Sunday, March 7, 2010

Victorian Kitchen Garden

I found this awesome show called "The Victorian Kitchen Garden". It's very inspiring, particularly because we want to do something similar in the future. Some of the wintery growing tips might not be that necessary, if we end up in northern California, however it is nice to know that it's possible to grow a large variety of vegetables and fruit throughout the year with out the expense of living in northern California (it's just a lot more work).

Anyway. The series is from 1987 and features a man named Harry Dodson who was taught by several Victorian head gardeners. He himself was a head gardener for an estate for many years.
 The idea behind Victorian kitchen gardens was that all the vegetables and fruit necessary for the entire year were grown on the estate in various green houses, boxes and plots. Key to this was the Victorian snobbery of wanting to have exotic fruits and vegetables throughout the year, so the gardeners were expected to provide fresh vegetables in the middle of January and things like pineapples, melons, peaches. Dodson revives an old Victorian garden, using Victorian methods over a period of 12 episodes. It's highly entertaining - well, if you're into gardening. My favourite was the chicory or Belgian endive grown in complete darkness and the sea kale grown in giant, clay, bottomless, lidded pots and buried in manure.


We planned our plot this morning and I'm sort of in the middle of getting an old wine decanter turned into a mossarium. I have all the bits, I have the gravel down and I'm now trying to explore ways of getting the charcoal, soil and moss down the neck of the decanter without making a huge mess.

We're tracking our gardening expenses this year, so if you include the $26 shiitake mushroom kit that my mother sent to Ryan for his birthday, we're down $78 something dollars.

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