Neighbours talking over the garden gate has long been a tradition. They share gardening tips, complain about the weather and pests yet are ever eager to discuss their gardens. That is what I had in mind when creating this blog. So stop by my garden gate to find out the latest happenings in my garden.

Happy Gardening!

Garden Gnome
"All my life through, the new sights of Nature made me rejoice like a child." ~ Madame Marie Curie"

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Welcome to Garden Gnome Wanderings

Welcome to my blog. Here you will find my adventures in gardening, cooking and anything else that strikes my fancy.
I thought creating a blog of my gardening and cooking adventures would be fun so here I am. For us, these activities go hand in hand :) Now where do I begin? How about a bit of an introduction?

We live in Ontario Zone 6A. For the most part, I do all of the gardening but my husband helps with anything heavy or any construction as needed. Our vegetable garden consists of five raised beds planted in the square foot method and a small greenhouse. All beds take advantage of companion plantings. Vegetables are also grown in containers to help maximize our growing area. We have used this method for three years and while it is working well for us, we feel we can boost our yields by incorporating a few changes.

This year we are planning a few changes. We are adding three smaller 4' x 4' beds also planted in the square foot method. We may add two 2' x 8' beds in an area that needs to be escuvated anyway. In previous years we have relied on compost to ammend the soil in the raised beds. This year we will also be using fertilizer on a regular basis in the raised beds this year but will refrain from chemical pesticides and herbicides as in previous years. We ammended the beds with peat moss and manure. Although sawdust is recommended for the one small gardening method, we have had no luck finding any untreated sawdust. Another change for this year was starting the planting much earlier.

So far, we have planted peas, onions, radishes, spinach and lettuces outside directly in the beds. One bed has always been for strawberries and that will remain. Another bed is mainly for herbs, a change from last year. The greenhouse gets fuller each day awaiting the last frost date for planting. This week, beets, carrots, chard and potatoes will go in. We've had a few days of rain so I'm just waiting for a dry enough time to plant them.

Well, I think that sums things up in the garden. The activity in the kitchen is gearing towards this year's growing season. Much of the canning has focused on soups, stews, and beans. I canned up a lovely batch of bean and bacon soup on Saturday. This week's canning will be mushrooms. I buy mushrooms in bulk from a mushroom farm usually 20 lb at a time. While we prefer fresh mushrooms, a few jars of canned mushrooms are nice to have on hand. Asparagus will be starting soon. I haven't canned asparagus in the past and I'm not sure if I will try this year. It might be good to have a few jars on hand to make cream of asparagus soup. Frozen asparagus generally has a better flavour and texture though. So that's it in the kitchen.

I started two yahoo groups, garden_wanderings and lets_cook that allow discussion for those interested in these topics.
My yahoo blog will be similar to this one for some entries but in general will vary. You can find it at:

I'm off to discover this blogging adventure. Thanks for stopping by.


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