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The last days of the garden…

garlic from the garden 2011

This Saturday I’m in an awkward spot.

The garden needs tidied. Tilled. Composted and Garlic for planting needs to be found.

The latter seems to be the most pressing at the moment!

A quick check on a local source – The Cutting Veg (www.cuttingveg.com)

reveals that they are sold out. Too bad. They have a global array of garlic:

Ukranian, Tibetan, Korean, Russian, Persian, Italian, Sicilian, something called

Former Yugoslavian, Salt Spring, Chinese and Israeli.

This leaves me having to forage the local markets – today either St. Laurence, or Stop at Wychwood Barns, or even Phil’s stall by the Grange or

during the week at Sorauren, or Dufferin Grove. I could try Evergreen Brickworks, but I might get

knocked down cycling there.

Why the fuss? When I love the aesthetics of the bulb (and yes, each have their own strengths of taste and texture).

I love the individual tinges of blue or mauve that tint the outer skin…And the fact that they are the first thing to emerge from the

earth in the Spring and that also gives us two harvests – first the ramps, and then the bulb!

So if anyone knows of a local source of good garlic choices  that I can ponder, and quickly, for who knows when the

frost may come, please comment here!

UPDATE ON THE GARLIC SEARCH

Much Ontario Organic garlic out there in the markets, but when you ask

what “kind” it is, there’s often a blank. Three purchased at the North St. Laurence Market:

Music (which seemed pretty common); Montego, and an Anonymous.

I discovered some Russian, but it was only available if I bought a whole lot for $30!

Also

On October 30th,

all Fort York Gardeners are invited out

to celebrate the end of our Gardening Season, and yes,

our massive new Shed.  In the spirit of Fort York it is

designed  to complement the heritage architecture of the Fort.

Come out and see it!

SUNDAY, OCTOBER 30TH

2.00pm – 4pm.

Refreshments will be provided.

RSVP to:

fortyorkgarden@gmail.com

RABBIT, RABBIT!

Also, a quick read of a newly purchased gardening book revealed that

Rabbit Droppings make an excellent source of nutrition for the garden.

Not just excellent, perhaps the Best, at least if I can believe the book.

We know we had rabbits this season (chewed leaves and various hoppity-hop sightings attest to that),

but I can’t imagine going on a search for their droppings.

The book was “Small-Plot, High Yield Gardening” by Sal Gilbertie and Larry Sheehan. (Ten Speed Press).

It was purchased from a great independent bookstore in Toronto: McNally’s, on Bay Street, just south of Queen.

on the west side.

CLEARING YOUR PLOT!

All gardeners – even non-returning ones – need to clear their gardens!

a) Remove all hardware and store for next year. The new shed should be available next week for those wanting to store stakes, etc.

Just bundle and tag unless you want to share them next year.

b) Compost all organic garden waste. Either drop in the far compost and chop up with shears and add a little water

. Or tip over into the ravine taking care that you are not throwing over any wire/non-organic waste that can injure wildlife.

c) rake the earth and remove any ripe fruit – particularly tomatoes . If they are left in the soil they will seed next year as rogue plants and

take vital nutrients away from your new planting.

d) Perennials can be blanketed with some straw to help keep roots frost free.

AT A GLANCE GUIDE TO GARDEN CLEAN UP

a) hardware – wire, stakes, etc, should be bundled for storage.

b) organics go to the composter

c) rake earth till clear of fallen fruit, seed-pods.

fallen  fruit.

d) late chard or kale could go on into November so keep & harvest.

(although the snails got into mine!)

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