Earth friendly gardening in the Kootenays region of British Columbia, Canada

Kootenay Gardening

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In my Garden:     July     August     September

Study nature, love nature, stay close to nature. It will never fail you  -  Frank Lloyd Wright

In my Garden 

    August 2009


    I garden in the West Kootenay, British Columbia, Canada, in the plant hardiness zone 5a, in the area known before as "that dry desert".
    It is undoubtedly dry here, but it doesn't mean it has to be a desert.
    My soil is sandy and acidic. The drainage is almost too good. Summers are very hot and dry here, winters are very snowy and seemingly without end. Very often a thick blanket of snow covers the ground since the middle of November through the middle of April. I have about four months frost free, usually since the middle of May through the middle of September.
    In my gardening I try to follow Nature's ways of doing things. This kind of approach is called biomimicry.
    I don't use synthetic fertilizers and don't use herbicides and pesticides.
     During dry weather I water my gardens about once a week. During heavy production of fruit I may water every five or six days. I try to mulch as much as I can to ensure that the soil is cool and moist all the time and the soil temperature even and to provide food and home for soil organisms. It is the soil organisms that make soil fertile.
    In my garden I grow vegetables, flowers, fruit trees and berries, especially those not grown commercially.
    I value my garden not only as a source of beauty and healthy food but also as an opportunity for a health restoring, whole-body exercise in fresh air and sun.




Harvesting - beginning of August

    Alpine strawberries. The berries are red or pale-yellow, small, about 1.5 cm in diameter, sweet, with a buttery texture and a very distinctive and pleasant aroma. They add variety to my fruit garden. The plants bear from late spring through August.
    Alpine strawberries are considered a great delicacy. They have a short shelf life and because of that are not grown commercially.

    According to statistics, the average meal in our part of the world travels 1500 miles from the farm to your dinner plate. My fruit and vegetables travel only 50 feet (zero mile diet) from my garden to the kitchen. They are as fresh as can be, organic, without any kind of preservatives and not irradiated. I like them that way.

    I didn't pick my vegetables for two days in a row. Now, I have to face consequences ...

    Winter squash. The twins hanging on my edible garden fence are already 15 cm in diameter each but still far from maturity.

Middle of August

    Winter Squash climbing the fence. On the right Zucchini, in the background Asparagus. Bottom left Strawberries planted earlier this spring. The white and yellow flowers at the bottom of the picture belong to Alyssum and Calendula.

    Thorn-less Blackberry Triple Crown. I prefer the taste of fruit from my ordinary Blackberry plant, despite that little thorns often get stuck in the skin on my hands.

    Cucumber White Stallion. The fruit is big, up to 600 grams and up to 30 cm (one foot) long, crisp with a sweet taste. When picked just before the first frost it can be kept in the refrigerator for three weeks or even longer.

    Rudbeckia Indian Summer, planted earlier in May likes heat and sun it has in abundance at my place.

    Garlic Italian Porcelain with  big cloves and rich, hot flavour, my favourite, at front, and Rocambole

  End of August  

    Ever-bearing Strawberry Hecker in full production again after a short break in July.

    There is time to grow and time to go.
    I just got rid of my old Raspberry patch. After a long time in the same spot the fruit quality wasn't good enough anymore.
    My Raspberries were kind enough to send runners and form a new row 1.5 m farther, where I grew my Green Peas before. Evidently they liked the nitrogen enriched soil there (Green Peas, like all legumes, are well known for their nitrogen fixing capability). Despite that I have already planted a new row a year ago, I will let them be. There is no such thing as too many raspberries.

Pear Clapp's Favourite. Not only Clapp's, mine too! I can't wait for the fruit to ripen. Another ten days... 

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