"The tragic reality is that very few sustainable systems are designed or applied by those who hold power, and the reason for this is obvious and simple: to let people arrange their own food, energy and shelter is to lose economic and political control over them. We should cease to look to power structures, hierarchical systems, or governments to help us, and devise ways to help ourselves." - Bill Mollison

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Biennials in the Garden

Yesterday turned out to be just about perfect, no rain, no snow, and even a little sun. I was finally able to get the Giant Red celery (an heirloom biennial) we have been saving over from last year out of the root cellar and into the garden where it can go to seed, along with a few red, yellow, and white onions.

The onions were planted in three separate areas hopefully far enough apart to keep the seed from crossing. I also replanted some carrots and consolidated a few Russian kale for seed saving purposes. Speaking of biennials going to seed, I noticed many of last years radicchio pushing up through the ice and even some French sorrel...both will provide me with seed if I manage a little self control and keep them away from the salad bowl.

A row of salsify and scorzenera have managed as well. A most fine day indeed.


randi said...

assuming you've planted these under your low plastic tunnels. Root cellar, another area of interest. You've turned into my step-by-step of what to do next. Really enjoy your posts and already have learned so much. Many thanks!
Oh,I asked yesterday about your g'house but the comment didn't make it, was it your design or a kit?

Mr. H said...

Hello Randi,

Yes, I did plant those under my row covers. I save various carrots, beets, parsnips, celery, and so forth in my basement/root cellar and put them back into the garden at the appropriate times so they can go to seed for me.

I am fortunate in the fact that my house was built around 1930 by the original owner and has a large cement basement that makes a most perfect root cellar. Here is a good site on root cellars.↓


I also highly recommend "Root Cellaring" by Mike & Nancy Bubel.

My greenhouse is a combination of my design and that of a local hardware store. I went to the store, gasped at the outrageous price, took a few pictures and came home and built my own for much less, and with a slightly modified design. I did purchase the lumber from that particular store though.

I just added a section to my blog's sidebar on greenhouse, and cold frame construction. I hope to build an earthen floor hoophouse this summer or next that I can attempt to grow some veggies in as well.

Many people keep carrots and parsnips right in the ground all winter but you and I get a little to much snow to be digging for them in the middle of winter...you know.

Thank you so much for all the kind comments,


EJ said...

I think we almost the same climate - I'm in se BC. Snow almost gone, seedlings in greenhouse just starting.

Would you share a smidgen of red giant celery seed?

Mr. H said...


I do have a smidgen of seed left over from 2008 that I would be happy to share. Send me your address via my email found in my profile and I will get it right out to you.


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