Monthly Archives: February 2017

The Excitement of a Good Plan

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Autumn

With another gardening season behind me I began to investigate other options to improve my garden experience.  A friend of mine who is a seasoned Alberta gardener purchased a greenhouse.  Her greenhouse was an inspiration.  The tomatoes, peppers and cucumbers filled the space like a tropical jungle.

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Autumn – The Golden Hour

Selecting a greenhouse for our place came with its challenges.  The winds can be as strong as 60-70kms an hour here.  Any greenhouse we choose has to be able to handle the strong winds and the cold winters.

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Winter arrives at the cabin.

We found a greenhouse that was made by a local farmer and delivered intact.  It was made to match our cabin and delivered – just as the snow was coming.  Around here the snow comes and goes and comes back again many times over our winter season.

Our little greenhouse has been moved into place.  We will build some shelves and ready it before the spring.  In the meantime I am excited about this new plan.  Yet again I am heading into the gardening season with a renewed sense of optimism.

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Good Morning Beautiful Little Greenhouse.

And now the planning begins…what will I try to grow in this wonderful little greenhouse?

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The Character Building Garden

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The garden struggles with a wet season.

I have had two growing seasons here at the cabin.  The first was too hot and the second was too wet.  The reality is that the growing season is short and harsh up here in the prairies of Canada.  I always wondered why farmers always seemed to be complaining about something – too much sun or not enough sun – too much rain or not enough rain.  But now I appreciate that growing season here is just “too much” of something season.

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The mushrooms took over the straw raised beds.

Some of the my plants didn’t survive at all.  I planted my cucumbers  and beans after the May long weekend only to have them destroyed by frost the first night.  My squash plants never really embraced the moist raised beds, maybe because they were sharing real estate with the mushrooms.  I did, however, have success with my peas, tomatoes, and a few other random vegetables like carrots, and peppers.  I was feeling pretty proud of my small crop until I stopped at a local farmers market and saw what was being sold by local farmers.  Their vegetables dwarfed mine.  I realized that I still have a lot to learn about gardening.  In any event we picked, cleaned and ate what we could from the garden.  Enjoying each fresh vegetable.  Carrots, peas, peppers, beets, and tomatoes:

We also experimented with growing potatoes in straw.  My husband called them his “poo potatoes” after watching the Martian where Matt Damon’s character grew his potato crop on Mars in his own poo.  Happy that ours were not true poo potatoes we enjoyed eating this crop.

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The film inspired potato crop.

Another year of gardening.  Another year of lessons learned. Another year of persistence, patience and tenacity.  Character building.

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