Agharrow, Co Sligo, Ireland- I grew up in St.Augustine, FL which is also known as the “Nation’s Oldest City.” Flat sandy beaches, beautiful bay front views and magical sunsets court the variety of tourists that come from near and far. But, what some may not know is that further inland, people grow potatoes. Some of my dearest friends growing up were farmers. I wanted to further my appreciation for them by trying to do all the preparation, digging, weeding, singing and sowing that goes into food production.
Ms.Dudley’s favorite first graders, ever.
Since my special delivery of cowshit, onions, garlic and taters are giving way in my little plot. Swiss chard, perpetual spinach, kale, swedes, basil and thyme are attempting life in the windowsill. The anxious reality that my onions and garlic won’t be ready until August will be quelled once my leafy things take off. Well, unless the hares get them first!
“I don’t believe in green thumbs, only brown ones.”-Klaus Laitenberger
Sadly, we often forget all the time and energy that farmer friends dedicate to growing real food. And instead of giving veg a go, we opt for a grassy lawn overlooking some serious garden potential. Here’s to sustainable living and super stinky garlic breath!
Garlic and Onions
Agharrow- I have been planning this garden since January when the sun was non-existent. I started with some research and now here I am getting fresh cow shit dumped gardenside.
I know now why the Irish build stone walls, well sort of. The stone border here and throughout were collected from digging out the beds. Jesus Christ. To be fair, I think all of this was fill dirt added many years ago. After a while it was great fun seeing who could hoe out the biggest rock.
Had the early potatoes chittin’ in the windowsill until a few centimeters of shoots emerged (mine are Colleen Organic). Early potatoes are more blight resistance but have smaller yields. My leeks turned leggy, but better luck next year because I don’t really like them anyways. My biggest flaw is impatience. In Ireland, it is so important to wait to sow anything because the hours of daylight are so few in the winter and sunlight scarce.
Pretty awesome when the delivery man does a shite job and your neighbor helps you out. No chance of me moving a one tonne bag of Envirogrind compost over a 3 ft wall and into the garden. The next day he dumped a load of fresh cow manure over the fence after I had mentioned interest. One of a kind, he is.
(Boring paragraph about gardening, skip to the next for the food porn) The scutch grass is still a pain in the A$$ but I am getting through it. I did break down and buy some timber raised bed kits but then realized I will still want to double dig beneath them so there’s really not much point until my raised mound beds disappoint me or I want a mini garden out the kitchen window for the hares. So far the garlic and onions are starting out nicely. I’m sure I planted the garlic while it was still cold enough, otherwise it will just grow into one giant clove instead of bulbing out, like a boss. I covered the onions with a cloche for the first two weeks which seemed to keep the birds away until they rooted.
Missing the van life a bit so were decided to cook paella (vegetarian version) outside on the portable stove. It was brilliant!