Saturday, October 18, 2008

Putting the Garden to Bed

I spent most of this week being boringly ill, which in the grand scheme of things meant that all the garden chores I had intended to do over the week, in bits and pieces of time, really built up. This is the time of year when tomatoes need their final picking, when squash and pumpkins need picking and storing, when compost bins need emptying and turning and refilling, when bulbs need planting, and so on. So after breakfast I gathered the clippers, the shovel, my gloves, and the bulbs I wanted to plant: dwarf narcissus "Minnow"; Azureum allium, fritillaria "Imperialis Rubra"; "Rembrandt" tulips, more daffodils, some crocus, and some garlic ( Music, Yugoslavian, Silver Skin) from the Gourmet Garlic Farms in Cherryville, B.C., and went outside with the twins.

The twins picked most of the remaining tomatoes while I clipped and trimmed and hauled things around. I took our fat orange pumpkin from its growing seat on the trike and set it in a warm sheltered place to cure for a bit. The other pumpkins we grew are sitting at the door of the mini greenhouse but this one is too big. I spread the remainder of the straw over where the new bed will be next year, on the hot grassy slope in between the raspberries and the marion berries. I emptied one of the compost bins. Part of it went into the bed with the winter vegetables (kale, broccoli, chard and beets) and the rest was spread over the asparagus bed. Apparently asparagus really like rich soil, and because I really like asparagus, I'm humouring them with my very best compost and my very best seaweed fertilizer. Then I filled the empty compost bin with all the garden stuff I'd just hauled out: bits and pieces of clipped strawberry plants, artichoke stalks, tomato stalks, pumpkin vines, weeds and things. The odd startled spider. A few mummified wasps. A slug or two. (yes, the fun never ends around here)

The twins, meanwhile, picked 6 pails of green cherry tomatoes, in seeming casual (but fiercely melodramatic) competition with each other the entire time:

FDPG: "How many have YOU picked, Dominic?" (sighing heavily but very meaningfully while glancing heavily but very meaningfully at the no doubt INCREDIBLE weight of her container)

D: "Oh, maybe 300. Maybe 400." (glancing down at his container and shrugging his shoulders at the no doubt INCREDIBLE weight they must bear, smirking a little all the while)

FDPG: "Oh gosh, I think I must have four THOUSAND by now!" (now a little worried - he has 400 - could it be true?)

D: "Really? Swear by your life?" (panicking, glaring first at his container, then FDPG's)

FDPG: "Let me see how many you have." (craning her neck)

D: "Let me see how many you have first." (craning his neck)

FDPG: "Mum! Dominic won't let me see how many tomatoes he has!"

Mum: "Oh give me a break you two. Who cares how many you have! Get picking!"


And so on. Actually, it went on a lot longer than that. Thank me for sparing you. These two worship at the altar of hyperbole.

I'm not too sure but I think I will just leave them to ripen, then roast them with some garlic and olive oil. The tomatoes, not the twins.

Cherry tomatoes, nasturtium seeds, scarlet runner pods
reposing artistically in a box

1 comment:

Casey said...

Lovely way to spend a day, yes? And lovely pictures, too!