Commentary General

A Brand New Start

I have to admit that it has been a very long time since my last update! But no, I haven’t fallen off the face of the planet. But a lot has changed in the past… [gulp] nearly a decade! Even though I haven’t posted anything here recently, I’ve been gardening like crazy – and in fact, I’ve returned to our original homestead, planted a two acre garden/orchard, and plan to expand it all greatly in the years to come!

Anyway, I just wanted to invite you to check out my new blog – Cold Climate Abundance. It’s got all of our recent activity, my latest experiments, and more!

Check it out and see what I’ve been up to!

You can also visit the website for our farm – Good Roots Orchard.

Field of Beans (and Corn)

Finally the snow has melted and the forecast no longer has overnight frosts. Time to get gardening! I’m currently in the early stages of landscaping our new yard, and there is an area on the east side of the house that I haven’t figured out just what to do with it yet. So, for this year I’ve decided to plant a mini corn field. I’ve always wanted to have a corn field, but until moving east to where we are now, I was always too close to foothills to have enough heat for corn.

In 2008 I experimented with inter-planting beans and corn. It worked so well that I tried it again in 2009. I had my best corn ever that year, so I’m going to do it again this year. So in my little 24′ x 24′ plot on the east side of my house, I have planted Supersweet Northern Extra corn in rows spaced two feet apart. I planted two seeds every two feet. Then in between corn seeds, I have planted a variety of beans – Purple Royalty, Roma II , Straight N’ Narrow, Scarlet Runner Pole Beans, and even Dark Red Kidney Beans!

(Click for a better view)

So there’s my field of beans and corn. Hopefully, both will grow nicely and produce lots. But if not, they should at least make for an interest way to fill the yard until I can properly landscape it!


Lettuce Fields In Alberta?

While traveling through southern California & Arizona over Christmas, I saw some super-sized gardens. Having grown up in central Alberta, I’m used to seeing large fields of hay or wavy seas of wheat. On occasion I’ve even seen some fields of corn, peas, and even strawberries. But never have I seen acres upon acres of lettuce, onions, and broccoli.

Lettuce Fields in Arizona

It was quite a sight to see – rows upon rows of lettuce. In Arizona, lettuce is a common winter crop. One local farmer I talked to said their family grew watermelons and corn in the warmer months and lettuce during the winter.


What’s the Deal with this Blog?

Dave holding a Russet & a Viking potatoI grew up on a farm in central Alberta and naturally, we had a large garden in order to feed all of us (Mom, Dad, and the four boys). That means every year we helped Mom & Dad plant, weed, and harvest the garden. But it’s a world of difference between helping your folks pull some weeds and going out and making a beautiful yard of your own. Now that I’m grown and have a family and yard of my own, I’m discovering all the things I didn’t learn. That’s where this blog comes in.

I wanted to make this blog a site full of great hints, tips, and how-tos that will help you in your own quest for a beautiful space. I’ve experimented with greenhouses, mulching, square-foot gardening, landscaping, unique and exotic vegetables, all varieties of fruit, raised beds, hydroponics, and a whole lot of other stuff. This blog will be my journal of my experiments and hopefully there will be some useful information that you can use in your own garden.

So in a nutshell, that’s the deal with this blog. The question now is… Where do I start?