investment, we might have planted a much larger and more diverse winter garden. Alas, we’ll probably have only enough fresh greens and root crops to last perhaps another few months, for which I’m nonetheless quite grateful. Next year’s goal will be to have ample harvests all year long.

Along those lines, I’m pleased that the Texada Garden Club has also decided to sponsor Robin Wheeler, Roberts Creek, BC, resident and author of Food Security for the Faint of Heart, to give a “MicroFarm Forum” workshop here on Texada on Saturday, February 20 of next year. I’ll have more to share on that topic as we get closer to the date.

In the meantime, Linda and I are busy harvesting animals as well as plants. Last weekend we “did” the chickens with our friends An and Seneca; next weekend we’ll be on our way to our first pork harvest, as well.

Who would have thought November could be such a busy month?


1 Response to “August planning pays off in November”

  1. 1 David Parkinson November 21, 2009 at 15:59

    Lucky you! We haven’t had much success with carrots yet, and we never plan ahead well enough to have space left for winter crops by mid-summer. There’s always next year…

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