2008-11 Edibles

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Blog series by MsDebbieP consisting of 77 parts so far

Part 1: Fruit & Nut Trees

03-02-2008 10:35 AM by MsDebbieP | 10 comments »

March 2, 2008I am enjoying Catspaw’s journal of his seeds and I thought it would be nice to list what I am growing so I can go back to this next year. Whether I keep it up and refer back to it is another issue all together but I won’t know unless I try. So here goes. Fruit & Nut Trees (Thus Far) Apple: dwarf apple tree. “Deb…” something or other. Purchased because of the name. VERY delicious apple. Last year Rick did a big pruning job on it and it was...

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Part 2: Fruit Bushes

03-02-2008 10:49 AM by MsDebbieP | 2 comments »

March 2, 2008 Fruit Bushes (Thus Far) Red Currant: Two bushes. One bush was here when we moved in over 25 years ago. It is huge and is covered in berries each year. The second bush is about 5 years old and also provides a lot of fruit. We’ve never done much with these bushes except prop up the branches. Raspberries: We have two rows of canes, both planted about 3 years ago. Last year we had an abundance of fruit in the fall as well. Rhubarb: not a bush but since it com...

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Part 3: Blueberries

04-28-2008 05:50 AM by MsDebbieP | 16 comments »

April. 28. 2008 I finally got my blueberries! After years of “someday” 2008 was going to be the year that it happened. I tried ordering them from the place I got my strawberries but they were all out already. Doh… there was a moment of panic, let me tell you—for a brief moment I worried that I wouldn’t be able to find any bushes (silly thought but I thought it anyway). Friday, I bought three bushes at a garden centre and some peat moss. Yesterday I picked u...

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Part 4: It's Planted!

05-24-2008 01:48 PM by MsDebbieP | 38 comments »

May 24, 2008 Yes, indeed – the garden is in. It’s not completely finished (that will be done tomorrow) but the majority is done. Woo hoo.. Finally. That’s it.. short and sweet—and no pictures. We’re off to bonfire night at my brothers. See you tomorrow!!

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Part 5: Cucumbers

07-01-2008 09:32 AM by MsDebbieP | 5 comments »

July 1, 2008 (Happy Canada Day to my fellow Canadian, by the way). Yesterday as I was weeding my cucumber garden I was surprised and thrilled to see this little guy peeking out at me. He’s not very big yet but I can already taste him. Now, for many of you, this really isn’t that exciting but you have to remember the history of my cucumbers. First plantings were destroyed by the cat and the dog. These plants were some saggy leftovers at the grocery store – some un...

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Part 6: Salad Garden

07-01-2008 09:40 AM by MsDebbieP | 13 comments »

July 1, 2008 I had purchased some triple mix for a front flowerbed but changed my mind and decided to add another veggie garden in the backyard. We simply laid down some cardboard/newspaper, placed some old logs around the edge, filled it with the soil, and then planted sections with seeds for salad ingredients. We have some kale, spinach, lettuce, radishes, and mustard greens. (I forget when we actually through this together but the seedlings have come up nicely and will soon have s...

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Part 7: Tips From My Brother

07-05-2008 04:33 PM by MsDebbieP | 8 comments »

July 5, 2008 Today at bonfire breakfast I gave my brother a tour of the yard and got lots of little tidbits of information from him. (He’s in the fertilizer business.) Let’s see what all I can remember: when the leaves of onions bend over it is a sign that the soil lacks calcium. watch for some little worm creature in the barley/grains/grasses (mine is doing fine. woo hoo) bind weed has to be in flower before you can hit it with Roundup (or equivalent) and then becaus...

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Part 8: Peas

07-09-2008 06:25 PM by MsDebbieP | 8 comments »

July 9, 2008 First Pickin’s What, you say? Not many peas in that dish? Well, uh, I have to admit that there were a lot more when I was finished harvesting them. (Yummy) I love my fresh peas. I admit it; I don’t apologize for it and I rarely get any peas into the freezer or even onto the table. They go right into my mouth! This year, I planted lots of peas -with the intention of freezing lots for the winter. Well, my first pickins were from a bush pea and even thoug...

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Part 9: Red Currants

07-10-2008 11:37 AM by MsDebbieP | 6 comments »

July 10, 208 (No pictures)Today I picked red currants. (The mosquitoes were horrific when I started.) The branches weren’t as covered as they were last year, even though there are tons of berries again. Perhaps if I leave them a few more days they will all be big fat red luscious berries. Anyway, today, I was selective in my pickings (whatever was easy). I ended up with about 5 cups of juice. Next pickings I will probably leave the currants whole to be used for jam perhaps. ...

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Part 10: Weeding my "Salad Garden"

07-22-2008 08:32 AM by MsDebbieP | 24 comments »

Yesterday I went out to weed my “salad garden” and all was going well until I felt something biting my leg. I look down and my foot is covered in ants. I had obviously disturbed a colony and they were NOT happy. They didn’t touch my left foot, only my right and I had a devil of a time getting them off and getting them to stay off. Ouch; ouch.. and more ouches on my foot, ankle, and calf of my leg.

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Part 11: This one is my own fault!

07-25-2008 09:44 AM by MsDebbieP | 8 comments »

July 25, 2008 I take full responsibility for this mishap! Finally we have had a day of sunshine and so this morning I hit the gardens with my weeding tool. All is going well and then it happens… as I’m weeding around my “Frog pond” (with my three metal frogs playing musical instruments) my metal tool hits the metal frog and ”ch-chang”. “So??,” you ask? Well, this is the third year my frogs have been there and both other years the ...

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Part 12: Carrots (continued)

07-26-2008 12:11 PM by MsDebbieP | 20 comments »

July 26, 2008 Let’s review the history of my garden regarding “carrots”. 1. last year’s crop of carrots did not come up.. not a single one! 2. this year we built a “raised bed” and planted three varieties of carrots3. the dog laid in the carrot bed and I’m sure hauled off most of the seeds in her fur4. the cat continuously used the carrot bed as its own private kitty litter box and tossed around all the dirt and seedlings leaving us with a barre...

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Part 13: Grains

07-27-2008 04:19 PM by MsDebbieP | 5 comments »

July 27, 2008 Today I started weeding and my path wound around by my first planting of quinoa .. which sure does look like big ugly weeds. Since my daughter brought home a big bag of the grains and I can get more when I want them, I took a deep breath and pulled the big plants out and tossed them. The pond sure looks nicer without them there! Following the walkway I ended up at my Barley and I decided that it was time to harvest. So I took the grain and did my best to get the seeds off ...

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Part 14: Amaranth

07-31-2008 11:10 AM by MsDebbieP | 6 comments »

July 31, 2008 For the last couple of years I’ve grown flowers called Amaranth and Rick and I both enjoy them. This year I planted “Amaranth” as a grain. The seeds are “multi-hued” and so I have the red and green. I don’t know if I’ll harvest the seed for eating. I didn’t pick the leaves when they were young so I missed having them in salads. I don’t think I’ll plant these again as “edibles”. But they are pretty t...

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Part 15: New Fruit Trees

08-15-2008 11:46 AM by MsDebbieP | 3 comments »

Aug 15, 2008 The other day Rick and I went to London to buy some things at Lee Valley and Busy Bee. While we were in the area we went a little further and stopped by Canadale Nursery. We had been talking about adding some more fruit trees to the property and so we went and had a look. Their fruit trees were on for “3 for $99” so we bought three. We bought: Sunrise Apple Santa Rosa Plum Satsuma Plum. The apple tree had two wee little apples on them. I had to try...

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Part 16: 2008 Harvest

09-02-2008 09:35 AM by MsDebbieP | 45 comments »

September 2, 2008 Freezer (approximate amounts) two dozen packages of sweet corn two dozen packages of asparagus two dozen packages of peas one dozen packages of green beans one dozen packages of strawberries one dozen packages of raspberries one dozen packages of red currants Jars 32 pints of chili sauce 12 individual bottles of apple juice (for lunches) 6 pints of lemon balm jelly 8 quarts of pickled beans 22 quarts and 4 pints of pickled beets 42 pints ...

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Part 17: Is It Oregano?

09-03-2008 06:13 AM by MsDebbieP | 17 comments »

I was given this plant and was told that it was thought to be oregano. So, I’ve come to the experts to confirm 1. Is it oregano?2. Is it a perennial? and therefore do I harvest and dry the leaves or do I plant it out in the garden for next year.. or both, I guess.

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Part 18: Planning for 2009

09-05-2008 08:01 AM by MsDebbieP | 9 comments »

What better time to plan for next year’s season than when you are are just wrapping up the current year’s gardens? The list of what went where this year, what worked and what didn’t, and what you loved vs what wasn’t inspiring is all fresh in your mind! For 2009 at MsDebbieP’s House: plant a second apple tree, getting better odds of a good harvest, if one tree doesn’t produce (tree already planted) move rhubarb, allowing more room by the shed (use ...

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Part 19: Barley

10-06-2008 08:18 AM by MsDebbieP | 8 comments »

October 6, 2008 Looking back over the summer I think the plant that gave us the most pleasure throughout the season was the Barley. Looking back through my notes (that I thought were quite thorough) I wanted to see when I planted my Barley. I remember thinking, later in the spring, that I could have planted it even earlier. Unfortunately I did not write down the Barley planting date. I did however say that I planted the Quinoa on April 23. The Quinoa didn’t like being out in the o...

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Part 20: Tidbits on "Onions"

10-08-2008 04:43 PM by MsDebbieP | 6 comments »

October 8, 2008 We were chatting with my brother yesterday about garden crops and dirt nutrients and the conversation ended up talking about onions. Info I came away with: onions like a consistent, steady level of water during their growing season dry spells mixed with bursts of water result in the onion getting an outer skin embedded between layers of “onion” the uneven watering also results in the rotten areas in the middle of the onions. I had posted other advi...

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Part 21: Amaranth

10-10-2008 03:02 PM by MsDebbieP | 11 comments »

October 10, 2008 This past week has brought us a couple mornings with frost and so it was time to tackle my Amaranth flowers, to gather their seeds. In the past, without knowing what I had planted, I just let the flowers cascade to the ground and drop their seeds. We did get some survivor plants grow the following year and that was fun. This year, I planted the Amaranth because the seeds (and leaves) are edible. We didn’t touch the leaves this year. I’m not much for salad...

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Part 22: Beets

10-18-2008 08:14 AM by MsDebbieP | 5 comments »

October 18, 2008 Oh the yummy beat – especially when it’s pickled!!! In the “Open” magazine, Fall 2008 issues there is an article by Michael Fisher, Whole Food Nutritionist. here are some of the key points in the article: very good for the heart helps measure intestinal transit health: the red pigment of the beet should take 18-24 hours to pass through the system very high levels of iron and so is good for the blood according to Chinese medicine, it i...

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Part 23: Cherries

10-18-2008 08:37 AM by MsDebbieP | 6 comments »

October 18, 2008 I can’t wait for our cherry tree to have cherries on it! We’re getting close. Maybe next year we’ll have a few handfuls, if we can beat the birds to them. The following is from the Fall, 2008 issue of “Open”; the article is by Lee Anne Andriessen according to the Cherry Nutrition Reposrt, cherries contain 19 times the beta carotene of blueberries and strawberries they also have: vitamin C/E, potassium, magnesium, iron, folate, fibre ...

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Part 24: Green Beans

10-18-2008 11:39 AM by MsDebbieP | 8 comments »

October 18, 20008 My best crop, this year, I’d have to say were my green beans. Now, I’m not a huge fan of green beans, but since I’m trying to live off my land as much as possible, I’ve made myself enjoy them. Other than “fresh off the vine”, I think I’ll save next year’s crop mostly as pickled beans. This year was the first time I’d even made or eaten pickled beans and I love them! The recipe I used turned the beans into the equiva...

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Part 25: Anise Hyssop

10-18-2008 06:28 PM by MsDebbieP | 4 comments »

October 18, 2008 This year I purchased some “Anise Hyssop” seeds from Salt Spring Seeds. My daughter and I tried some licorice flavoured tea last year and although I don’t really like tea I did almost enjoy the flavour. After planting the seeds I forgot all about it – until I smelled the flower in the garden. The aroma of licorice reminded me that I had planted it on purpose – and to make tea. Even without using the plant, I will probably plant this agai...

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Part 26: A Tomato For Bob and Dan

10-19-2008 04:39 PM by MsDebbieP | 5 comments »

October 19, 2008 I was out in my garden today and I found this tomato lying in the dirt.When I downloaded the photo I saw a surprise image in the image

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Part 27: Chicken Soup For The Home Gardener

11-12-2008 03:54 AM by MsDebbieP | 10 comments »

Nov 12, 2008 Yesterday I wasn’t feeling well and so I made some home-made chicken soup. In it I put some of my home-grown barley. I’m not sure what made me feel better – the chicken soup or knowing that I was eating some of the barley that I had grown in my yard this summer!! Regardless, it warmed my body, my heart, and put a smile on my face.

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Part 28: 2009 - Seed Orders

01-06-2009 10:09 AM by MsDebbieP | 6 comments »

January 6, 2009 Being inspired by the January Gardening discussion I checked out the seeds that I have left over from last year and my records as to what we liked from last year and wanted to plan again this year… I then went to a couple of Canadian Seed Companies and ordered some seeds: Tomatoes – I ordered some paste tomatoes, some large, yummy tomatoes, and one package of cherry tomatoes. I selected seeds that were “early” and “late” varieties ...

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Part 29: Seeds for 2009

02-17-2009 11:59 AM by MsDebbieP | 5 comments »

Feb 17, 2009 My garden this year will be used for: providing the majority of our fruits and vegetables for the year herbs for cooking as well as teas subjects for photography and my photo arts meditative and retreat purposes visual interest in the yard Vegetables tomatoes (cherry, paste, beefsteak) peppers cucumbers for pickling strawberries (hopefully the plants survived from last year) beans beets cabbage (savoy cabbage for making cabbage rolls this fall) ...

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Part 30: Carrots, 2009

04-24-2009 01:01 PM by MsDebbieP | 9 comments »

April 24, 2009 Today was the day to tackle the carrot planting. For those of you who weren’t here last summer, let me just recap by saying that it has been three years since I’ve had carrots come up in my garden. Bad seed, cats, dogs, and more cats and dogs—add that together and you get “ARGH”. My stubborn gene works really well at times including my goal of having carrots in my garden. Now I’ve grown carrots for YEARS. We’ve always had carrots ...

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Part 31: Beets, 2009

04-25-2009 09:57 AM by MsDebbieP | 10 comments »

April 25, 2009 Today I planted beets. Half of the raised bed is filled with round beets and the other half is elongated ones. I had a brilliant idea this year for the planting. I took an old plastic tray that plants had come in last year and used it as a marker. The tray had individual compartments that looked to be about the right size for a beet. All I had to do was turn it upside onto the soil, press and squish around a bit, and I had a perfect grid for planting. I had about 2 ...

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Part 32: Fresh Veggies '09

05-02-2009 04:59 PM by MsDebbieP | 35 comments »

May 1, 2009 Did I mention that we had asparagus fresh out of the garden this week? Oh it was yummy!!

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Part 33: Apple Blossoms

05-13-2009 04:18 PM by MsDebbieP | 13 comments »

May 13/09 I worried about my apple trees with frost (again) last night. But all is well!! So happy was I at seeing the blossoms smiling at me that I had to grab my camera and take a break from garden work. Here is one of the images I took Delicate in Pink Garden Tasks Today put a fence around new compost area (to keep the dogs out) ran the rototiller around part of the garden and seeded it with white clover put white clover seed in the beds for the tomatoes and peppers (I...

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Part 34: Deer Me; Deer Me

05-15-2009 08:19 AM by MsDebbieP | 11 comments »

May 15/09 Yes, I mean “Deer” and not “dear”. Rick and I did a walkabout yesterday and I was showing him my peas that are up nicely and then I noticed a pile of dirt—something had dug up the corner of the area. Well… hmph! Then as we walked along I saw this deep triangle impression in the dirt. Oh no—a deer was at my peas! Actually, it was at the nuts that I had put in the ground in an attempt to start at least one nut tree. Sure enough, there at...

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Part 35: The War Continues

05-17-2009 06:03 AM by MsDebbieP | 22 comments »

May 17/09 Deer: 3Debbie: 0 But it’s not who wins the battles that matters—it’s who wins the war!!! Don’t count me out yet. They tore up the peas worse this time. I guess they were saying, “oh yah??? ya think? Ha! Watch this!!!” And… they went through my garden-garden. Carrots – untouched. Phew. but two raised beds, that haven’t been filled yet were dug up. Now that they have found my garden they are using their frequent flyer m...

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Part 36: With A Little Luck and A Lot of Surveillance = Shell Beans

05-22-2009 12:53 PM by MsDebbieP | 8 comments »

May 22, 2009 On my list of “first times” is some brown shell beans that I purchased through William Dam Seeds.(photo from the William Dam Seeds website). I had originally planned to plant the seeds in a new raised bed by the raspberries. Earlier this week I had built the bed from some old wood and filled it with several wheelbarrows of well-decomposed manure. The plan was to put a layer of soil on top (or create pockets of soil for the beans to grow in. ) Then, yesterday...

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Part 37: NOW - I'm getting annoyed!!

05-27-2009 03:18 PM by MsDebbieP | 31 comments »

May 27/09 I came home from a consultation today and went out and checked the garden for the first time today. What did I find?? More of my garden dug up by cats. This year I was really excited about getting some stevia seeds to plant. In the package there were just a few seeds. That was disappointing. Only 4 seeds sprouted. That was really disappointing. The other day I planted the tiny, special plants in the garden (along with a row of parsnips). Today I find that all but one of the st...

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Part 38: June 14, 2009

06-14-2009 09:23 AM by MsDebbieP | 6 comments »

mmmmmmmm first radishes out of the garden

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Part 39: Onions -- Maggots

06-28-2009 06:16 AM by MsDebbieP | 6 comments »

June 28/09 On Friday, we had “hot dog night” with family. After our meal, my brother, as usual, made his rounds checking out my gardens. My onions have had some yellowing of leaves and I asked him to check them out. (For the yellowing of leaves he said, “sulfur”. And then he said, “Debbie has onion maggots”. Well everyone around the fire said, “onion maggots?” My Mom, aunt and uncle were farmers all their lives and this pest was new to ...

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Part 40: Red Currants - Maggots

07-08-2009 11:20 AM by MsDebbieP | 19 comments »

July 8/09 As the strawberries wrap up for the season the red currants are ready to pick. Today I went out and picked a couple quarts of currants. Yummy. But… as I was cleaning them I noticed one, then two, then three wiggly maggots on the berries. Brush them off.. continue on… hmmm I don’t remember maggots being a problem in the past. ... This year, I thought I’d try the dehydrator with them and as directed, I plunked them in some boiling water for 30 seconds ...

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Part 41: Blueberries

07-13-2009 08:05 PM by MsDebbieP | 10 comments »

July 13/09 Today I was sitting at the picnic table eating some fresh peas when I looked out and saw a bird on one of the bushes in the front lawn. I looked closer and realized that the bird was under the netting – eating the blueberries! I ran down to chase it away and when it saw me it tried to fly away and of course ran into the netting that I have over top of the bushes. It fell to the ground and hopped out under the gap at the bottom of the netting and flew away. I was sure...

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Part 42: July 26/09

07-26-2009 10:49 AM by MsDebbieP | 8 comments »

My blueberry bushes are doing really well. I have gotten about 2 quarts of delicious berries off them so far. Cucumbers – I was surprised to find 3 lovely cukes on the vine yesterday. They were delicious. I forget what kind they are. Broccoli – we have had broccoli! The first batch had some worms on it. But they are easy to brush off. I currently have some in the dehydrator (the broccoli not the worms). Beans – tons, tons and tons… in-between storms today I ra...

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Part 43: 2009 Preserves

07-31-2009 06:32 AM by MsDebbieP | 26 comments »

July 31/09 I won’t come even close to Scott's produce (wow) but I do think it is important to document quantity so I can adjust it next year. I will be adding to this list as the season progresses. Strawberries- 25 quarts of strawberries dehydrated- 6 quarts, freezer- 12 pints jam Raspberries(so far) - 6 quarts, freezer Blueberries(so far)- 3 quarts, freezer Peas- 1 quart, freezer- lots in my belly! :D Beans(so far)- 3 quarts of dehydrated beans Zucchini(so far)-...

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Part 44: Kohlrabi - Dehydrated

07-31-2009 07:34 AM by MsDebbieP | 8 comments »

As you know, this year is really going to focus on dehydrating produce. Unfortunately, I didn’t look at dehydrating recipes etc before I planted this year’s garden. Around here I am the only one that eats kohlrabi so I only put a couple plants in. Bad move. After I ate the one good kohlrabi (the rest don’t seem to be growing (I had this problem last year as well—bad seed I think)... anyway, after I ate the one kohlrabi I checked out my dehydrating booklets and fo...

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Part 45: Green Tomatoes

08-19-2009 05:02 PM by MsDebbieP | 3 comments »

Aug 19/09 Well, it seems that the soil where my tomatoes are is calcium-deficient and my tomatoes are getting the blossom-end rot. I had the same problem last year, in a different area. This year I loaded up the raised beds with new triple-mix soil and then added some composted manure to it. But.. not enough of the right nutrients, obviously. So, what do I do? Start making green tomato preserves! Today’s produce 2 1/2 pints GT (ha—green tomato, not gardentenders) relish...

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Part 46: Hardy Kiwi

10-13-2009 10:54 AM by MsDebbieP | 10 comments »

Oct 13/09 I planted 2 hardy kiwi bushes this year (just baby plants) but the one had a handful of kiwis on it. Since I had no idea when they would be ripe, how to tell, or what they would taste like, over the past month I have picked on every once in a while to check on the ripeness. Well today (following our heavy frost on Monday morning) I picked the remaining kiwis. DELICIOUS. I can’t wait til next year. I show you what they looked like but I ate them already. :D :D :D a ...

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Part 47: 2010 is just around the corner

12-03-2009 05:13 AM by MsDebbieP | 14 comments »

Dec 3/09 The end of the year is approaching quickly, too quickly really… Today, I found myself (once again) itching to think about gardening. It’s not the “gardening” that I’m thinking about, but the produce! Perhaps it is because we are already on the last jars of jam and we’ve gone through a lot of the yummy green tomato relish. All the peas are gone from the freezer already (OK.. so I didn’t put many packages IN the freezer—most went into ...

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Part 48: 2010 Seed Catalogue

12-28-2009 02:43 PM by MsDebbieP | 6 comments »

Dec 28/09 I received my William Dam Seed Catalogue last week and took some time today to go “shopping”. On the list: bush beans dutch brown beans pole beans beets brussel sprouts savoy cabbage kohlrabi carrots cukes onions peas peppers pie pumpkins radish spinach zucchini tomatoes dill luffah And for flowers ….. marigolds I had several flowers checked but once I looked at the list of veggie seeds I skipped the flowers...

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Part 49: Honeyberry

02-25-2010 05:52 AM by MsDebbieP | 14 comments »

Feb 25/10 On another blog “honeyberries” were being discussed and I thought I’d start a separate blog here because I had ordered a couple of plants from “Henry Fields“ I ordered them “just because”—they are another way to grow my own produce. Simple as that. A little research showed that you have to have bushes from two different varieties in order to get fruit (not just two different bushes). So, I went back and looked at what I had or...

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Part 50: Strawberries

03-27-2010 04:28 PM by MsDebbieP | 3 comments »

March 27/10 This year I need to start a new strawberry patch. I probably should have started it last year but I didn’t. Planning ahead, I thought I’d compile a list of tips for growing strawberries: plant new plants in spring or fall fall planting is more difficult in northern climate they don’t like “wet feet” but require good amount of water they like rich soil—lots of compost in the soil previous crops (thanks to OMAFRA): “Wherever ...

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Part 51: Thank-you Freecycle

04-04-2010 02:30 PM by MsDebbieP | 8 comments »

April 3/10 You just gotta love the Angels of Freecycle who donate items – with no strings attached – to total strangers. This weekend I was the lucky recipient of such generosity. Now I know you are curious. What did I get??? Isn’t this exciting!! It’s just like gardening. Plant a little seed and wait for it to blossom to see what unfolds. OK ok ok.. enough teasing … I got several bunches of Egyptian Walking Onions. I couldn’t believe my eyes when ...

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Part 52: Sometimes, you've gotta do what you've gotta do...

04-14-2010 01:09 PM by MsDebbieP | 19 comments »

April 14/10 The accomplishment of “gettin’ ‘er done” far exceeds the twinges of guilt I’m feeling. This spring I started my journey on two missions:1. go as natural as possible when it comes to my gardens, and2. create guilds around my fruit trees During one of the presentations that I attended at a gardening show this spring, the Native Elder who spoke on naturalized areas stated, “don’t import soil – fix what you already have”. ...

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Part 53: Asparagus

04-15-2010 01:02 PM by MsDebbieP | 14 comments »

April 15/10 our asparagus is up!!! Soon we’ll be eating them.. yummy.

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Part 54: April 18/10 -- BRRRR

04-18-2010 04:50 PM by MsDebbieP | 9 comments »

still very cold outside today (yesterday was CHILLY). But when the sun was shining for a wee bit this afternoon I did venture out and plants some peas that will grow up along one of my tipi poles. That’s the theory anyway. I’ll probably be hanging strings down from the pole for the peas to attach to. I didn’t take a photo (yet) but I cheated and just put a bag of soil below the pole and plant the seeds in the bag. Well, I guess that’s not really cheating because it ...

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Part 55: Cherry Blossoms Friend

04-20-2010 09:20 AM by MsDebbieP | 14 comments »

April 20/10 I was taking photos of the cherry blossoms yesterday and I had a surprise guest… busy little guy. I hope he’s making lots of cherries!! one of his friends and here is my favourite blossom photo thus far

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Part 56: New Plants are Planted

05-10-2010 03:17 PM by MsDebbieP | 19 comments »

May 10/10 This morning I had a consultation (observing a young lad in school – interesting, interesting) and this afternoon i got grounded and re-focused by planting the little treasures I got last week. The big bluestem grass and the sweetgrass went along the back fence next to some grains I had planted last month. This should make a nice border between the two properties and hopefully help with grass cutting. I wonder how long it will take for the grasses to start filling in the...

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Part 57: Planting Day #3 (2010)

05-20-2010 03:05 PM by MsDebbieP | 14 comments »

May 20/10 Today I planted the rest of the peppers and tomatoes. (I had started planting them yesterday) Yesterday morning I was on my way to the local garden centre to pick up more bags of soil to alleviate a whole lot of work. On my way there my laziness wrestled with my conscious and the conscious won. It just did not make sense to purchase individual bags of soil when I could get a couple ‘yards” for the same price. So I had the soil delivered yesterday afternoon. To...

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Part 58: Re-thinking Garden for Next Year

05-30-2010 03:02 PM by MsDebbieP | 14 comments »

May 30/10 This morning I went out to work on my “garden garden” and I was met with disappointment – something had been using my onion patch for something other than gardening and half of my onions are gone. Over the past few days I have also found several small plants and the little pellets that they are in pulled right out of the ground. Some plants were past the survival point by the time I found them. Something has to change—I’ve invested too much time a...

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Part 59: 2010 - a write-off?

06-19-2010 09:50 AM by MsDebbieP | 10 comments »

June 19/10 You might be able to tell by the title that I’m more than a wee bit frustrated and starting to give up on my garden. Today I went out to check “my crop” and I found my one zucchini plant laying on the ground, cut off at the stem. Yesterday it was looking so healthy and today it is gone. Next I checked my peas and all but one plant, in one section, were also cut off and gone. Another plot of peas was about half gone, but the plants showed signs of bugs eat...

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Part 60: Hardy Kiwi - Year II

06-21-2010 06:04 AM by MsDebbieP | 8 comments »

June 21/2010 I had two plants in the garden from last year. Both plants were growing well earlier this spring but a cold snap, I guess, “did them in”. However, my one plant sent out a tiny shoot and is starting over again. Yesterday (June 20) we bought two more Isaai plants. I wanted to have 2 varieties but they only sold the one. I guess I have to wait ‘til next year to see if they will produce any fruit. And in the meantime I’ll be on the lookout for a a ̶...

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Part 61: what next?

06-23-2010 08:19 AM by MsDebbieP | 9 comments »

June 23/10 the other day Rick and I put a netting over the area between the apple tree and pear tree—something had been eating all the nasturtiums and the beans that I had planted there. Argh. I went out this morning to check the netting and to make sure there were no birds trapped in it. All was well – except… There around the pear tree and the comfrey was a white mold or fungus. It looked like someone had tossed some salt out onto the soil and it had dried on top ...

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Part 62: oh my back ---

08-14-2010 06:54 PM by MsDebbieP | 18 comments »

August 14/10 most of today was spent in the kitchen. At the end of the day I have: 7 quarts of sweet pickles 5 quarts of stewed tomatoes 5 trays of dehydrated cherry tomatoes (my 3rd dehydrator full of produce) With tons of tomatoes still ripening, I’m in the process of finding out which preserving technique is best for which type of tomato. Cherry tomatoes: work great in the dehydrator. I just quarter them, leaving a smidgen of skin holding the sections together. This ...

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Part 63: Tomatoes.. Preserving

08-28-2010 01:24 PM by MsDebbieP | 17 comments »

Aug. 28/10 I picked another batch of tomatoes yesterday. The following photo is from a plant that came up from last year. I think it was a “breakfast tomato” plant. The tomato is delicious and so meaty – these would make great salsa tomatoes. The rest of the tomatoes were mostly cherry tomatoes and … some tomatoes that are bigger than cherry tomatoes and are yellow. I ran them through the juicer. Then I was going to squeeze out the remains to get as much ju...

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Part 64: More Canning

09-01-2010 05:48 PM by MsDebbieP | 12 comments »

Sept.1/10 Yesterday, my daughter and I teamed up and spent half of a day canning tomatoes. We made a big batch of salsa, dividing it into two – half with hot peppers and half without. We have a total of 14 pints. We also had some unused tomatoes which we canned (6 pints of stewed tomatoes) and the juice created by squeezing out the seeds was turned into 6 pints of tomato juice. The WeatherIt seems that I only like to can on the hottest days of the summer. Some day when I’...

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Part 65: The Last of the Tomatoes?

09-02-2010 01:40 PM by MsDebbieP | 4 comments »

Sept.2/10 Am I finally reaching the end of my tomatoes? I picked the last of the red ones today .. and I’m not sure if the green ones will ripen before the plants all die off. They are looking pretty sad. I did up another 8 pints of tomato sauce along with 6 pints of tomato juice (well, it’s really “tomato liquid” since I’ve taken as much pulp out of it as I possibly can. I read that this makes great marinade for fish. I added some lime juice to it to ra...

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Part 66: Cabbage Rolls

09-03-2010 12:26 PM by MsDebbieP | 18 comments »

Sept 3/10 ...and today I made cabbage rolls for the freezer. I’ve never done this before but it was my plan, last winter, when I selected the seeds for my garden. With the tomato canning all done, the next and last preserving would be the cabbage. Surprisingly, lean ground beef came on special today so while I was in town I picked up a “family pack”. (3 lb?) I like the savoy cabbage for my cabbage rolls because it rolls up so much easier than the “regular&#...

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Part 67: Tonight's Supper

09-06-2010 07:00 PM by MsDebbieP | 3 comments »

Tonight, I made some pasta and home-made sauce. I made some meatballs (and added quinoa to it, just because) and then put them in a pint of tomato sauce that I canned up last week. Oh, and as a bonus I sprinkled the top with some of my semi-dehydrated cherry tomatoes “stars”. (A nice little touch). Result: Pretty darned tasty. We’ll have leftovers tomorrow evening.

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Part 68: My Morning in the kitchen

09-09-2010 12:19 PM by MsDebbieP | 10 comments »

Sept.9/10 Having read Robin's blog this morning which left my mouth watering, I spent my morning in the kitchen. I hadn’t planned on baking today – it was going to be a “catch up on housework” day – but, hey, what would you rather do: clean or bake? The dust isn’t going anywhere so – baking got my vote! I had a few remaining tomatoes and whipped them up in the blender to make the tomato bread.I followed the recipe exactly – except that I ...

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Part 69: Preserving Tomatoes

09-09-2010 12:33 PM by MsDebbieP | 8 comments »

My Methods of Preserving Tomatoes pop cherry tomatoes, whole, into the freezer (I freeze them on cookie sheets and then put them into ziploc bags) can them – stewed, juice, sauces, dehydrate them – this year I “semi-dehydrated” them and stored them in the freezer (freezing them as mentioned above). This reduces the space needed in the freezer and I hope they will be tasty added directly to salads and to the top of dishes rather than having to re-hydrate them....

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Part 70: September 18/10

09-17-2010 11:48 AM by MsDebbieP | 8 comments »

This past summer, my Rowan tree has struggled. I had been looking forward to collecting the berries this year so the sickly tree was very disappointing. So, off to my Native Plant farm for a second Rowan tree (mountain ash). Along with the Rowan tree I got: heart-shaped willow bush to go beside the Rowan tree high-bush cranberry bush= wild garlic= wild strawberries whorled milkweed plant black cherry They are all just small plants (or roots – garlic) so not much to ...

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Part 71: Planning for 2011 - I

11-28-2010 01:31 PM by MsDebbieP | 12 comments »

Nov. 28/10 I have no idea why thoughts about next year are running through my head right now. With my son and family (and my brother and his wife) coming home for the holidays, I have so much more “urgent” things to think about right now. I’m going to blame this “distraction” on Vince Kirchner and his “swale paths” for catching my attention and dragging my thoughts away from the upcoming holidays. (Vince’s Swale Project) Although I doub...

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Part 72: 2011 - planning and thinking

01-21-2011 11:01 AM by MsDebbieP | 8 comments »

1/21/11 Today, with a thick layer of fluffy snow covering my yard, I am contemplating the fast approaching spring and how I am going to connect my trees, eliminating grass and increasing my “edible landscape”. This contemplation led me to some online researching and I stumbled on a video about edible landscaping. Amongst the wealth of information presented, this little tidbit really captured my attention: (not a direct quote) for those interested in transforming a space...

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Part 73: Peas - evaluation

06-28-2011 02:30 PM by MsDebbieP | 4 comments »

6/28/11 This year, I planted “sabre” and “tall telephone” varieties of peas. I’ve been picking the Sabre variety for the past week and today I picked the first of the tall telephone. Tall telephone: much sweeter and larger than the Sabre variety. Definitely worth waiting the extra week for! Next year, I will, again, plant some indoors in the early spring and transplant to the garden for those early delights but plant just the tall telephone variety in th...

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Part 74: Keep Your Eyes Open

07-03-2011 06:17 PM by MsDebbieP | 16 comments »

7/3/11 Gardening is a bizarre activity, one that keeps you on your toes, and requires an observant eye and some interaction on a regular basis. It also requires that you do not assume. I no longer assume that I will have any fruits and vegetables from my crops, because the rabbits and chickens have shown me that Nature might get there first. I no longer assume that just because you do everything right that things will flourish. (Most of my cherries rotted on the tree before they were...

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Part 75: Grape Arbour Update

07-20-2011 11:15 AM by MsDebbieP | 8 comments »

7/20/11 (Project Posting) GRAPE ARBOUR UPDATE 2011This year we have LOADS of grapes hanging from the vines and the vines have grown so much this year that we’re having to revamp the arbour. We have added a section to both ends of the existing arbour, taking it out about 8 feet in either direction. Using gardening velcro strips, we are slowly training all the vines to go up and over the arbour, leaving the walkways clear as well as the two side windows in the original sections. ...

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Part 76: Death by Chickens

07-20-2011 06:45 PM by MsDebbieP | 9 comments »

7/20/11 Sigh… This spring, I created a lovely little garden plot near the road and “chicken-proofed” it by placing branches and twigs all over the top. In the garden was placed: heartnut tree comfrey plant wild cherry tomato plant tomato plant goji berry wolfberry sneezewort yarrow clover With my abundance of grey water now I carried a bucket of water down to the plot to care for my tomato plants that I knew were struggling. Much to my surpris...

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Part 77: Cumquats

09-11-2011 11:45 AM by MsDebbieP | 3 comments »

9/11/11 This spring, while garden shopping, I picked up a cumquat plant and it has sat on my deck all season. The plant had several green fruit on it and recently they have started to turn yellow. Throughout the season (and even now) it has had many flowers – which are so delicious smelling! Yesterday, I was checking on the fruit and one of the yellow round balls fell off and I decided to learn about cumquats. Even though the fruit was smaller than a pingpong ball, I divided it in...

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gardening is a journey, a journey of learning how to connect with and support Mother Nature

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