Lettuce… yummmmm




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Originally uploaded by j-co

The first crop of the produce from our garden was harvested this week! Yes, it’s true… we are now officially gardeners.

Mum and Dad reported that they harvested leaves of lettuce, pictured here running up one side of the garden plot (this is the shadiest of the 4 plots and thus contains herbs, peppers, lettuce and onions).

Now I’m no expert gardener, but I have to say that I thought we could eat that lettuce right out of the little plastic container it came in. I mean, it looked like lettuce! It didn’t really look like we needed to plant it for it to grow very much for us to then pick it and eat it.

But this is why I have a lot to learn about gardening–you pick the outside leaves, then more will grow up through the centre, then you pick those leaves etc.

The more I think about gardening the more I realize that a lot of gardening wisdom will really just come with experience.

Mum and Dad say the lettuce was excellent, which is definitely a good sign. I wonder which vareity they had–Buttercrunch or Ithaca Lettuce? We will have to do a taste test later in the spring.

The report is that it rained last night, which is just what the garden needs. And now that Dad has installed the rain barrel we will have an irrigation system for the garden which will be a huge improvement over the current system of filling up a watering can in the house and walking out to the garden.

I’ll be in Lodi this weekend and can’t wait to see the progress of our garden. I might have to give the plants some encouraging words to get them on thier way…! Grow, guys, grow!

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The Garden!




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Originally uploaded by j-co

We did it! We planted the garden! We planted 4 plots as follows:
1) Tomatoes + Basil
2) Potatoes + Watermelon + Canteloupe
3) Peas + Cukes + Zukes
4) Lettuce + Onions + Herbs (sage, thyme, oregano, coriander, parsely)

Now we wait to see how they turn out. It was wild weather this weekend, so we had hot and humid followed by torrential rain followed by cool and chilly. I can only imagine that our little plants are wondering what on earth has happened to them.

I’m feeling quite nervous about what’s going to happen next… I hope they are successful. What if they die? what if they are choked by weeds? what if our combination plans were wrong?

All we can do is wait and see… and learn from experience.

Main Street, Lodi

Lodi Museum on Main Street

Lodi Museum on Main Street

We have some friends from Lodi visiting us in Ottawa this weekend and it was great to show them the sights like the Tulip Festival and the Parliament buildings. But it’s also great to catch up on everything that’s going on in Lodi from thier perspective, to get the news and hear about what’s been going on recently.

Now there’s always lots going on in a small town, but what’s funny about Lodi is that there is not much in terms of commerce on our Main Street so you don’t neccessarily see the activity on of the town on the Main Street. Apart from the post office, there aren’t a lot of chances for people to meet in town to see each other and chat, like a coffee shop or a diner or a grocery store.

Over the years there have been lots of different businesses that have come and gone on Main Street of Lodi of course. My dad remembers when he was little and there was a large dry good store and hardware store on Main St. I remember when I was little there was always a little corner store on Main St. where you could pick up milk, bread, the newspaper etc. Actually, when I was little the main things I was getting at the store were Atomic Fireball candies and Italian Ices.

There are curently no businesses on Main St. except for the Post Office and the Eagle Hotel, which is a bar and serves a fish fry on Friday nights and other dinner items on Saturday nights. The bar and the dining room are in different areas of the building, and in fact the hotel portion is no longer in operation, but it’s one of the oldest establishments in Lodi. There are several other store fronts, one of which is now occupied by the Lodi Musuem, which was opened last year. It’s a lovely little building stuffed with local lore and artifacts.

There is a building that was recently purchased which we all beleived was being turned into a microbrewery. They did a lovely job of redoing the facade but it has sat empty for a few years now. We were speculating as to the reasons, but no one knew for sure what’s going on there. It would be so cool to complement the great wineries in the area with a microbrewery and to draw more people to Main Street.

Tonight we all agreed that locals could really benefit from having a small grocery store or corner store. The nearest store is at least 5 miles away, which is not far, but a bit of a pain nonetheless. It would also be lovely to have a little coffee shop or bakery, maybe a gift shop where you could pick up Wine Trail information… so if there are any budding entrepreneurs out there, think of Lodi as a prime spot, ready for some local businesses!

Country Living

Dad on the Ride-on Mower

Dad on the Ride-on Mower

I have never actually live in Lodi for more than the summer months. If I add up all the months I’ve been in Lodi over the years it would total┬ámany years. But those months have never been consecutive other than July to August. I know that living in Lodi full time would be a very different kettle of fish than being there just in the summers.

It is my goal to live in Lodi for one full year at some point in my life, if not for longer than just one year. I’d love to experience living in a town of about 350 people more than just when the population swells during the summer months with wine trail visitors, boaters and cottagers.

I would definitely need to adjust a lot of things about my life and lifestyle if I were to commit to country living for more than just summer months. It sounds cliche, but things really are different in the country. Things just don’t work the same way as they do in the city.

One major adjustment would be how much driving is neccessary in the country, for obvious reasons. Lodi is located abot 10 miles from a town with amenities like a grocery store, gas station etc. So for the very basic needs of life, you have to get in the car and drive. In the city I am used to walking to work, to get groceries generally getting around with ease. I think it would be tough to have that added layer of complexity for your basic needs.

There are fewer people around, but everyone knows you in a small town. Would I feel isolated because I’m not surrounded by people packed in apartment buildings, cars and motorcycles whizzing past all day long and the ambient noise of city living? On the other hand people in Lodi have known my family for decades, so even though there are fewer people, they would know a lot more about me and therefore be more friendly to me than the strangers that surround me here.

Things do move a bit differently in the country when dealing with people as well. My dad is the king of how to get things done in this context. When he heads out to talk to someone about something we roll our eyes and know that he’ll be back 45 minutes later. The key seems to be that things take a lot longer and that you rarely ask a direct question. I know that I would need some adjustment in this area if I were to take on country living.

One thing is for sure, living in the country is an experiment I’d love to try at least once in my lifetime. I’ve lived in a few different small, medium and large cities, but never in a town the size of Lodi.