Saturday, March 17, 2012

2012 Garden - The Start

This past winter was extremely harsh here in The Netherlands. Just two weeks ago it was going down well below freezing every night and the days were cool and cloudy. 

When the cold weather came in the late fall I covered the garden with a heavy sheet of plastic. At this time there were radishes, a few onions, lettuce, and carrots growing. The wind here is terrible so it took several tries to get it weighted down to where it wouldn't blow off. But finally I got it right. It doesn't look "wintery" in this photo but it was a very cold day and below freezing at night. Besides the plastic cover I had a dozen plastic bottles filled with water half buried to absorb and hold heat during the sunny part of the day to keep it warmer at night.

I thought I had a picture of the garden under a couple inches of snow and ice but I can't find it.

Today I pulled off the plastic and turned the soil under. The radishes did not survive and most of the lettuce didn't make it either. There are five lettuce plants left so they will give me an early start with some greens. The carrots were partially burned back from the cold but I cleaned out all the dead foliage. There are also only two onions still growing. If the days stay decent the carrots should start growing again. The very short winter days, less than six hours of sunlight, only allowed the plants to survive the winter but not to grow.

The carrots look like they are doing pretty good. Hopefully now they will start growing. This is the sunniest part of the garden. Now that the garden is uncovered I have to worry about the neighborhood cats and the birds digging up the garden. I'm hoping the fence and wire will at least keep them out of the carrot patch.

Why garden in the first place?

     WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Food-borne disease outbreaks in the United States caused by imports seemed to rise in 2009 and 2010, with fish and spices the most common sources, the Centers for Disease Control said. Almost half of the outbreaks, or localized epidemics, pointed to foods imported from areas that had not been linked to outbreaks before, the CDC said in a statement. "As our food supply becomes more global, people are eating foods from all over the world, potentially exposing them to germs from all corners of the world, too," said CDC epidemiologist Hannah Gould, lead author of a report on the upturn.
     From 2005 to 2010, 39 outbreaks and 2,348 illnesses were linked to imported food from 15 countries. Of those outbreaks, 17 occurred in 2009 and 2010. Overall, fish was the most common source of imported food-borne disease outbreaks at 17, followed by spices with six outbreaks, including five from fresh or dried peppers. Nearly 45 percent of the imported foods causing outbreaks came from Asia, the CDC said. Gould's report was presented on Wednesday at the International Conference on Emerging Infectious Diseases in Atlanta. According to the Department of Agriculture's Economic Research Service, food imports grew to $86 billion in 2010 from $41 billion in 1999. Much of that growth has occurred in fruit and vegetables, seafood and processed food products.
by Ian Simpson

Grow your own food so that you now what goes in the soil, on the plants, and that they are fresh and healthy.

No comments:

Post a Comment