On May 1st, the Great Veggie Grow Off was launched as a friendly competition among Almonte, Carleton Place and Beckwith community gardens to grow food for the Lanark County Food Bank. As an avid supporter of the Food Bank, I decided to grow two plots of salad food at the Carleton Place community gardens (St. Gregory Next Door).
Now, anyone who knows me and my gardening skills is still laughing and I could hear my daughter’s eyes roll all the way from Montreal, but it was for a great cause so off I went with several packets of seeds. There was a fair amount of prep work, that required heavy machinery and sheep manure, and then I was ready on June 2nd. I was given advice from my sister-in-law about putting my cucumber seeds into mounds of dirt; then slapped for attempting to start tomatoes from seeds and subsequently received some young tomato plants.
Armed with my newly acquired gardening acumen I also planted romaine, spinach and Mesclun (I hear that eye roll again). A few weeks later we decided (my husband at this point figured out that I may need help) that the young lettuces were being supported by the weeds and only weeded between the rows.
Today I returned to weed the, I assumed, flourishing lettuce patch (also assuming I would be able to make a distinction between weeds and salad greens). I am beginning to think that some farmer long ago got tired of weeding, decided to call the growth salad greens and has been taking it to market as such ever since.
The good news is – the tomatoes are growing – even on the plant that the deer claimed as its own; and so are the onions. I think the cucumbers are a bust, but maybe they will bloom later in the season?
I will probably end up going to the local market. In the meantime I will continue to expand my gardening aptitude and fortify my patience by weeding my rows of Mesclun.