oes everyone’s dining room look like this (see attached picture) or what?
TIME TO GET THE GARDEN READY TO PLANT
Planting garlic takes place in the fall. Stock up on our selection of Ready-To-Plant cloves!
Summer Harvest Serving local gardeners since 1973
250 748 2023
5km South of Duncan on Hwy 1
DESIGNI NG green A BOUNTIFUL YEAR IN DROUGHT!
What a fabulous return on investment for our health and wellbeing. Recent news points to harvesting drought tolerant vegetables like squash, zucchini and the like are not just great for the diet and a wonderful way to exercise daily (who needs free weights with 10 pound zucchini’s?) but their abundant foliage actually sequesters carbon and adds to the cooling effect of the surrounding area.
Image David Coulson
I know, if you see another zucchini you will die. But have you tried the new ‘spiralizer’ that quickly converts these weapons of mass destruction into instant vegetable pasta and puts it on your plate from scratch in minutes? I even witnessed my anti-green Romanian son- in-law hoover down a plate and remark at the fresh and unique taste. And my uber picky 6 year old grandson could not get enough of it. Of course we had to then make spiralized apple for dessert. What a treat! These new shredders are available locally at Pots and Paraphernalia and come with various cutting heads allowing the quick and simple creation of many pasta style forms for those looking to diet, go gluten free or simply to process the hundreds of pounds of mass that can be created from a 3 meter square patch of your back yard. And drought tolerant is very relevant these days. We may be approaching Stage 4 watering restrictions by the time this article gets published as we have seen along the Sunshine Coast, so perhaps de rigor would be to focus on more drought foodstuffs to replace our browning lawns. Another of my real favourites is the fig tree. With the brilliant sheen and oaklike shape of the leaves this small to medium size fruit tree can be kept again as a feature sun-catcher to minimize the desert like look of your yard, provide shade and in these long summers will yield up to two crops of heavenly orbs. What you don’t see in my dining room photo of just one days harvest is the 40 or so pounds of tomatoes, 30 pounds of cucumbers and additional 45 pounds or so of spaghettini, scaloppini and other varieties of squash unable to fit. All of these self-reliant plants require a good start and lots of heat. The tomatoes of course are not drought tolerant but could
be watered by hand with grey water from your shower or bath. And for a dessert, the ever abundant blackberry or take this berry and create a savory reduction over salmon or any fresh catch for a colourful entre to your grilled slices of squash. Speaking of berries, plant a local table grape to the rear south facing fence of your yard and watch with amazement how little water these succulent bunches require and provide a respite of shade for your neighbor during peak summer months. Trellis over various fruit tree limbs saved from the spring pruning or bamboo poles. For a DIY project while you create your drought tolerant edible garden, consider the tumbled stone pavers available at Hillside Stone and Gravel to place around your various raised beds to help create that ‘heat sink’ that will increase yields by warming the adjacent ground and roots. Now you’ve created an old world room deserving a bistro set of furniture and bottle of award winning Rose` from Unsworth Vineyards. Bon David Coulson appetit!
Valley Voice Magazine - Your Monthly Guide to Living in the Cowichan Valley
has a staff of 25 that have built throughout the island for over 20 years.