(This photo is reminiscent of the cover of Twilight by Stephenie Meyer, not actually suppose to mean anything significant, I just thought it was a nice shot of garlic)
If you weren't already aware my fellow gardeners Madeline and Olinda have already posted about the Lakeshore Collegiate Garden on this blog. One could say, that this is the final installment of the trilogy of posts from this season's batch of workers. The other posts were called "Flowers in the Lakeshore Garden", and "LCI's Growing Plants have Finally Taken Shape!", and they happen to be focussed more on the vegetable-plant element of our garden. So I've decided to let everyone have some insight into the garden's other aspects of life, as well as the things that stood out (for me) among the vegetables.
Our Furry Visitors
|Wayne (the human), and Sam (the dog)|
|Lexi and I (whilst I contemplate possibly dognapping her)|
|A picture of beets, carrots, and cabbages|
|Aga (left), and Adam (right), manning the station at the Sorauren Farmer's Market|
|As it says (Mint, Parsley, Sorrel, and Basil), the blue tent wall-cover contraption looks like the blue sky here.|
|The Sauerkraut, Kim Chi, beans, Adam in the back, and the guy in the green shirt that sells fresh homemade pasta in the stall next to ours at the Sorauren Farmer's Market|
|The mystery, and rarely sighted Market Cat|
Slimey, slighty Horrific, but Adorable Critters
& The other Troublemaker
|A slug spotted on out orange picnic table (notice the trail of slime)|
As anyone would know, insects and other little critters can be found in the garden environment, munching away at the vegetables (thus causing pain to gardeners). This year in particular has been quite slug-infested (mainly in cabbage and lettuce beds, where they are typically found). Of course this is normal in any garden or farm, however I cannot stand to make contact with them. Perhaps it's the sliminess, their lack of bones, and the constant interaction I am forced to have with them, that makes me squeamish around them. After several weeks I got slightly less squeamish, but it was still a mission for me when we had lots of cabbages and lettuce-heads to harvest this year. It's an odd relationship, because I find them adorable (like with beetles, and spiders), but I would absolutely lose my composure if one happen to fall on my hand. Though, it brings me a little more comfort to know that leaping slugs do not exist in this world. Oddly enough, my exposure to them also peaked my curiosity of their species too (it's strange that we tend to be well-informed on the subjects that terrify us the most). I've been well-educated by Wikipedia that slugs are common names for any gastropod mollusc with no shells. Also, for some reason, I thought they reproduced by some sort of binary fission type process, and multiplied (TV can be indirectly misleading), but no, they just lay eggs (and I've seen some of them as well). They are also hermaphrodites, so any slug can basically mate with any other slug. But they also have a lot of predators, such as reptiles, birds, mammals, amphibians, and types of fish, so I get a bit excited when I see birds flying around the beds, in hopes that they are taking out the slugs and not the cover crop we put in.
Another common critter around the city is the raccoon. The one that has invaded our garden has been causing quite a bit of trouble, like tipping over the garbage can, and appearing in garden early in the morning (when he misjudges the earliness of our arrival) and scaring the bejeezus out of me. Apparently one day, whilst casually sitting in our compost and devouring our precious half-rotten vegetables, Aga shooed him out of the garden, and he has yet to appear since then... Though I doubt he's stealthily going around, considering his lack of sneaking skills (evident with this clear photo we shot of him)
Well it's Time to Learn About the Bir-
I Mean the BEE'S KNEES!
|A view of the Bee Hotel, in its entirety|
|A close up of the Bee Hotel, one of the blocks of wood with holes drilled in. The solitary bees live in those crevices.|
If you're not already aware, at the Lakeshore garden we have a bee hotel situated next to the herb box-beds, and hops. It isn't for hive-making honey bees, but provides a habitat for solitary bees. Solitary bees are (as one would expect) bees that do not live in colonies, and in our garden they act as lovely little pollinators, and mostly harmless critters that buzz around the garden. If you ever stroll through the Lakeshore garden, then you can easily spot many of them in the area of mint bushes that in an area to the right, at the very end of the cement path, and along the building (that is called the annex). In the bee hotel, they crawl into the spaces and tunnels that were drilled into the wood blocks, assembled into a shack, and live there, but they do not produce any honey (so no, there is not a threat of bears).
|A sample of the signs we made|
|Work in progress, painting the signs, and I also chose this photo because I look radioactive (in the far-left). Olinda is the one in the middle, and Madeline on the far-right|
The Multitude of Mini-Projects
|A full view of the work space (well minus the sink, behind the camera), the chopping, grating, and eventually the squeezing station|
|Grating the beets, for the Beet and Horseradish variety|
|A pretty bad quality shot of the Juniper and Apple sauerkraut, but it's a good shot of the actual sauerkraut in the process of squeezing the juices out|
|Hanging up the garlic braids to dry in the shed|
Well by the time I post this post, my working period at the garden has already long ended (because I'm a bad procrastinator), actually I don't know why I'm speaking as if I'm predicting I would finish long after it's deadline, I'm writing this right now a week later than I was suppose to (sorry Aga). But I honestly say that I genuinely enjoyed myself at the garden, and waking up early actually fixed my sleep schedule a bit (just a bit though), and I'll probably visit again a bit during autumn, next year, and whenever I can (to check on the vegetables, and size up each passing season). But regardless of my future visits, it's farewell for now!
Article by: Elaine Nguyen, for the vegetables. August 25th, 2015. Some sort of copyright, and permission rules.