Friday, July 1, 2011

My luxurious melons

For as long as I can remember, there has been a food garden for every summer of my life - either planted by myself or by my equally food-obsessed and childishly enthusiastic father. The enthusiasm is rather contagious (or maybe just inherited?) - every year, both of us try to cram as many plants in as many varieties as we can into our respective gardens, just because it's so much fun to be ridiculously overwhelmed by an overabundance of beautiful produce. Anytime we see each other between mid-July and late August, conversations always start with "You won't BELIEVE how many (insert name of produce here) I had in the garden this morning! Fifty six! Here. I brought you some."

The ridiculousness may take a break this year, however, depending on my talents as a gardener... I've gone nearly completely heirloom and organic this year, and it's my first time growing stuff that can't be picked up at the local Canadian Tire or Botanix nursery. I've planted mostly everything from seed, directly in the garden (remember :*finger pointing towards self*, lazy person over here) - so we'll see what happens.

All of my plants come from this wonderful little nursery called Greta's Organic Gardens in Gloucester (keep driving south on Riverside after crossing Hunt Club), which specializes in organic and heirloom species. Greta knows her plants and is always extremely helpful in helping you decide which ones would best suit your preferences. She's also a seasoned veteran of chemical-free pest warfare; if something's in your garden, she'll know how to get rid of it. After chatting with her on a rainy Victoria Day weekend, I came home with a haul that would make Dad proud:
  • tomatoes (those were plants, not seeds. I'm lazy, not crazy) : Black from Tula, Black Russian, Black Seaman, Isis Candy, Gold Nugget, Ottawa 39, Mrs. Botts' Italian, Kenosha
  • pole beans : Trionfo Violetta (purple, yay!), Blue Lake (green)
  • carrots : Chantenay (orange), Yellowstone (guess!), Cosmic Purple (cue Jamiroquai)
  • beets : Chioggia (red and white candy-stripe), Touchstone Gold
  • Romanian Sweet peppers (three plants)
  • Mid-East Prolific cucumbers (from seed - I planted ten of them. Aiigh!)
  • the requisite herbs to add to my perennial thyme and chives: two types of basil (non-flowering!), parsley, spearmint and mojito mint, rosemary

Aaaaaand last but not least, the plants that I'm most excited about, MY LUXURIOUS MELONS! Technically, they're called Noir de Carmes and Petit Gris de Rennes. I'd never thought of growing melons (bad return on investment, space-wise), but how could I not after reading the following line in the Noir's online catalog description? "One of the easiest to grow and most luxurious of all melons..." I had to get them! Of course, I planted all of my squash-family seeds too deep the first time, so the plants have only been growing since I realized my mistake halfway through June and replanted... But Greta says there's still time for me to have bountiful melons, so I'll keep hope. And laugh every time I say that.

The beginnings of my luxurious melons...

See you next post, and Happy Canada Day!

No comments:

Post a Comment