Sunday, April 27, 2014

Some Random Things

The temperature here is getting warmer......slowly.  Last night it was still hovering around  0 C.   During the day it is warm.   Today was a sunny warm day (over 15C) and I spent most of it outside.  Tomorrow is back to work and will be shut indoors for another week.   Weather is calling for rain all week...  April showers bring May flowers !!

Today I visited our local nursery.   Had a nice chat with the owner and was told the growing season here is about three weeks behind the usual.   I bought 10 x 15 kg bags of organic sheep manure for the raised vegetable beds and worked them into the existing soil.

Earth Day was on Saturday and there were a number of activities happening in our community.   Our small local mall had numerous displays from local conservation groups including a display for our local Halton Hills Chapter of the Bruce Trail Conservancy.   I spent Saturday morning working at our booth, meeting various people and introducing them to the Bruce Trail.

This week I....
  • Cleaned out the flower beds and raised vegetable bed
  • Cleaned up the last of the ice storm damage from January
  • Worked in 10 bags of sheep manure into the raised vegetable beds
  • Transplanted some perennials
  • Cooked a turkey today, which will do for a few meals for the week plus a nice big pot of soup
  • Knitting something for myself - which isn't too often.   A nice soft shawl made of soft wool/acrylic from Turkey.   It has a little "bling" to it with sequins in it, which is fun!
  • Made a big pot of Chili and froze some for future dinners
  • Re-routed the rain gutters so they empty into the pool under the tarp to save on water when it comes time to open the pool sometime in June.  With the week of rain forecasted, it should help on the water bill this year.
  • Rounded up another 25 things to purge - for the "purging challenge".   Bag is ready for the Diabetes folks to pick up next week. 
  • Planted radishes, peas, tatsoi and spinach.   When the temperature reaches at least 10C can plant the lettuces, kale, etc. 
  • Took a first aid course at work and am now first aid certified for another three years. 
  • We chipped up alot of the branches that fell from the ice storm for mulch around the raised beds and in areas around the house where the grass won't grow. 
  • Pumping off the top water from the pool onto the freshly sewn grass and clover seed.
  • Was approached this week to help with a "teach knitting lunch/learn" during lunch hour.  Would be a nice break during the day to do what I love to do.
  • Cleaned/vacumed and washed "winter" out of my car.  Scrubbed/washed the carpets to get all the salt stains out.   My 10 year old car looks almost new (inside !) 
  • Decorated some spring planters for the front door.
A shawl for me :)

Planted Radish, Tatsoi, Spinach and Peas

Wood chips between raised vegetable beds.   Rhubarb is coming up nicely.

Wood chips placed between raised beds.  Garlic is coming up nicely

Friday, April 18, 2014

Weekend Breakfast

When time permits I like to make a big breakfast.  
DD#1 got me onto this idea. Good and hearty !

Stir-fry up vegetables on hand.  I used brussell sprouts, kale, mushrooms, onions, garlic and mushrooms.  I like lots of greens. 

Fry up or poach an egg or two and place over top off cooked bed of greens.  Sprinkle grated fresh beets, radish, chopped fresh cilantro or other vegetables you prefer.  

Radish and beets

Pour over some homemade tahini dressing. 
We love the Whitewater Cooks dressing from Whitewater Cooks.

Enjoy !

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Seed Planting Experiment

I like to start my own seeds indoors for planting later in the spring and have had good success.

In my house little goes to waste and we try to re-purpose as much as we can. This year I had heard about using toilet paper rolls for seed pots and thought great idea .. I'll give this a try. 

I planted some seeds in re-used pots that I had purchased some plants from the nursery and others were planted in the toilet paper rolls.  Both were planted on the same day using the same earth, watered with same water (no fertilizers etc added)  and sat at the same window getting the same sun exposure.  After one month - look and see the difference in plant growth.   One looks healthy and green and the other is stunted, hardly grown at all, and colour is off.   There must be something in the recycled paper used in toilet paper rolls.   My daughter had similar experience using recycled paper egg cartons.   

Our town also offers free compost.  The compost is from all the green matter picked up on garbage days from the "green bins" that people put out.   Couple of years ago, we got a trailer load and used in our gardens.  One raised vegetable bed got the city compost, the other my own compost.   In the raised bed with city compost, very little grew and if they did, were stunted and sickly looking.  Others I have talked to who also got city compost said they had the same experience and would not use the city compost again.  

Makes you really wonder....   Lessons learned ....   !!

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Signs of Spring

The snow is finally melting here.  It's been a long winter, compared to the last several years.  Some grass is starting to show.  The last couple of days have been in the single digits and tomorrow's prediction is 17C. 

 We had alot of tree damage from the ice storm in January.   
Lots of spring clean up around the yard this year
Most of this will be chipped up for mulch in the garden and 
anything too big for our small chipper will be cut up for firewood 
for next winter

Two of the neighbour's trees fell into our yard from the storm, which will need to come down.
Tomatoe plants started as well as some poppy seeds saved from previous years
More tomato plants sprouting
Re-growing celery.   Roots have sprouted and now ready to transplant into soil for later planting outside
Found some "blue" mason jars !   My favourite colour !
Re-growing nappa cabbage.  For later planting outdoors - probably not till later in May after last frost.

Rhubarb is showing signs of pushing through the ground

Garlic is also starting show
The last of the Kale from last year - survived our Canadian winter.

Saturday, April 5, 2014

No Bread... now what ....

I've given up bread.... gluten bread anyway.   The wheat/gluten substitutes are not the same and find them quite heavy/dense, crumbly and expensive.

So now what to use as a bread sandwich replacement ?

Collard greens ....

The leaf is large enough to hold a sandwich filling, roll and make a wrap.  The greens are sturdy  yet bendable enough so they don't snap and break apart and go soggy, unlike some lettuces. 

Collards are low in calories, have a good source of vitamin C, fiber and contain multiple nutrients and anti cancer properties.  They are also high in vitamin K, so those who are on blood thinners should eat in moderation. 

The filling for my sandwich in the picture is made with home grown sprouts, homemade hummus, grated carrot and radish.   Yum !

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