I went to a winter gardening workshop at Kiwasa Neighbourhood House last night put on by my friend Jess and her neighbour Stacey and came away with seeds, starts and some new thoughts about my garden as we head into fall. This includes a plan to dig up the ugly box hedges lining my walkway and plant cauliflower, kale and brussel sprouts instead since it’s the south facing yard. For years now I have been aware of winter gardening possibilities on the west coast, particularly as the weather often stays warm into October and we often don’t get a real frost until December or later (last year notwithstanding) – but I have never gotten my act together to actually enact a food-producing garden year round. This year I have already planted spinach, mixed greens, sprouting broccoli and pac choi in the backyard, all from seed which has been sprouting nicely over the last few weeks – now with starts and even more seeds I’m excited to get back in the garden this weekend to ensure winter eating as good as our summer eating has been.
After I get that squared away, my next big gardening project will be to move the perennial herbs in the backyard into planters and start building the network of raised beds and pathways in the back – thus increasing my potential food growing square footage for next spring by about four times. This will also give me a place to locate the garlic which I intend to plant in October, not to mention an idea of where the permanent home for my asparagus patch might be (that goes in by February). I am a tad afraid of this project as I am so *not* handly with a saw and drill, but all the plans tell me this is pretty straightforward and I have an idea of the design and spacing that will give lots of food-growing space as well as a little sanctuary/sitting area in amongst it all. So exciting!
Now all we have to do is get the beer and wine-making set up in the basement and between that, the year-round garden, and our larder full of canning we should be good no matter what comes our way.