HELEN LANG: The bounty of Langland

Thanksgiving is now just past, and writer is reminded of a sign put up on fence surrounding “Langland"

Thanksgiving is now just past, and I am reminded of a sign I put up on the fence surrounding my tiny garden centre called “Langland.”

Years ago it was situated next to what is now Fairway Market … actually around, and under, the cherry tree in their parking lot. The sign  said. “For a Bountiful Harvest, a Joyful Thanksgiving.” and I meant it.

My vegetable garden had, as usual,  produced enough food to almost fill the freezer.

The only thing lacking was some sort of protein. I had considered a cow, but the lot wasn’t large enough and we weren’t  zoned agricultural (and Himself balked at the idea of milking one) so that was out.

I don’t much care for pigs, so chickens seemed the only possibility. That wasn’t a popular idea either.

The neighbours looked horrified at the idea of a rooster welcoming the dawn, so I gave up and we erected a dog pen for our Boxer to be used when he was left at home.

We finally heard from a neighbour that he howled the whole time we were away, only stopping when he heard the car returning, so the whole thing was a bit of a bust.

In the end we left the dog inside the house during our absence. We have one chesterfield upholstered in velvet.

Guess where he slept?

But back to “Thanksgiving.”

I sincerely hope all of you have, or are in the midst of, harvesting all sorts of good things growing in your garden. My pots of vegetables on the balcony aren’t quite the success I had imagined, but there will be carrots, and possibly Swiss chard (it looks somewhat less than robust, rather pale actually — I didn’t fertilize often enough) but the tomatoes are nice, and, with any luck, there should be shallots coming along soon.

Years ago when I’d come inside, hands covered in dirt, Jim used to say, “You should have married a farmer.”

I probably would have, but none ever proposed!


Helen Lang has been the Peninsula News Review’s garden columnist for more than 30 years.