Garden winter-proofing, and The Outrage

First, a story I forgot to tell last week, because I was Outraged.

Some of you may recall that after the Great Mildew Blight, I had but one surviving pumpkin on my massive, world-destroying pumpkin vine. I nurtured it, petted it and talked to it, and was SUPER EXCITED about bringing it home this weekend so that it could fulfill its destiny as a Jack-o-Lantern, and later, a pie.

Wednesday I went to water the garden and discovered this:

Scene of the crime

Yes, that’s right. SOMEBODY STOLE MY PUMPKIN. Not a pumpkin, you’ll note – THE pumpkin, for there was only one. In a garden full of squashes and a couple of other pumpkin patches, they chose to steal the lone and lonely smooth, lovely orange pumpkin from MY garden.

WHO DOES THIS? What kind of entitled jerk do you have to be to wander up to the community garden, which by the way has signs outside the gate telling people that no, this is not a public garden, because we pay for our plots every year, so no, none of these veggies are for you, and steal somebody else’s vegetables? Especially when you’re free to take from the public border on the other side, where you can find currants, raspberries, herbs, and a variety of other lovely things.


People do this, of course. We’re constantly warning off people who just walk in and help themselves to tomatoes or a handful of lettuce leaves or zucchini. I’ve been losing zucchini a few at a time all summer, and recently, too. I was willing to let it go because a) I can’t spend all my time staking out the garden for vegetable thieves and b) it’s not like I didn’t have more.


I could understand taking one pumpkin. If there were others. It still makes you a jerk, of course. I do not understand taking the only pumpkin from someone’s garden, a pumpkin that is clearly being cared for with obsessive attention, all alone on a brick in the middle of someone’s otherwise somewhat devastated plot. Unless of course you are a terrible person. >:(

Clearly I am taking this somewhat personally.


Today Mum came out and we did garden… things. First and foremost was the first harvest of my balcony worm bin, which went rather well even if the compost had gotten a little too soggy.

Sifting compost


Then we tromped through the mud over to my community garden plot where we proceeded to winter-proof the garden. This involved mainly ripping out everything that wasn’t going to survive winter and also planting garlic cloves. I also came home with two pots of vagrant herbs (mint and parsley) which had apparently wandered into my plot from the next plot over. We got very muddy, but it was pretty satisfying, especially when we carried four armfuls of pumpkin and squash vines and two buckets of weeds across the garden and dumped them in the compost. Mum also took home some of Corene‘s flowers that I planned to pull up to make room for veggies next year.

Some of the rescues

The winter-ready plot

And then we came home and had tea and crackers and ate some of the delicious apples I got at the UBC Apple Festival last weekend. And guys, holy crap, these are delicious apples. They are sweet and tart and crunchy and I was going to put them in a pie but I think they may actually be too delicious for pie. And I am usually pretty ambivalent towards apples. I have never heard of Topaz apples, and now I am sad that I can’t seem to find them in a grocery store. Clearly I must hurry up and retire and buy a house so that I may plant two of these in my front yard.


And then I re-potted six tomato plants. Hopefully they will not all die. Pictures of those tomorrow, perhaps, when it’s light again. I’ve learned my lesson about photographing plants at night. Now all I need is a light for the tomato plants and a cheap electric toothbrush (no, seriously, this is apparently how you pollinate indoors), and we’re all set for winter.

Click for whole photo set!

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