Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Walk on the Wild Side . . . and various harvests

There's an area sized about forty-feet-wide and fifteen-feet-deep in the back of the garden that has been allowed to go wild for several reasons: food and perch for birds; sanctuary for hedgehogs, insects, and lizards; cover for an old cherry tree stump and a shed.

A gutted tree of heaven

Eventually, a path will go behind the brambles, in front of the large and completely hidden shed. This overgrown space also has tons of ivy, some comfrey (an excellent compost accelerator), and two trees of heaven (or hell would be more descriptive). They can grow up to ninety feet tall and spread by seeding and through rooting. Not to mention they smell of rotten cashews. Having a woodsy path is wonderful on its own, but cutting a swath around the brambles allows my gutting these trees to leafless stumps from time to time with the hope their roots eventually will die.

Raspberry & rhubarb fronting Brambleville

Directly across the central garden path there is a working area consisting of slow & fast compost piles and a tangle of honeysuckle.

That's a fig tree in the upper left corner

Dirac the Cat (no longer Dirac the Kitten or Dirac the Young Cat) who is just about two years old loves to stalk this area and we love that he is now on tick in addition to flea medicine.

The fragrant honeysuckle graciously covers a pile of pruned branches 

He enjoys all kinds of baths, dirt, gravel, and grass, just don't mention water.

The first crop of raspberries are developing. The fruits are on trimmed canes that bore berries last season. A second flush will happen in late-summer via fresh growth.

Three and a half veggie beds remain to be planted within the next two weeks to accommodate shelling beans, green beans, parsnips, cavolo nero (black kale), arugula, beets, and carrots.

Onions, shallots, garlic, tomatoes, late & early-season potatoes, sweet red peppers

Most of the pea pods have been picked. This is the month when the inclusion of our own produce in meals starts increasing. And it is the time we impatiently look forward to during late-winter/early spring which is usually when our stores have run out.

The early-season potatoes are just coming in, not enough on their own for potatoes dauphinoise, so they were added to our supermarket cache.

Engorged with cream and flavoured with garlic, thyme, parsley & bay leaf

Our own peas were added to store-bought carrots. We had them and the gratin with pot roast of lamb.

Garden-fresh peas are essentially green candy

À la prochaine!

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