Harvest Monday

Our street should be in a real-time organic vs. conventional vegetable-off. The Garden Master across the street is a devotee of fertilizers, pesticides (the ones that are legal in Toronto) and all things gasoline-fuelled (snow blowers, leaf blowers, mulchers, lawn mowers, etc.). We call him the Garden Master partly because he knows a lot about growing food (having done it since he was a boy in Portugal) and partly because he loves to share this knowledge. We have given up arguing the merits of organic growing with him since he is simply not interested. We do our own thing and he does his—it’s all very amiable.

Leaf lettuce and arugula

However, it’s been fascinating to watch our two gardens grow.

The GM got a headstart of a few weeks and he’s produced rapini, lettuce and sweet peas while our garden has produced  lettuce—like the head of leafy green and arugula you see in the image—and a few small broccoli shoots. His tomato plants are dark, dark green, while our very healthy plants, laden w. green fruit, are a much lighter colour.

As for taste, having eaten both lettuces I find ours sweeter and less tough though his heads are bigger. Our garden is growing just fine—if a bit more slowly, something we don’t mind a bit, though I’m preparing myself for twinges of vegetable envy when his tomatoes start ripening and we still have a few weeks to go!


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