Sunday, November 7, 2010

The Garden Harvest!

During the late part of June I wrote about an experiment that I had tried in my potato patch (in 2009) that had failed and how I was trying this experiment again, this year.

The idea, as it was explained to me, is simple…

When the potato plant reaches a height of 7 inches, 5 inches of soil is added around the plants. To keep the soil in place I used some round plastic barrels.

By doing this I was ‘tricking’ the plant into producing another set of potatoes in this added soil, thus increasing my harvest! The 2009 experiment failed cuz I had added the extra soil too late in the season.

This year, I kept a close watch on the growth of these plants and added the extra soil at the perfect time.

As you can see, the potato plants (and the rest of my veggies) grew very well! I had to find a new kind of patience as I waited and watched, waited and watched until it was time to harvest this crop.

When the potato plants started to die I knew that the harvest would be soon coming.

This seemed to take forever!!! :)

By mid-September all the plants had died and it was now time to dig up my potatoes!

I pulled the barrel sections out of the way and I became very excited. This was the moment that I had been waiting for!!!

Inside this pile of dirt I was going to find an extra crop of yummy potatoes!

With great care I started moving the soil aside. My eyes grew wide, awaiting the moment when I would see my first potato…

… but that moment never arrived! :(

My experiment had failed again. I’m not sure if I had done something wrong, if my timing was off again, or what the problem was. Hmmmmm! I’m going to have to rethink this whole idea and see if I can further these thoughts in my garden next year.

Well, that’s what gardening is all about… LEARNING… and enjoying all the trials and tribulations along the way. Failing isn’t failing if you’ve learned something, made genuine observations to enrich your knowledge about the processes of growing something. All of these actions help to connect your spirit with the Earth… and that is the most worthy of experiences!

After I had moved all of the extra soil away, I dug a little deeper to find the potatoes that I knew would be waiting for me. Boy! Don’t these look great!!!

I was very pleased to see that I had a rather nice sized tub of potatoes to show Joanne when she came home later that day.

Nothing tastes better than a vegetable that grew in your own garden. They are more flavourful, denser and full of more nutrients than anything you can buy in a grocery store - that has its produce transported from across the country or imported from overseas, thus needing this produce to be harvested early to prevent spoiling.

It’s very important that all humans become more conscious of where the food that we eat comes from. I’m very grateful for my garden and I’m also very grateful for the growing trends that are seeing more Farmer’s Markets popping up throughout the city. What I don’t – or can’t – grow in my garden I buy from these markets. If I can supply my needs for foods that embrace the ‘100 Mile Diet’ philosophy then I am lessening my ‘carbon footprint’ on this planet. Having a vegetable garden takes this idea one step further and I hope that I’ve inspired all of you to create your own ‘100 Feet Diet’ program.


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