It’s Our Destiny
Staring Destiny Stuttgart
Today’s Episode: Destiny’s Garden
Good morning Hadrian, and welcome to my garden. I wanted to call this episode Hadrian’s Garden as I am hoping it inspires all of you to cultivate your yards in your own unique fashion. As you can see, the garden takes up over 80 percent of our yard, just as it should. The law stipulates you cultivate a minimum of 50 percent, but why waste space when there is so much goodness to be produced. Remember, our goal as citizens of Hadrian is to produce at least 50% of our own consumables through canning and freezing.
Come, let me give you a tour. Here to my right is the chicken coop and run where we get our daily supply of eggs. There’s the first crow of the rooster-well for this show anyway. I assure you he’s been crowing since the first crack of dawn. There is no sleeping in at my place. Our rooster will have none of that, “get up and work,” is his daily cry, and we listen.
Here, to my immediate left, are my rows of tomatoes. They need to be tied again. Every week I need to tie them up to keep up with their growth and to help the plant support the weight of the fruit. This is especially important for the beefsteak tomatoes; you can see how big the fruit is already. And these are yellow tomatoes, some Roma tomatoes, and of course, my favourite for salads, grape. Here is my flowerbed, planted for the busy bee. Did you know this little industrial insect is still on the planet-wide endangered list? Not so in Hadrian, where 6 out of ten homes, like mine, create natural solitary bee habitats, while one in three has at least one honey beehive. I prefer cultivating homes for the solitary bees, they are far less aggressive and only sting if mishandled or get caught up in clothing. I leave them to their work. All I have to do is provide a few tunnel structures for them like this heavy plastic tubing I picked up from Hunter Fisheries. We do not produce plastic in Hadrian, but what Hunter Fisheries drags out of the Hudson on a daily basis is ours to use in a safe and environmentally-friendly fashion. Like homes for the solitary bee. Oh, yes, if you do plan to accommodate the solitary bee, as well as an ample flowerbed, you need to provide a freshwater source. Do not change its location once the bees establish it as their water source. See, I’ve got five bees at my water dish. The edges have been scuffed to keep the bees from drowning, and I change the water every day. Remember, it’s a freshwater source, so keep the dish clean, and change the water regularity.
Also, several edible flowers attract bees. Yes, you’re right, that is a dandelion. Don’t be fooled. It is not a weed, but a very useful crop plant. Go back a few hundred years when Europeans first crossed the Atlantic to settle in the Americas one of the plants they brought with them was the dandelion. They brought this useful plant because it is so hardy and provides not only healthy food for the table but it also has medicinal properties. Its value for the bee is that it will continue to blossom throughout all the seasons. The downside is that you have to be vigilant to avoid letting it go to seed. When the yellow flower opens, leave it for one day and then pluck it. As I said, it is a hearty plant, and if left to its own devices will take over the entire yard.
Consider planting seasonal flowers. Edible flowers for late spring/early summer include chives, pea, and poppy. The midseason consists of basil, dill (much needed for pickling), squash, pumpkin, and thyme. For the later season, we have the beautiful sunflower seed. The seeds are delicious raw, roasted, salted, flavoured just about any way you want, tossed in salads and a great many other dishes. I’ve also created a border around my flowerbed with bee-friendly shrubs, two of my favourite being honeysuckle and roses.
In front of my flowerbed, I have wild strawberries nestled inside blueberry bushes. Over here are my Saskatoon trees complemented with low bush raspberries. Just look at those Saskatoons. Much of the tree is already ripe. Tomorrow I’ll do an episode on berry picking, homemade Saskatoon ice cream, canning, jamming, and pies. That’ll be a family show with my son, Gordon, and Ester’s sweet pea, Mildred.
Next is my vegetable garden. Much of what is in here needs to be staked: here is my cucumber wall, more tomatoes—you can never have enough tomatoes as far as I’m concerned. Next we have beans. These rows are green beans and these others are yellow. Here I have more peas, more squash, more pumpkin, carrots, and potatoes. I have red and purple potatoes. MaPere, my beloved parent, once told me that the darker the fruit or vegetable the higher the vitamin content. Oh, I forgot to show you the zucchini and asparagus. I only remembered them because they were MaPere’s favourite vegetables. Much of what I know about gardening, canning and preserves, I owe to my dear parent, MaPere Gaylord/Gaylene Stuttgart. They passed away before Hadrian’s formation, but they were instrumental in the construction of our country. In fact, Hadrian was MaPere’s brainchild. They are the one who brought all the founding families together.
I’ve been asked to explain MaPere’s pronoun use. MaPare was intersex and gender-fluid identifying with both male and female genders while at other times neither, thus they elected to use ‘they, them, and their’ as their preferred pronouns.
Ah, here we are, at last, the heart of my garden. Here I have planted a crabapple tree. It is still quite young and has yet to provide enough fruit for any jelly or apple butter, but she’s growing tall and strong, and I’ve no doubt that in a few years I’ll be canning loads of crabapples as well as lots and lots of jelly and apple butter.
So, there you have it folks, my version of the perfect yard, chicken coop and run with all the rest as a garden.
“Not quite all the rest.”
Huh, oh everybody, allow me to introduce you to my wife, Aileen Richards. Aileen, say hello to my followers.
What did you mean by ‘not quite all the rest’? I think I’ve used up all the available space.
“You forgot out breakfast nook.”
How silly of me. Of course, we saved a small alcove next to the house so we could dine outside when the weather is right.
“And today the weather is right, so I made us coffee and croissants for breakfast. I even made enough for your little film crew if you’ll ever tell them to turn that camera off.”
Sounds good, babe. I’m starving.
Hadrian, I’ll see you tomorrow on another episode of It’s Our Destiny. And remember, love yourself, love your neighbours, love all humanity.