Wednesday, January 20, 2016

2016 Niagara South Seedy Saturday

My dear teenage daughter is struggling with the dark and cold of the early January mornings. Yes indeed. Getting up at 6 am for a teenager is difficult, especially at this time of year.

It is difficult for anyone.  January and February are less than inspiring months unless of course you can plan a nice little cold weather exit to a warmer clime, as my sisters have done. I assume right now they are both scouring Costa Rica to find some exceptional seed for me, as was my request. That or they may be relaxing with a book in the shaded sun. More likely I guess.

Seedy Saturday approaches though, and having my mind on that has been a real pleasure indeed. It assures me that spring will come, as will summer and fall harvests. I am anticipating a wonderful year and I hope you are too.

So, it is time to think seeds! Gather up what you have saved, or any spare ones you may have and bring them along to Wellandport on February the 13th, which incidentally is that dear teenage girl's 15th birthday. If you stay for the potluck after the event, there will indeed be birthday cake and song. She is thrilled, let me tell you.

Again, I am organizing this event in Wellandport at the Community Centre, 5042 Canborough Road, from 1-5 pm. Having it a bit later in the day makes it easier for my travelling participants, and ensures that the snow is cleared and we are ready. Let's hope that we don't have to endure a repeat performance of last year's weather, which didn't seem to deter people, but didn't make it particularly pleasant. Gardeners are indeed tough stock.

The speakers this year are superb. I hesitate to say that, because of course I am speaking too, and I am not blowing my own horn. So I will say all the other speakers are superb and I hope I can add a wee something.

I am so pleased to welcome back Steven Biggs from Toronto, author extraordinaire and all round nice guy. Steve is very knowledgeable and will be talking "No Guff Gardening", incidentally the title of one of his books. Also speaking are Ryan Waldron (Grimsby Seed Library), Colette Murphy (Urban Harvest), and my knowledgeable friend Wendy Moreton. For topics and times, please see the previous blog post.

There will be a nice big room full of vendors and displays. Included are 3 seed vendors with a great range of seed.Expect to see:

Matchbox Gardens (seeds)
Urban Harvest (seeds)
Tree and Twig (seeds)
Seeds of Diversity Canada- Canada's Heritage Seed Program, to which this event last year donated $438!
Emma Biggs-Kid's activity Table
Steven Biggs (books and possibly fig trees)
Lickety Spit Fibre Farm
Greening Niagara
Grimsby Seed Library
Pridham's Apothecary (soap)
Terra Teas
Ivy's Earthly Delights (succulents, canning)

I am expecting a few more vendors as well. There will be a light lunch for purchase if you are interested.

Admission is by donation, with $2.00 recommended to help me pay for the hall. Excess money will be donated to a worthwhile cause, yet to be determined. If you know of very important work being done in the area, let me know.

Hope to see you there! All welcome!

2016 Niagara South Seedy Saturday

NIAGARA south Seedy Saturday
Saturday, February 13, 2016, 1 – 5 pm Wellandport Community Centre, 5042 Canborough Rd, Wellandport
Event Participants: $2.00 Donation at Door —- all welcome!
Seedy Saturday is a celebration and sharing of open-pollinated seeds and gardening know-how —“saving our past for our future.” Seedy Saturday and Seedy Sunday events are held across Canada.
Seedy Saturday is about:
  •  - saving, swapping, buying, and selling seeds that have not been genetically modified
  •   -promoting open-pollinated varieties of vegetables, fruits, flowers, grains, and herbs
  • preserving heirloom varieties
  • -conserving biodiversity
  • -creating and sustaining gardening communities
  • -ensuring food security
  • -sharing gardening know-how

    VEGAN POTLUCK to follow after event clean up. All welcome to stay and gab!
Events and Activities:  
PresentersSeed Retailers and Seed ExchangeCoffee & Tea & Treats and Light Lunch Available For Purchase
“Garden Give-away Table” a free exchange and/or giveaway of clean pots, trays, magazines, books, garden utensils....

Seedy Saturday Agenda:
1 pm Start of Seedy Saturday
Seed Swap & Retail all day .....
1:10 Ryan Waldron - Grimsby Public Library “Seed Saving Library”

1:30 Colette Murphy, (Urban Harvest) The What and Why of Heirlooms”

2:30 Steven Biggs “No Guff Gardening”

3:30 Linda Crago Tree and Twig “Planning your Garden for Seed Saving”

4:30 Wendy Moreton “Fermentation”
For more information contact Linda Crago 905-386-7388 or

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

CSA Week 19 and Roasted Jerusalem Artichokes

I haven't been on here in a while. It's funny how time seems to just slip away.
One week I am meditating in Tobermory, the next I am back and working in the garden, amazed by how much food needs to be gathered and dealt with.
Honestly, I will is the best of times. There is so much food, the weather is great to work in again, with the heat of the summer a memory.
But it is also the worst of times as my closest friend has been diagnosed with leukemia and is undergoing treatment. Chemo is tough. I've been through it with my mom and it is a worry. One of my friends said to me that in a hundred years people may look back on our cancer treatments of today as being primitive and I hope that is true. I hope it gets better for people struggling to get well.
I think about her a lot when I am in the garden. The garden is a place of peace for me, especially at this time of year.
The girls are both back in school, the conservation area down the road is closed up for the season and it is just quieter here.
I'm getting ready for the winter. 6 cords of wood are stacked and there has been the occasional fire in the wood stove on a chilly night.

I've dealt with some of the food that needs to be tucked away for the winter...squash, potatoes, onions, garlic, sweet potatoes and apples. Oh, the apples. I've made apple butter, applesauce, apple cider and am working on a brew of hard cider. Wish me luck.
I tried my hand at making soy milk too. Its easy and I have enough soybeans to keep me in soy milk for the whole year. My thing is though the soybeans are green, not your typical beige and the milk has a nice green tinge too. Mollie is not impressed. I told her I could also use my black soybeans. She was less impressed.
If you want to try your hand at making soy milk, I am happy to add soybeans to you CSA share next week. I'll tell you how to do it too.

I've still got lots of greens in the garden, carrots, beets, tons of peppers, still a few tomatoes, tomatillos, and other assorted small fruit. I am hoping for a good spell of sunny and warm to get all the beans dried. There's lots and lots. Some for seed and many more to eat as dried beans in the winter.
Today is the second to last delivery of the 2015 season.

Sometimes early in the season, I can carry multiple baskets at a time up to the drop off locations. Today it was one at a time. There was lots of food.
Squash, carrots, jerusalem artichokes, onions, thyme, parsley, chives, rosemary, sage, horseradish, watermelon, hot and sweet peppers, tomatoes, kale or chard and cut lettuce mix filled the baskets, boxes and the odd-assorted containers nicely.
The jerusalem artichokes are good in many ways. Mashed or fried and I have even been known to crunch on them raw. They have a nice distinctive and nutty flavour. Or perhaps roasted?

Roasted Jerusalem Artichokes
Scrub and cut chokes into bit sized pieces. Toss with olive oil, sea salt, onion or garlic and chopped thyme.
Layer on a baking sheet and roast them for 35 or so minutes at 350. Carrots are nice to add to this too.

Enjoy and we'll chat next week! Have a wonderful Thanksgiving.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

CSA week 14- Mollie's Guest Post and Potato and Green Bean Saute

    This week my mom has gone to a retreat centre up in Tobermory, lots of yoga, meditation etc. etc.
I know she'd be having a great time, things like this are just up her alley, and she deserves to get away sometimes. So this week the baskets were the responsibility of me and my lovely sister Emily. But mom still ended up doing most of the work for us on Sunday, oh well, I can't complain about that.
This summer I've been getting up pretty late and going to bed pretty late, I'm not gonna lie. But because my mom is away I've had to wake up early to take care of the animals and water the plants. At first that wasn't very fun, but around 7:00 I was out picking apples to put on the top of the CSA baskets and started to notice the little things all around me, like the dew collected in the spider webs hanging between the branches and the flowers that had just bloomed through that night. It's amazing the things you notice when you aren't too focused on anything else.

Back to the baskets, so this week they each contain lots o'beans, some potatoes, tomatillos and ground cherries, summer squash/zucchini, peppers (hot and sweet), cabbage, a few herbs and some tomatoes like the cherries on top.
There is probably more, forgive me for what I missed.
Anyways, the recipe I found this week is from a website called, here it is:


lb potato, halvedlb  fresh green beans, trimmed12teaspoons  extra virgin olive oilgarlic clove, mincedsalt, to tastefresh ground black pepper, to tastetablespoons  fresh basil, chopped


  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
  2. Add potatoes; cook about 15 minutes, or until almost tender.
  3. Add beans; cook about 3 minutes, or until tender; drain well.
  4. In large skillet, heat oil over medium heat.
  5. Add garlic; cook, stirring, for 30 seconds.
  6. Add potatoes, beans, and salt and pepper to taste.
  7. Cook about 2 minutes, or until heated through, tossing to coat.
  8. Add basil and toss once more before serving.

The post tonight will be cut short, it's getting quite late and though we're many miles away I know that my mom has been asleep for a while now. 

Enjoy your veggies!