Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Onions - An Unpleasant Surprise


In early October, I needed an onion.  They were still on the curing rack so I went to the garage to grab one.  I’d been using up the Ailsa Craigs first since they don’t keep very long – only 2-3 months – but I decided to go for a Copra this time.

Seems ok on the outside, other than a tiny bit of frass
(I always seem to have some damage, so that doesn't usually set off any alarm bells)

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

A Mushroom Adventure


I love mushrooms and in the back of my mind, I knew that I would try to grow them one day.  So imagine my delight when I received an e-mail from the folks over at Field & Forest Products telling me that I had won a draw for a tabletop mushroom farm.  I put in a ballot during the recent GWA Conference in Buffalo, but it never really occurred to me that I would win.

What's most surprising is that they are one of the few suppliers of live plant material that ship to Canada.  We don't see that very often, that's for sure.

My package arrived last week:

Couldn't wait to see what was inside...

Monday, October 23, 2017

Harvest Monday - October 23, 2017


The season is coming to an end as are the harvests.  In a way, I'm relieved - it's been the kind of year that's best when seen through the rear view mirror.

Late summer/early fall harvests are always the most varied - let's start with the fruit.

Mystery Plums

Saturday, September 23, 2017

More Than I Can Chew


I've had some less than stellar years in the garden but this summer has been right up their on the stress scale.

It wasn't because of one culprit in particular, but rather a combination of:  the never-ending pest/disease issues, the weeds that grew like weeds 😉, three trips over the course of the summer (fun but I fell WAY behind as a result), helping my mom in her transition from married to widowed,  the current (BIG) garden project, and, to top it off, finding it hard to say no to my volunteering.

I'm finally going to admit it - I've bitten off more than I can chew.  Even the harvests are often an obligation rather than a joy.  I usually take on a little more than I can handle - I just want to do it all! - but I think this year I've learned my lesson.  Hopefully.

It's been a while since I've done a garden update, so I thought it high time I do a quick stroll through the garden and point out some of the highlights.

The most exciting thing that's happening is a harvest - our first ever apples!

The first ever ripe Haralson apple

Since this was our first harvest, we weren't sure when the apples would ripen nor what they would taste like.  When I chose the apple varieties, I relied primarily on catalogue and internet descriptions.

Monday, September 11, 2017

Harvest Monday - September 11, 2017


This has been an exceptionally busy summer.  I've been away 3 times since the end of June which definitely hasn't helped when it comes to making progress on my garden "to-do" list.

The one thing that I haven't been doing a lot of is harvesting.  More accurately, I have been harvesting but not as much as I usually do at this time.  This is partly because I simply haven't been here to harvest but there has also been less to harvest due to all of the pest pressure this year - there were a lot of casualties early on.  Some I replaced, such as the lettuce, but others (winter squash, peppers) I did not.

So on to the harvests and first up, we have the tomatoes.  These started as a trickle but then sped up throughout August.


Tuesday, September 5, 2017

À Paris


Well, hello there - it's been a while!  I am back from a family vacation in Paris....and now I need a vacation to recover from the vacation, if you know what I mean :)

Despite our minimal French vocabulary, it was rather easy to adjust to the Parisian way - in fact, after only a couple of days, the lady in the boulangerie down the street from our hotel would bag our "usual" baguette order as soon as she saw me walk in the door.  I loved that!  The biggest adjustment was not having a "normal" coffee in the morning.  I must say, however, that I did become quite fond of café au lait - yum!

Sunset over the Seine

Anyone who has been to Paris knows how incredible it is.  I'm hugely interested in all things historic and, coming from a country where a building from the turn of the century is considered "old", you can imagine how I was struck by the history that I saw on practically every street.  From the boulangerie that has been in the same spot for the past 150 years to the narrow streets that are barely wide enough for a car, paved with cobbles on which horses once trod, it was wonderful to be immersed in a culture that places more value on restoring what exists than replacing it with something new.

This post is photo-heavy so you may want to grab that cup of coffee or tea right about now :)

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Garden Project of 2017 - The Plan


In my last project post, I spoke about The Solution to The Problem.  In this post, I'll give a few more details on the expansion as well as the timeline.  We don't have an able bodied crew at the ready - this will change once the kids are a bit older ;) - so most of the work will be done by me, myself and I with the occasional spousal helping hand.  Translation:  This will not be a quick project!


The Plan

After the trees were moved, we were free to start the expansion.  A picture is worth a thousand words, even a very bad Google maps image, so here is a rough illustration of the planned vegetable garden expansion:

House is on the right; the street cuts across the top left corner, neighbours driveway is on the left.
Red = Current Area #1;
Blue = Expansion to Area #1;
Green = New ornamental border;
Green "flowers" = transplanted spruce trees