17 posts tagged with “gardening”

  • Bombs away: It’s seed bomb season

    seed bombs

    It’s around this time of year that I start to miss being a downtown daytime dweller.

    When the snow gave way to grass and those perpetual grey clouds parted to reveal that the sun did indeed still exist, it was a sure sign that I’d soon be able to forgo lunch al desko for noshing al fresco on the library steps.

    When I worked downtown, the library courtyard was my favourite spot to take a break from the demands of the office and revel in the sounds of my city: the chatter of the other average bureaucrats enjoying their midday break, the cacophony of traffic, the harmony of singing birds.

    And then there were the sights, most notably the yellow flowers — lillies, I think, but I’m bad with blooms — that emerged from the bed at the base of the library’s water fountain. I often daydreamed of sneaking some rainbow chard into their midst to break up their golden monochrome. I gave thought to planting a tomato or two that would creep up the sides of the dreary grey edifice of the police headquarters across the square from my spot on the steps. Lavender, chives, which are such beauties when they flower, oregano, and basil would add something to those plain municipal gardens, too, I figured. Continue reading

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    Category In the Garden

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  • Peach Tree
  • Weeding and Eating: The Great Purslane Giveaway returns

    My name is Tiffany and I am a weedaholic.

    There’s a reason for that, not the least of which is they taste good. But when you’re purslane, not only are you pleasing to the palette, you’re super healthy, so the benefits of dining on this garden gift are seemingly endless.

    It is the misunderstood superfood, often landing in the compost heaps of annoyed gardeners when it should be landing on dinner plates, given it has more omega-3 fatty acids than just about any other edible plant. These are fatty acids that are good for heart health.

    Antioxidants? Purslane is packed with them. Vitamin A to help keep you seeing clearly? Purslane has nearly every other leafy green vegetable beat.
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    Category In the Garden, In the Wild

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  • Peach Tree
  • Good night Grackle Garden

    A late summer harvest at Grackle Garden.

    I’ve finally stopped sniffling.

    And I think I’ve shivered out the last bit of early November chill that went through my jacket, shirt and flesh to my very core where it has stayed for the last few hours.

    That’s what happens when you drag your heels putting your garden to bed, hoping that maybe this onward march toward winter and the ever-cooling fall temperatures are just a fluke. But I realize I’m just in denial about the six months of cold weather, grey days, layers of clothing and heavy footwear, and lack of gardening that are ahead.

    Today, my friend Rowan and I finally uprooted the spent tomatoes and tired peppers that we left lingering in Grackle Garden with the hope they might beckon summer back.

    I haven’t written much about Grackle Garden, so an introduction comes late, when the patch of earth in a yard that we borrowed this summer is well past its seasonal prime and interesting stories.

    Last year, while harvesting pears, a homeowner ushered me conspiratorially to her backyard where blue tarps laid undisturbed for years, protecting a swath of soil carved into her lawn. Her ageing parents, who were now in a nursing home, had used the garden every year during the decades they raised their family in their north St. Catharines, red-brick, one-and-a-half storey home.

    But when the garden became too much, rather than replace fertile ground with sod, they covered it with tarps and waited for the day it might be used again.

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    Category Food Security, Uncategorized

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  • Peach Tree
  • Saving basil seed: A Nufar-ious plot

    I’m really not trying to grow the most pathetic basil plant ever, despite what this looks like.

    I’m engaging in Operation: Saving Basil Seed. After all, my basil plant just spent the past two months providing me with the biggest, most pungent leaves I’ve ever seen, smelled and tasted.

    They were the star of pestos, the supporting actor in caprese salad, made cameos in roasted tomato sauce. And I want to harness that amazing-ness for seasons to come.

    My Nufar basil is actually brimming with life, even if it looks nearly drained of vitality. It’s packed into those brown, dried bits, in the form of seeds. Future generations of Nufar basil.

    It’s a variety of this quintessentially summer herb that I bought on an impulse, withholding hope for it only because I find basil a bit fickle to grow.

    It doesn’t grow because I water it too much. It doesn’t grow because I don’t water it enough. It turns to seed before barely giving me a leaf.

    Basil | Seed Saving

    But not Nufar basil, once bushy with leaves the size of my palm, and now picked to a lanky, lean shell of its former self. It kept growing all summer and giving me the best basil I’ve ever had.

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    Category In the Garden

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