May 25, 2014

Garden Plans 2014

So spring has finally sprung and I have not been making time to play in the garden much. This would have been the weekend to do it but instead I spent a lot of time resting due to a bad cold that knocked the stuffing out of me. 

When I do get to finish planting here is what will be in my garden (some of these are in the ground already):

1. Lots and lots of garlic (can't wait to make more scape pesto!). I planted 11 different kinds last fall.

2. The usual suspects - chives and mint are both up already.

3. Rhubarb! 
My rhubarb is already huge.
And after two days of +31C, one flowered, but I promptly put a stop to that!
4. Chufa nuts, try #2! I really hope to get some this year to taste their almondy-ness. 

5. Montreal melons! Try #2, from seed that may have been cross-pollinated though, so not sure what I'll get! My seedlings are stashed in a small corner in the farm greenhouse so this year they should be ready in time!

6. Mache, first time try and I've never tasted it either. Heard about it at a farm conference last year. It's a fancy green popular in Europe?

7.  Hibiscus! How much tea can I get out of 4 plants, I wonder? Better stock up in time for my next cold.
Hibiscus flower tea, aka "bisap", is great for sore throats.
8. Parsely - last year's parsley-less season was sad. I <3 parsley!

9. Spinach, for those last minute salads or greens in burgers.

10. Peas, because who can ever have enough spring fresh snow peas!?

April 16, 2014

Interview with a Food Hero: Edible Landscaping Ottawa

I love meeting people in the ecological food movement. Take for example, Gavin Morrison, owner, designer and builder at Edible Landscaping Ottawa. Edible Landscaping Ottawa “designs, builds, and installs innovative landscape designs to create beautiful and functional green spaces.” The thing that excites me most though, is their goal to offer organically grown edibles as part of their landscaping projects!

Gavin Morrison of Edible Landscaping Ottawa at Seedy Saturday 2014.

April 9, 2014

Dehydrated Oyster Mushrooms

I pulled out my dehydrator to try out drying local oyster mushrooms (from La Pleurotière)!


Fresh mushrooms.

Dried about 7 hours.


Still a bit soft in the middle.
These taste delicious dried! I'm planning to re-hydrate them in a spaghetti sauce soon. For now, I'm storing them in the fridge (since they aren't totally dry) in a mason jar. Next I want to dry down a batch completely and figure out what the heck to use powdered mushrooms for!

April 5, 2014

French, lists, words ending in "erie"


Une poissonnerie - a fish market along the St. Laurence.
Over the years I've been slowly but surely improving my French skills. Since I like lists, I've made a few lists of French words that tickle my fancy. While vacationing up the St Laurence coast I started noticing lots of words, at first mostly related to food (all bold), that ended with "-erie."  So I started keeping a list and here is the current iteration! I hope it tickles your fancy as it does mine.

1. l'animalerie (pet shop)
2. la beurrerie (butter making/shop)
3. la bergerie (place where sheep are kept)
4. la bijouterie (jewellery shop)
5. la boucherie (butcher shop)
6. la buanderie (laundromat)
8. la binerie* (place where you make/eat beans.)
6. la boucanerie* (smoked goods (meat) shop)
7. la boulangerie (bakery)
8. la brasserie (brewery, pub)
9. la charcuterie (cooked meats, delicatessen)
10. la chocolaterie (chocolate making/shop)
11. la cidrerie (cidre making/shop)
12. la confiserie (sweets making/shop, see also sucrerie)
13. la conserverie (preserves making/shop)
14. la cordonnerie (cobbler's, shoe store)
15. la crémerie (dairy shop ie ice cream, cheese)
16. la croissanterie* (croissant making/shop)
17. l'ébénisterie (cabinetmaking)
18. l'épicerie (grocery store)
19. la foresterie (forestry)
20. la friperie (secondhand clothing shop)
21. la fromagerie (dairy, cheese shop)
22. la fruiterie* (grocery store)
23. l'imprimerie (printer's shop)
24. la joaillerie (jewellery shop, specifically related to precious gems and minerals)
25. la lainerie* (yarn shop)
26. la laiterie (dairy)
27. la liquoristerie (liquor making work/shop)
28. la lunetterie (eyeglasses store)
29. la lutherie (stringed instrument making/shop)
30. la maçonnerie (masonry)
31. la maroquinerie (tannery, leather shop, see la tannerie)
32. la meunerie (flour mill/milling)
33. la miellerie* (honey producing/shop)
34. la papeterie (stationary, stationary shop, paper mill)
35. la pataterie* (chip stand)
36. la patisserie (pastry and pastry shop)
37. la poissonnerie (fish market)
39. la quincaillerie (hardware store)
40. la raffinerie (refinery)
41. la sandwicherie (sandwich shop)
42. la savonnerie (soap factory)
43. la sucrerie (sweets, sugar refinery, maple forest in Quebec)
44. la tannerie (tannery)
45. la taxidermie (taxidermy)
46. la viennoiserie (pastry made with sweetened dough ie a croissant)
47. la vitrerie (glaziery, window glass making/shop)

(*Note some of the words seem coined to be cutesy shop names and aren't really used as general nouns, or at least I didn't find them in the online dictionary I used.)

March 28, 2014

Citizen Science

With spring officially here (haha), it's a good time to talk about Citizen Science! 

What is that, you ask? Citizen Science is defined as "projects in which volunteers partner with scientists to answer real-world questions." I think it's a fun way to contribute to science while learning and engaging more in the natural world around us. If you have kids, it could be a great way to introduce them to potential career paths too.



March 22, 2014

Tales of Garlic

Remember how I planted something like 11 varieties of garlic last fall? And how my favorite one was name "Fish Lake 21"?



Well it seems there is quite the story behind Fish Lake garlic! I love knowing the roots of the varieties in my garden. Check out the story of the Fish Lake Garlic Man, Ted Maczka. 

I was surprised to read that we were importing garlic from China back in the 1970s, and I'm glad to do my part to change that.