Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Hot Peppers 2015

What hot pepper plants can you expect to find at my "Tomato Days" sale, May 16,17 and 18th? Well---if all goes according to plan, this is my listing for 2015, with lots of heat and flavour!
HOT Peppers 2015 
Sola Arunachal
Corazon de Paloma
Joe’s Long Cayenne
Aleppo 37
Chile Caballo
Diente de Perro
Cari do Para
Petit Marseillais
Biquinho Jaune
Purple Jalapeno
Filus Blue
Hot Portugal
Bulgarian Carrot
Black Scorpion Tongue
Trinidad Perfume
Aji Limo
Cracked Jalapeno
Romanian Hot
Purple Serrano
Beaver Dam
Aji Amarillo
Bishop’s Hat
Monk’s Hat
Trinidad Scorpion
Bhut Jolokia
Hungarian Hot Wax
Wild Brazil
7 Pod Brain Strain Yellow

White Bhut Jolokia

Sunday, March 1, 2015

It's Time to Dismiss Winter...and Start Seeding.

It hasn't really been a "rah, rah, sis-boom-bah" kind of winter.
Please mom, can we walk!
As I look out my window today, March 1, I see snow coming down, drifts of snow and I can feel the cold right through the windows.
My heart goes out to the poor creatures who struggle to survive in this bitter cold. Percy, my big orange tabby stray has hunkered down in my garage for the winter, occasionally stepping out to harass the other not so fortunate strays whom I feed and try to take care of.
My chickens have two heat lamps in their home, and sadly I've lost Wendy, a barred rock this winter no doubt due to age, but without a doubt the cold didn't help.
Joey, my precious pot belly, fashioned a spectacular bed out of pillows and straw, and centred it under his heat lamp. I know he's worked hard to stay warm. Despite monstrous proportions of hot gruel, he has maintained his slender shape, his body burning calories to stay warm.
I've been making the rounds of "seedy" events in the area, slipping and sliding on our Ontario roads with my cases of seeds.
Yesterday was Hamilton Seedy Saturday, always a good one. I love seeing the young families coming in, enthusiastic and excited about the possibilities that may happen in their 2015 gardens.
I've also been to Brantford and Kitchener, but the highlight for me was my own little event in Wellandport. Honestly I have struggled for years, wondering if people would bother to come out to this little village in the middle of nowhere. But come out they did, on a bone-chilling snowy day. It was superb, and great to see neighbours, friends and gardening enthusiasts. It sure helped to chase away the winter blues that have plagued me this year.
Also helping in this effort is the fact that now it is time to start thinking about getting a few things seeded. I started doing a bit last week, but my efforts will ramp up this week.
I do have some of my very hot peppers seeded, but this week I will finish all the peppers. First in will be the rest of the hots, then all the sweets. I know when I have my sale in May that I always run low on sweet peppers, so this year, I promise, I will overdo it. It's time for the eggplants too and I have a huge variety of them this year as well. If you need eggplants, please let me be your girl.
I am a little late with onions and leeks, and the pressure is on. But not really. I don't find a huge difference between onions and leeks seeded in February and those seeded in March. I'll get mine in this week and feel really good about it.
Mid-March I begin seeding tomatoes, but only because I have so very many to do. I will seed them for weeks, day in and day out. If I was only planting a reasonable amount, I wouldn't think of doing it before April 1. There's no reason to. I find the tomatoes I seed March 15 and the ones I seed on April 1st all end up being the same size when I put them in the ground in late May anyways. So don't rush it. Relax. Seeding things extra early won't make the good weather come any sooner, even though it would be lovely if it worked like that.
And sorry for the lack of posts here. I'll be back very soon with the highlights from last years garden and my thoughts on great things to try in your garden this year!

Friday, February 13, 2015

Enactus Community Garden

There are some interesting social projects that are using gardening to teach skills and create opportunities. Thanks Azar for contacting me and filling me in on your project. I think others may be interested and get ideas for their own enterprises, hence I am sharing.
Best of luck in your 2015 garden!

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Tomato Basil Cheese Bread

Ah...isn't it nice to think about tomatoes all year, but especially in February when the winter has gone on far too long and it's time to move on? What makes you think of summer more than the smell, taste and warmth of a juicy tomato right from the garden?

Thanks to Wendy for sending along this recipe that won a little contest at my "Tomato Tasting and Tour"event last summer. 

Dried basil or fresh, sun-dried tomatoes...yes. This can be done now and I bet it will lift your spirits.
And note: Wendy says she is making this to share at the potluck after Niagara South Seedy Saturday this weekend in Wellandport. Yet another reason to come out!

Tomato Basil Cheese Bread
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 Tbsp white sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 c. grated cheddar cheese
1-1/2 Tbsps Fresh Sweet Basil coarsely chopped OR 1 tsp dried basil
2 tbsp minced sun-dried tomatoes (or in my case, homegrown dehydrated tomatoes)
1 cup buttermilk OR Sour Milk (make by adding 1 Tbsp Vinegar or Lemon Juice per cup of milk)
1 large egg
1/4 cup unsalted butter, olive oil, or vegetable oil
Combine Dry Ingredients in large mixing bowl. Beat egg, milk and oil together then stir into dry ingredients, combining well. Pour batter into a Greased 9x5 Loaf Pan. Bake @ 350F for 45 minutes.