Archive for April, 2008

Getting the Garden Ready – Part 1

Sunday, April 27th, 2008

We’ve had a full week of warm, sunny days here in Toronto.  Our daffodils are blooming, the lily-of-the-valley have come up from the ground, the forsythias and other flowering trees are, well, flowering.  We finally got the hedges in our backyard trimmed last week.  We spent today raking the last of the leaves from last fall, and pulling out many, many dandelions.  Our garden is almost ready for planting.  Josh raked the leaves and the next step is to turn the soil and work in the compost we got for free at the Earth Day celebration at Downsview Park.  Just a few more weeks…





Monday, April 21st, 2008

Basil Sprout in action!

Only a week after I planted the seeds, almost all the them have sprouted. All of the tomatoes, one of the golden midget watermelons, and most of the sweet basil have sprouts. After the mold incident last week, I was pleasantly surprised that no damage has been done. I’m very excited about the sprouts, actually, maybe a bit TOO excited.

Mini Greenhouse

Wednesday, April 16th, 2008

I finally got around to planting my seeds over the weekend.  After checking the packages, it turns out that I only have to start the seedling for tomatoes, basils and watermelon indoors.  The rest I should wait until after the last frost and plant them in the garden directly.  I planted the seeds in a mini greenhouse that fits on a window sill.  Since Sunday, I’ve been eagerly checking everyday for sprouts and today, I noticed mold on the watermelon soil!  It’s only day 3 and already I’m having problems.  According to various gardening websites, the mold is probably from overwatering.  So I removed the moldy parts and opened the greenhouse. Hopefully, the mold won’t come back.

The dark side to local eating?

Saturday, April 5th, 2008

I recently read the (UK based) article “How the myth of food miles hurts the planet” from The Observer.  The premise of the article is that the environmental impact of food cannot be simply judged by its “food mile”.  

The author has three arguments. Produce from Kenya is grown using manual labour, thus more environmentally friendly, and  has a smaller carbon footprint than some British mega-farm produce even when you consider the airfreight. Buying local greenhouse lettuce is not really better than importing the field grown ones from Spain – the transportation costs are offset by the greenhouse heating costs. The local apples in August that were picked last fall use  energy to be kept cold for nine months. 

It really made me think about my local eating philosophy.  I think that an important part of eating locally is eating seasonally, and with all things in life – moderation is key.  Our main reason to eat locally is to support our local farmers and to eat fresh and tasty food.  

What’s your reasons for eating local? 

We have a CSA.

Saturday, April 5th, 2008

In our continuing series of “We have…”, we have a CSA. 

After much research and deliberation, we’ve signed up for a summer half share at plan b Organics.  They deliver to a depot within walking distance from our house and I look forward to walking over with Ella in the wagon to pick up our weekly farm fresh produce in the summer.

Check back next month for our “We have not…” series.

We have grass again.

Saturday, April 5th, 2008

Thanks to the milder weather and rain this week, most of the snow has melted in our backyard.  Some of the tulips and daffodils are coming up, actually.  Spring is finally here!  That had caused some momentary panic – we still haven’t planted our seeds yet.  It’s been three weeks since we bought our seeds from Seedy Saturday, and they’re still sitting in the den.  We don’t even have the dirt to plant them in.  All we’ve got are seeds and some plastic milk bags (I read somewhere that milk bags are good for starting tomato seedlings because you can roll them up to add more dirt as the seedling grows.)  We plan to go to a local garden centre to get supplies and get those seed planted this weekend.  Only six more weeks until the “official” gardening weekend in southern Ontario – Victoria Day long weekend.