In May 2011, after four years of life on McNutt's Island, we moved to Montreal. This blog remains, though, as a (sort of) daily record of our time on the island, and a winding path for anyone who would like to meander about among its magical places. For additional perspectives and insights I recommend Greg's book, Island Year: Finding Nova Scotia (2010), and my Bowl of Light (2012). I'll continue to post once in a while. If you do want to read this blog, one option would be to begin at the beginning of it (which is, as we all know, in blog-world, at the end), and read forward, concluding with the most recent entry. It's a journal, really, so it does makes more sense if you read it that way. But, you know, read it any way you like.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Wait'll next year

As a lazy gardener I am especially fond of plants that promise to produce food for our table year after year with as little help as possible from me. I would like to make an entire garden of these plants. Good things would come of this. We would mostly dine on rhubarb pie, blueberry ice cream and homemade wine, and I would mostly lie in a hammock and read novels, preferably ones that end with a wedding.

Since beginning the garden in June 2008, I have made a good start along the path to this magical place where luscious food falls into my lap without my lifting a finger:
The rhubarb you may have met before, back when it was fresh and green. I moved all of it to this spot about a year ago, some of it from about four feet away, and some from Queenie's patch across the harbour in Churchover. Now it's looking its age and doing whatever it's supposed to do until next spring. Which I guess is just sit there quietly. It's too soon to be dividing any clumps so this rhubarb isn't on any to-do list that I know of.
I didn't know you are supposed to plant asparagus crowns, which I imagined were tiny green tiaras. So last summer I planted seeds instead. Then I didn't know to cover the bed with something to prevent the ground from heaving over the winter, so some of the plants died. Never mind. The bed is full of asparagus anyway, and in another couple of years we will have asparagus forever.
I planted two blueberry bushes last summer. I gave them lots of space because I heard they would be big. Not yet they aren't. One bush was full of blueberries -- maybe a cup -- until the day the birds swept through. I didn't know about putting a net over it.
Even the birds haven't bothered with the other bush. But it's all okay. When the time is ripe there will be blueberries.
Elizabeth Hyde's daughter told us that her mother planted the grape vine. I had been wondering how old it was. So now we know it's maybe around thirty or forty years old. We cut it back drastically last year and I see a few grapes this fall. They'll turn purple, like a Concord. I cut off about five dozen young grape leaves in early summer and froze them. The idea being that we will make stuffed grape leaves sometime over the winter, to go with the rhubarb pie.

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