That’s a Wrap!

Well, friends, it’s been one heck of a season, and believe it or not, I round it out by planting garlic today. A little late – and with snow on the ground – but I’m happy to have finally got them in. Thankfully the ground was still soft enough to put a pitchfork through the ground, where I could harvest all our carrots and put down garlic where they had been.

Taking my largest bulbs, which worked out to being thirty-two cloves, I hope next Fall to harvest twice the amount of garlic we grew last year. Each year, I’m learning to get a little more practical (growing things we heavily rely on) and a little less experimental (who needs twenty-two tomato plants – even if you want to try every cool heirloom you can get your hands on – really?) when it comes to what we grow.

A layer of compost, underneath a layer of straw (October 2022)

Another big project I had this year, was moving all our asparagus. Lucky for us, the previous landowner had been growing asparagus for five years, that is if my memory serves me correctly (if there are any experts out there that determine these crowns to be older/younger – I’m all ears). But in other words, we’ve been lucky enough to get the privilege of looking forward to fresh asparagus each Spring, and the joy of seeing them rise up out of the recently-thawed ground.

From what I had read online, if you move them with enough caution and care, they’re likely to succeed in a transplant. So with love and attention, I decided to take the risk and give them a new home! Where they had been previously, is where we plan to build our chicken coop – next year’s project.

Asparagus crowns after transplant, before covering with a layer of soil, compost, and straw. (November 2022)

If you had seen where they had been growing, you’d likely be happy seeing them go to a new home. Surrounded by Red Raspberry (Rubus idaeus) plants, their growing space was quickly diminishing due to their tenacious neighbours. Side note: I had moved all the raspberry plants to their new home too, sharing a handful with family and friends, but as predicted, many still came back.

So after clearing space at the base of the Asparagus plant, whose aerial parts had gone to seed and become brown, I was able to locate where the crowns would be. In hopes to avoid damaging them, I started digging far enough away from the center, to keep as much intact as possible.

Once I dug them all up – doing so in three parts, just to get them back in the ground as quickly as possible, I spaced them out in their new growing space. Covering them with a layer of soil collected from the area which I took them from, a layer of well-broken-down compost, and then covering them with straw.

A foot-long asparagus crown. Our oldest lady!

Even though I won’t know how well I did until next spring, I’ll be crossing my fingers (and my toes!) in hopes that we are graced with asparagus’ presence next season.

I’ll also take this opportunity to mention, I’m playing with growing asparagus from seed. Though it may not be worth the time and effort – I’ve been cautioned the success rate is slim (and the process can be time-consuming, removing the seed from it’s encased berry) – I like experimenting, so I’m gonna give it a go anyway.

No doubt, a messy situation (and a cold-handed one!)

Oh yeah, and did I mention snow? We got nearly four feet of it, which thankfully melted again giving me the opportunity to tackle a couple long-awaited tasks.

One of them was the carrots I had left in the ground, moving my way slowly through harvesting them, as I had been using them. As opposed to trying to find all kinds of ways to store things (which I’m still very much learning and trying), I’ve taken to making meals and freezing them, as a preferred way to stow some for later.

But what a cold muddy mess that was! As you can imagine, digging up carrots underneath half a foot of ice-cold water was far from ideal, but I had to seize the opportunity before we were handed another bout of snow.

Carrot, is that you?

… and hey – it’s well worth having a mud-filled tub of slightly-sweetened carrots!

So now, on the edge of seasons, Winter is only a few weeks away. All of the outside work is dwindling, with no doubt some odd jobs that’ll sneak up on us. But for the most part, I can move into reflection time, looking at the past season, and acknowledging what we learned.

The hives are insulated, young fruit trees wrapped, garden beds fed and covered, seeds saved, and garlic planted… needless to say, that’s a wrap!

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