Wednesday, November 26, 2008

The garden, too, came to an end...

Yes, there was work to be done other than dinghy destruction at Sebago's last work day of the 2008 season. Time to clean up the grounds & wrap up for the winter.

I'd already knocked off all my work requirement, but owing to a VERY complicated situation (more on that another day) getting set up due to my sending out an enthusiatic "Hey, wouldn't it be fun to paddle to the Gateway Boathouse party?" without bothering to do even the least bit of research on the feasibility of that idea, I ended up deciding to go. I figured I'd split my time between actual club work and my own little bed, which I figured was probably "all pau" at this point.

I was right, too. Weekend before last:

2 weeks of some cooooold cold weather later...

Time to clean out the garden.

I didn't realize chard had roots like this. Makes sense, it is a relative of the beet, but I was surprised!

I'm curious enough to leave a few in, although a little searching indicated that what's going to happen is that if the roots do make it through the winter, they'll have a few leaves & then "bolt" (get all long & stalky & start putting all their energy into flowers, which they don't get until their 2nd season). I also wondered if they might be edible but I think there has got to be a reason for the complete dearth of chard root recipes, as compared to all sorts of ways to prepare the pretty leaves.

Pulling out stalks, I was surprised to see some strange, white, crystalline stuff here and there. At first I was puzzled. Spittlebugs? Salt crystals?

Oh. Wait. That's that ice stuff.

Here's the end point of my less-than-vehement putting the bed to bed; after this, I started helping out with club stuff.

there was plenty of community garden work to be done too. Hoses to coil, furniture to bring inside, cleaning the compost heap of the sticks & trash that inevitably end up in there. Cold day, but no problem staying warm!

A couple of other beds -

Holly had these runaway cherry tomatoes. Mine all gave up ripening back in early October. Hers kept going right up to the last possible minute!

The Paddling Chef is much much much more disciplined than the rest of us about wrapping things up. He's probably planted garlic for next Spring, even. Look how tidy:

Fun surprises lurking here and there! Mine was not the only "inuksuapik" - I found 2 more around the garden as I was working!


Anonymous said...

cool. chard will stay over winter often

bonnie said...

Well, the one I left in did make it through the winter, and it was a fun experiment, it did turn into a totally different plant in the 2nd year - bolted & went to seed & it was up almost to my shoulder by the time I had to take it out (it seemed to really draw the bugs).