Spring Midgarden Garlic Update

My last garlic update was on November 25, 2021. Read it here: Midgarden Garlic Update. I had planted 71 cloves on November 4th. Winter is a tricky season, and one never knows what will survive and what won’t. My garlic surprised me again this spring, and every clove developed.

Here is the upper bed of garlic. It contains most of the cloves. Although chickens pecked and dug around it all spring, the garlic did find.

Garlic in Mid-May 2022

That dried stalk in the bottom right is the fennel that grew there last year.

Garlic bed just after planting November 2021

Following my schedule for last year, I will pick garlic scapes in late June and the garlic the first week of August. I can’t consume 71 scapes, so I’m going to sell most of them. If you’re in the area and want fresh scapes in late June, get in touch. When I sell, I’ll harvest when the buyer arrives, so they’ll be fresh.

My garlic is organically grown. The only thing that goes on it and the soil are rain water from the cistern or rainwater barrels, compost made on the property from animal manure and soiled hay, unbleached mulch, shavings and fall leaves.

If the garlic grows as well as it did last year, I’ll have 458 cloves to plant this November. And I will be ready to sell half of the crop in August 2023 when I will crown myself the Queen of Garlic.

For those who don’t know the start of my garlic journey, all this began with one bulb bought in November 2019. The story starts with this post: In the Garden: Growing Garlic.

Happy Gardening.

Sunday Spring Garden Tour

Walking around the garden this morning, I snapped a few pictures of life emerging after a long winter. Although it was only one degree Celsius, the sun was shining, and the light breeze from the northwest wasn’t cool. It felt like spring.

This morning’s sunshine and warmth is the calm before the storm. By this time tomorrow, all signs of spring will be under 20 to 25 centimetres of blowing snow. Hopefully, it will be the last snow storm of the season.

Garlic: It’s up about two inches.

Oregano: All three plants appear to have weathered the winter well.

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My Goose Laid an Egg

That’s right. The goose I bought as a gosling in the spring of 2021 laid its first egg. And that’s no April Fools joke. It wasn’t golden, but it’s still special. While locking up last night, I saw the egg laying by the water trough. It was a handful.

I’ve never eaten or cooked with a goose egg before, so I can only go by what I’m finding online. Apparently, the taste is stronger than that of chicken and duck, which I eat often. They are great for baking, and even sought after “because their consistency makes a thick, moist batter that holds together well.”

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Introducing Gardening Magic YouTube Channel

For a long time, I’ve thought about creating a gardening channel on YouTube. After thinking about it for months on how I’d format it, I’ve finally taken the plunge.

I like short videos because I don’t have a huge chunk of free time. I want videos to be precise and on the topic in the title. When I’m looking for information, say on how to propagate blackberries, I don’t want unrelated stories. I find a lot of YouTubers talk about irrelevant things to add minutes to their videos.

I aim to keep my videos short. Ten minutes or less.

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ALERT: Possible Seed Potato Shortage in Nova Scotia

Last night, my sister contacted me about seed potatoes. She had put her order in at Veseys Seed on Prince Edward Island and received notice that seed potatoes were unavailable.

I checked Veseys’ website but did not find any notice about a disease outbreak. However, all varieties of potatoes are labelled as “Not Available for 2022” and “Out of Stock”.

I found several news articles about PEI potatoes unable to be shipped to the United States, but I am unsure if this is the reason they are not leaving the island for Canadian destinations. The article Canada Halts Exports of Prince Edward Island Potatoes on Modern Farmer states this,  “After cases of potato wart fungus were found on two PEI farms, Canada has put a stop to potato exports into the US.”

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Gardening: It’s Seed Ordering Time

There is very little going on in the garden this time of year. The ground is frozen, and plants are tucked beneath an insolating blanket of snow. However, I’m busy inside, finishing my report on last year’s season, planning for the upcoming season, ordering seeds and learning more about the plants I grow and want to grow.

Each year, I grow at least one thing I’ve never grown before. This year, one of those things is broccoli. I ordered the seeds from Veseys Seeds on Prince Edward Island. I chose Arcadia Broccoli.

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An Easy Perennial Source for Garlic Flavour

While I have a good supply of garlic bulbs, there’s another plant that can provide the flavour, and it’s available fresh from the garden between early May to late October. This plant also provides greenery for the dish, whether that be scrambled eggs or soups.

The perennial that everyone can grow and that thrives from being cut regularly is garlic chives. It’s so easy to grow and propagate that once you have one small plant in your garden, it won’t take many years before the clump grows to a fair size and new plants pop up around the mother plant. Don’t consider these new plants as weeds, though they may be mistaken for blades of grass in the early stage. Move them to the location of your choice or share them with a friend.

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Midgarden Garlic Update

On November 4th, I planted my Midgarden garlic. I had prepared the bed a few weeks earlier by cleaning out the weeds and spreading two inches of compost over the top. No, I do not work it into the soil. I practise the no-dig method.

I estimated between 33 and 44 cloves from the 11 bulbs I had harvested in August (see the post: Garlic Update for 2021). However, I was shocked to have 71 cloves. That’s an average of 6.45 cloves per bulb. I knew the bulbs were big, but I had no idea I’d get more than four cloves from each.

Doing the math, this indicates I may get 458 cloves to plant in the fall of 2022.

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Reconnect with the Land and Local Farmers

Heavily processed and unnatural food practices have been a normal part of the food system in North America for only about 60 years. Before that time, most foods were naturally organic and few people ate processed foods. Both my parents grew up in rural areas where everyone in the community got 90% of what they consumed from their backyard, the forest around them or the ocean. Flour, salt, sugar and a few other basic baking ingredients were the only food items they bought.

While governments, organisations and activist groups prattle on about environmental issues and claim the end of the world is nigh, they offer little in real solutions. They keep talking globally when the answer is locally. When I think of the popular slogan “Buy Local”, I don’t think about buying from a local store. I think of buying food and products grown and created near me, not a thousand miles away. I want apples grown within 100 miles of me, not 500.

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A Special Find at a Second-hand Shop

We have a wonderful local second-hand shop. We’re only a village, maybe even a hamlet, but this shop is always brimming with donated treasures for resale. Sometimes I spend only a dollar. Other times, like last week, I spend over $10.00.

Things aren’t expensive. In fact, they are priced less than most yard sale items. Many of the things I buy cost between 50 cents and $2.00. That doesn’t mean things are cheap. Some might be, but most are good quality.

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