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Planning the veggie plot

It's a grey day again in Grey County. Friday afternoon was gorgeous, so I took it off and we went on a road trip to Owen Sound - 40 minutes away - to drop off the hats for the homeless. Came straight back. In pandemic times, this is now what constitutes a BIG OUTING. Whoopppeee.

Ok, pity party over. I'm actually quite excited because I got an email telling me my seeds for the garden have shipped! YAYAYAYAYAY!

Here's the line up:

Beets. I've decided to go a bit fancy this year. In addition to the tried-and-true Merlin beets that always perform beautifully, with plump purple orbs that make for perfect pickling, I've decided to get the golden Boldors. I was inspired by my sister, who pickled yellow-fleshed beets last year, and they were yummy. So I thought I'd give these a go.

According to the interweb, the red beets can be made into a wine that tastes like port, their juice can cure dandruff, and Aristotle left detailed notes about the root vegetable that he so admired. Impressive.

Peas. I always love the little green orbs in the spring/early summer. While we usually never get more than two or three feeds, I still enjoy planting them, and watching as the tendrils reach up the makeshift trellis. I'll have to fashion a new, taller one this year, since I bought the "Tall Telephone" variety that can grow to six feet!

They also produce several pickings, so we may get more than in previous years. Hope so.

Apparently, they were domesticated 11,000 years ago, and there's a theory that the Neanderthals were chomping on them 46,000 years ago. That's a pretty long history for the humble legume.

I'm going with my tried-and-true Easter Egg radishes, as well. I just love the multi-coloured sparky roots. I also like chopping these really thinly into salads and will try my hand at pickling them this year. They're a staple with southeast Asian dishes and since the pandemic, I've upped my game in that department.

Radishes are always the first thing to come up and be harvested in the spring, so I look forward to them probably more than anything else. Historically, they're relative newcomers (compared to beets) as well - from the third century B.C.

I'm going to do the onion set thing again this year. We are still working through the 2020 crop that I dried and put in the basement last fall. They're so good.

These little beauties have a pretty wild history. Apparently the Egyptians worshipped them as a symbol of eternity and the mummy of King Ramses 1V even had them in his eye sockets! I'll never eat another onion in quite the same way...

While I should be a proper gardener and start tomato plants now, I've tried over the years with very little luck. Instead, we'll venture out to the co-op at planting time and buy about 10 or 12 plants. These, plus a few pepper plants will produce enough veggies to make some yummy sauces, chutneys and other goodies that we'll preserve for the fall/winter of 2021.

When there's still a foot and a half of snow on the ground, there's nothing quite like dreaming and planning for spring - and looking forward to planting.

Of course, it's also not too bad an experience writing a blog post on a Sunday morning while a wee feline named Fred is warming my lap.

Until next week.


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