All posts filed under: Gardening

Pumpkins

Our Favourite Pumpkin Crafts

Whether you bought your pumpkins at a grocery store, garden centre, or stomped through the mud at a local pumpkin patch we’ve got loads of fun ideas for what to do with your lovely orange squash. Pumpkins are the quintessential fall and Hallowe’en decoration. Some of my best childhood memories are of my sister and I on the hunt for the perfect pumpkin then making a huge mess in the kitchen while we carved our faces and Mom baked the seeds. Food Pumpkins are firstly a food source loaded with all kinds of goodies such as fibre, iron, vitamin A, vitamin C, all while being low in calories. Canned pumpkin is a great option for convenience, but of course fresh and organic is best. The seeds can be scooped out and roasted with an endless combination of spices. My favourite is chilli lime. The flesh can be roasted until soft then used for pies, muffins, cookies AND can be dehydrated into all kinds of pumpkin spice fruit roll up deliciousness. Another unsuspected use of pumpkin is …

Growing Sprouts Indoors

How to Grow Sprouts Indoors

We spent our spring renting a basement suite while waiting to move into our farm. I found myself longing for a garden and was suffering terribly from garden withdrawals. Today I’ll share with you how I beat the basement doldrums by growing my own sprouts. No garden, no problem! So much of my time is normally spent outdoors so our new living situation was not agreeing with me at all. It really was more about growing anything not just my own food but anything green. While shopping at an organic food market one day I came across some seeds for sprouts and a solution to my withdrawals. I purchased a bag of sprouting seeds found some random glass jars, cheese cloth and I was back in business. You can find sprouting seeds at organic food stores and larger garden centres or order them online. There are so many varieties to choose from now and some packages even have mixes which take that old green salad to a whole new level. Sprouts are very good for …

Herbs in Upcycles Containers

Getting Started with Herbs

Imagine the flavour that your own home grown herbs will bring to your cooking and Mojitos! These super cute, unique herb planters make the best Hostess Gifts ever! Just the convenience of picking the right amount and not having to run to the grocery store for your herbs is worth a little effort. You’ll be amazed at how easy herbs are to grow. Herbs in containers Live on the edge and do something different, don’t be restricted by the same old plastic pots; herbs are fun and they deserve some fun containers. Do make sure that whatever you use has proper drainage holes to avoid over watering. A beautiful old tea pot is super cute, old ceramic mixing bowls even your old shoes or hats will work for a season or two. Use a good quality potting soil mixed with a little bit of compost or Sea Soil to add some organic matter. Never use soil from your garden or your poor herbs will likely meet a horrible death which we don’t want. Watering and …

The Container Vegetable Garden

You don’t need a yard to grow your own food, you can grow fresh vegetables right on your apartment patio! With a little knowledge, great soil, sunshine and the right container you are well on your way to being a container gardening guru. Finding the right container The bigger the better for vegetables. If you don’t want to be a slave to watering, make sure you are buying larger containers. Vegetables will not work well in anything under 8in across and 8in deep. The larger the vegetable plant the larger the container you will need. Many people can’t believe that the little tiny tomato plant you purchased is going to need a pot no less than 14in across. You can use most types of containers just make sure you are not using treated wood or items like old tires. Glazed ceramic, clay and untreated wood all work very well; you can use plastic too but if all possible try to use a “repurposed” plastic container or pot. The containers must have good drainage holes. If your container …

Chickens in coop

Saying Good-bye to My Urban Farm

We purchased our modest post and beam home almost nine years ago from a sweet elderly couple whose home meant everything to them. They had helped design the house and lived in it from day one. They were only selling because they could no longer look after it and were moving to a care home. We believe our offer was picked because we weren’t builders who would bulldoze the house and build a new one which was the fate of many of the homes in the area. It was so cool to come across the little things they had done like putting a coin from the year they poured cement for the patio. Old banking slips from the 60’s tucked into the rafters of the storage and an old banner from the Pacific National Exhibition that was stapled in the crawl space. I left these jewels hidden in the spots I found them to bring others a smile while they think of the history of the home. I will never forget the day we moved …

Rasberry Stalks

Prepare For Rasberry Season

Not sure what to do with the mess of all those Raspberry canes and shoots jumping up all over the place? It’s easy and important to do the necessary pruning and thinning; this ensures good air circulation, better production and bigger berries. TOOLS NEEDED: PRUNERS  |  LOPPERS  |  CRAFT BEER   Look closely at all the canes just above the soil level; you will notice some are large, others are thin and some will be dead Remove at soil level the largest canes and the dead canes Now remove any canes which are growing in a weird direction, crossing or rubbing on other canes and any that are pencil size or smaller in diameter You should be left with lots of healthy, straight canes ranging in size from the thickness of your baby finger to your thumb as long as your thumb is not gianormus. Now have a good look at the canes that are left and you should see good spacing and a whole lot fewer canes. If you have more than one cane about …

Food Scraps

Quick Tips to Reduce Food Waste

My goal this year is to reduce food waste. Food waste has social, economic and environmental costs associated with it and is a hot topic right now. I compost all food waste that I can but the goal here is to avoid putting it in the compost in the first place. I certainly wouldn’t empty my wallet into the compost bin…… and filling it up with food we don’t use is no different than throwing away my hard earned $$$ These are the following steps we are taking to achieve our goals: Do not do the typical large grocery shop, instead only buy enough fresh food for 3 days If there are leftovers that are getting past human consumption or if there is food past the best before date give it to the dogs to eat. I often cut up left over meats and freeze them to use as dog training treats If the leftovers are not suitable for the dogs give it to the chickens. She eats all fruits, vegetables, pasta, rice and bread …

Seed Catalouge

My Seed Catalouge Ritual

It’s that time of year again! The worst part about seed catalogues is that they usually come right before Christmas when I’m too busy to dive into them. I can hardly wait until Christmas is over and all company is gone so I can start dreaming and scheming about what to plant this year! Crack open those catalogues which I hope offer you a great selection of non GMO and organic seeds. Here is what to keep in mind when choosing your seeds this year: Take an inventory of your current seed selection and check the dates on the packages to make sure they are not too old to germinate Have a garden plan so you know what you are planting this year Do a planting calendar which shows when you are seeding the vegetables and if they get started indoors or outdoors Share with a gardening friend to split the costs and get a better selection. Most of us don’t need 100 seeds of Roma Tomatoes but would like 5 seeds of 5 different …