April 15, 2019

Our Earliest Garden Start Ever

This year's garden got off to an unexpected early start. It began with an enthusiastic and unrelenting knock at our door that didn't stop until we opened it.

As we approached the door we could see the top of a little head popping up at the bottom of the window. It was our next door neighbour's 4 year old, Andre, that I like to call Andre The Giant. 

On this day it was his heart that was giant, not just his enthusiasm. When we opened the door he was standing there with a container loaded with three tiny planters identified with what seeds had been carefully placed in each one. 

"These are for you", he said. "Me and my mom planted them." There was cauliflower, sweet pepper, cherry tomato, supplemented by a large amount of cuteness.

Linda and I don't usually start our garden early. We have never had the indoor space, not to mention a cold frame or greenhouse. All our gardens have been direct sown, and sometimes we buy seedlings from local greenhouses. 

Therefore, our gardening season doesn't usually get started until mid-May. But not this year. 

Thanks to the generosity of little Andre The Giant, and his mom, our garden is off to its earliest start ever. Our excitement is growing over the coming garden season.


  1. Anonymous4/15/2019

    Heartwarming :-)

    We don't have cold frames etc... either, Gregg. Where I live we have something called Buy Swap Sell. You have to be on Facebook to access it (I'm not but another family member is) . You can go on and ask for anything - eg old windows and doors that you could use to make some cold frames or a mini greenhouse. Often people are happy to give stuff away as it is just cluttering up their back garden or shed. There is something similar in most countries. I don't know if you have a local rubbish dump but they are often good to get things free or close to. I would love a proper glass house - imagine! - but I will make myself some cold frames when the materials come up.

    In these changing times I've realised we need to adapt how we garden, and starting early if you can is a good idea. This Summer, although we grew an enormous amount of food, there was not quite the variety I wanted due to things bolting very early. Really strange things like carrots and cabbage bolted, and the basil was gone long before the first frost. So I'm now growing as much as I can at every possible opportunity.


    1. Those are some excellent ideas for expanding our gardening possibilities. Another thing that has always held us back is renting - we don't want to develop things that we might have to move, or can't move, if we have to vacate our rental. We are in the process of looking for a property to buy as soon as possible. If that succeeds, then we will go crazy on our garden, and will be looking for free or low cost items to build it out.

      Gardening is so variable from year to year, and now with climate changes, that variability looks like it will be even greater in the years to come. I have read about crop yields (wheat specifically) are going down for the first time in decades because growing conditions have changed so much. These changes will make our home gardens more important than ever as the industrial food system falters.

      Do you keep a garden journal? We do not, but it would be a great idea if one had the time.

    2. Anonymous4/18/2019

      Hello Gregg,

      I completely understand not wanting to build anything too permanent when you are renting. I am thrilled that you and Linda may soon buy your own place - wonderful! I do keep a garden journal, but sporadically. It is a great help, for example you grow the best cauliflower ever and you need to remember what variety it is. Sometimes I'm in a rush to plant and don't take notes - usually I am then upset with myself as I will surely forget what variety of garlic I have planted! It is also interesting to note when you planted a particular fruit tree and how long it takes to produce fruit. I am doing even less work for money this year so should have more time to keep better notes. Still SO much to learn about gardening, even though I've been at it for years!



  2. Oh bless his heart ( and his mothers). Children that age are usually so innocent and uncorrupted. His mama is teaching him the important stuff: kindness, sharing, thoughtfulness and a bit of sustainability. Imagine if our world leaders did this. How different our earth would look now.

    1. If kids ruled the world we would have more fun. And more naps.

  3. What a sweet gift. So nice the mother is teaching him about growing things that in itself is a great gift. I have started some of my seedlings, but it is still so cold here and we have had so much rain. But I always love my garden.

  4. Anonymous4/16/2019

    Agree with everyone else - just a lovely gift, and great lessons for the child - and for us as it shows the goodness that is still prevalent in our world but rarely makes "the news". Thanks for sharing. - Mary

  5. I was born and raised in the wild west of Canada where the "rugged individualist" reigns. When Linda and I moved to Nova Scotia, I was not prepared for the outpouring of kindness, generosity and neighbourliness that exists here. I do believe that it is the friendliest province in the country, and we are enjoying it a great deal.

  6. "If you want to travel fast, go alone. If you want to travel far, go together."

    - Chinese Proverb


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