December 2018 – The Garden Journey, Ritu Saxena

December has come, and despite what the weather looks like, there has been a lot to do and talk about in the garden. I am not sure if I can sum it all up here, but I will try my best!

  • I started another small plot near my home and have prepared the land for the spring
  • Planted garlic both in my backyard and over there
  • Planted some potatoes on an experimental basis at home and have prepared 2 raised beds with wooden frames and the backyard for the spring. I had to wait for the digging/ploughing at Country Heritage Park until Nov 16 for land preparation but have about 60% work there done. It is taking more time as the weather is now cold and the ground is nearly frozen but I am happy with my work.  I am bringing in mushroom compost and at least targeting for the heavy feeders to have a good layer of compost.  I have covered the rows with cardboard and straw (although some of the soil under the cardboard is frozen and I could not turn it over). I am also making pathways with wood chips to suppress the weeds.
  • Planning is about 70% done - it will change slightly depending on my customers.  If I can bulk sell then the focus will be on the hardy vegetables that store well. If some wellness/nutrition clinics customers want to buy, I may have to introduce some greens (though due to lack of proper storage and cooling, I am not inclined towards greens).
  • Marketing/selling plan to be final in January - after I have my business registration and website completed. Stay tuned!
  • Overall, my business model is based on Jean-Martin Fortier - intensive gardening.  Thus, if I can, I will focus more on succession planting than companion planting.
  • I am attending a workshop at Guelph and have been attending the starter plus sessions at Halton.Ca
  • Please do let me know if you can think of any place that I can bulk sell or any residents who are interested in fresh vegetables! My idea is to provide 2 bags to the households, deliver the produce in one and take the other back. I may deliver or take my truck to a convenient place if there are 4 to 5 regular customers.

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

- Ritu

Ritu Saxena is an accountant and project team lead living in Oakville. She will be growing and selling vegetables on about 1000 square feet of land with support through an entrepreneurial grant from Halton Region and documenting her journey with Halton Food Council as a regular guest contributor to their blog.