Nancy's Health Talk Blog

Summer Garden in Bancroft!

Monday, June 18, 2018

I've spent the whole summer working from the cottage, and what an amazing summer we've had! The atmosphere is totally different up here. And, as you know, I love working in the garden. Our son Jesse, who now lives in Australia, came down this summer to spend some time with us. He had just purchased a drone, so we were his first project! He took some nice aerial shots of the Cottage/Garden.

I started planting seeds in the greenhouse in late May to speed up the growing process, and then transferred them to the garden. 

The greenhouse is a very busy place in the spring! I’ve really been focusing on companion plants in the garden over the last few years. Companion plants are used to confuse or repel plant pests and to encourage the growth of other plants, including those that are used to nurse crops.

An example of a companion plant is nasturtium, which I have a lot of. The leaves, flowers, and seeds are all edible and are wonderful in salads. So what are we growing in the garden this year? 

We have luscious green lettuce, Swiss and rainbow chard, four different types of kale,arugula, red mustard, cabbage, radicchio, wasabi greens, spicy salad micro-greens, spinach, beans, peas, onions, many cucumbers and tomatoes, radishes, and lots of culinary herbs.

We're also growing different root vegetables like carrots, beets,turnips, squash, melons, and potatoes. This is my second year growing potatoes. I purchased non-GMO potato seeds from the farmers market in Guelph!

This weekend, we enjoyed our first potatoes in a meal that was officially 100% from the garden! It included the potatoes, zucchini spaghetti with pesto sauce, and a salad with tomato and cucumber.

We’ve extended the garden for next year, and are planning to have more herbs for herbal teas: peppermint, camomile, calendula, nettle, lemon balm, borage, and lavender.

This is my sixth year gardening, and I've learned so much, like what works and what doesn't. Every year it’s been a learning curve. For example, I’m still learning about compost. 

We have earthy, rich soil, which we keep nourished by adding good compost. The horse manure we use is from a trusted local organic farm. And I can make my own super-brewed compost tea from the seaweed and mushroom compost I use.

The garlic I planted last fall was ready for harvest in July. I planted over 350 bulbs of garlic, but lost half my garlic crop because I didn’t plant the bulbs deep enough in the soil last fall. Unfortunately, many froze during the winter. Oh, well! These things happen.

Can you imagine what a different world we could be a part of if each one of us started growing a few things from our backyard garden? Since gardening is a passion of mine, I'd love to hear about your gardening experiences. Please leave me your comments!

If you have questions or comments, please share them below!

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