Friday, November 12, 2010

The Friulano Garden . . . in Canada

We're just pulling out the last of the radicchio and cleaning up the garden for winter. We'll plant garlic soon (if it ever stops raining long enough) so it can tough out the winter.

One of the first things Kelly and I did when we moved out of the city to this house on the Sunshine Coast was to put in a vegetable garden. After years of growing tomatoes and cucumbers in pots on our urban Vancouver roof deck, having space for a wonderful big garden is thrilling.

That first summer though we didn't do very well. After we'd dug the plot, bought lumber for edging and hauled in several truckloads of soil to augment the rocky surface of our lot, we only managed a very small crop of beans and cucumbers that year. We joked about eating our $12 cucumbers.

We're still newbies, learning all the time, and luckily we have my dad, Italo, to teach us (which sometimes sounds a little like barking orders but we're good with that!).

Growing up, my mom and dad always had an amazing garden. I think they were always delightfully surprised at how well the hearty winter vegetables of Northern Italy grew in the cold (and rainy) northern BC climate. Every year, we had an abundance of cauliflower, broccoli, various zucca (squash), beloved fagioli beans and the ubiquitous zucchini (monsters!). Oh, and raddicchio and arugula -- absolute staples. My dad has always had a greenhouse as well for the more delicate produce, like gorgeous tomatoes and fragrant little cucumbers.

And so, we too are learning the nuances of gardening: planting by the phases of the moon as my dad insists; carefully saving, drying and replanting the seeds from the best specimens; harvesting and freezing the bounty to savour all winter; and, most of all, just enjoying the simple satisfaction of feeding our family a meal we grew with our own hands in our own soil.

1 comment:

  1. how absolutely lovely! This post makes me dream of summer - and one day moving out of the city...