5 posts tagged with “yard sharing”

  • 5 Steps for Growing the Ultimate Vegetable Garden

    Thanks Shutterstock.

    This story about how to grow a vegetable garden was originally written for Niagara Life magazine. 

    Seed companies have mailed their catalogues. Green thumbs have gathered at local seed exchanges in search of their next prize-winning squash to plant. And now grow lights are being turned on in homes to get the 2017 edition of backyard tomato crops started.

    They all mean one thing: gardening season is approaching. But if you’ve never grown anything more than a hosta — heck, if you’ve never grown anything at all — those pre-season gardening rituals can seem downright daunting.

    It’s true, gardening isn’t for the faint of heart, what with having to rely on Mother Nature and her temperamental ways.

    It can be incredibly rewarding, however. Few things are sweeter than that first homegrown cherry tomato we pluck off the vine. Garden rules dictate it must be eaten immediately.

    Gardening gets us outside and active, offering physical and emotional benefits. That connection to other living things can boost moods. It can help us relax and be in the moment. Even better, plants never judge. So don’t sweat it if your Wellies are a little skuffed or you mutter to yourself while plucking your mustard greens.

    Here are five steps for growing the ultimate vegetable garden and reaping many cherry tomato feasts to come. 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
  • A cup of sunshine: lemon verbena tea

    Lemon verbena.

    Herbs weren’t what I most looked forward to growing when I embarked on my summer of yard sharing.

    Tomatoes — lots of tomatoes — peppers, cucumbers and melons, those sun worshiping veggies that my shady, half a postage stamp of a yard eschews, were what I longed to harvest in my plot of sun-drenched borrowed earth.

    And while I’ve loved being able to head just down the road to pick a tomato whenever I’ve needed, wanted or was left no choice by Mother Nature but to harvest them, I’ve discovered it’s actually an herb I planted on whim that I love more this summer.

    It’s lemon verbena.

    Not much to look at, lemon verbena — I’ll call it LV — isn’t what you’d call a beauty. It’s appearance is pragmatic with those spiky green leaves. Perfect for photosynthesizing, not so much for admiring.

    Continue reading

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    Category In the Garden, Uncategorized

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