Weather Confusion – What Happened To Spring?

March 25, 2016 - ice storm in southern ontario

If it wasn’t April 4 I’d think this was someone’s idea of an April fool’s joke. After a very mild winter, with little snow, old man winter dressed up as a Polar Vortex and decided he’d show up just as spring arrived. He’s not just late to the party but he’s the guest no-one wants… Read more »

Practical Crop Rotation – A Second Look

crop rotation vegetable gardening

Gardening evolves with knowledge and experience. I have been formally planning my vegetable garden layout on paper for several years now and each year I think I get a little bit better. In addition to learning about plant families, I have come to realize how you effectively rotate your crops depends upon what exactly you… Read more »

Crop Rotation, Plant Families And The Vegetable Garden

When planning your vegetable garden, consider the benefits of crop rotation. Good crop rotation prevents the build up of pests and diseases in the soil and preserves micro-nutrients. For example, legumes (beans and peas) will actually add nitrogen to the soil. While crop rotation will not guarantee that diseases will not occur, it greatly reduces… Read more »

My Pruning Schedule

I’ve often found it hard to know what shrubs needed pruning when, and with all the new shrubs I have planted or plan to put in this year, this task will get even harder. To help me this year, I’ve made up a pruning schedule by major time of season. If you are reading this… Read more »

Draw Your Own Garden Plan Without Expensive Garden Design Software

garden plan software

I experimented with quite a few different garden design software packages. Many of them were very cumbersome or too limited for what I wanted. I eventually found that it was easier to use an Excel spreadsheet by treating it like graph paper and combining this with the many autoshape tools in Excel. The end result… Read more »

Beet Jelly

beet jelly

Who would have thought you could make jelly out of something you usually dump down the sink but this is an amazing way to use the water you boil beets in. The first time I made this jelly I cooked the beets the way I usually do, with the skins on. While I cleaned the… Read more »

Peach Jam

I love peaches and the best are Southern Ontario peaches picked during the peak of the season (well okay, any local peaches from your local farmer’s market probably taste just as good). I’ve been expanding my repertoire of jams and jellies each year and this year peach jam was on the list. I honestly think… Read more »

Rhubarb Muffins

rhubarb patch

Rhubarb is the first produce we see out of our garden every year. Maybe that’s why I look forward to it so much and love almost everything baked with rhubarb. This is a muffin recipe my kids just love and they are happy to take one in their lunch every day for the couple weeks I… Read more »

Rich and Tangy Rhubarb Sauce

Do you like your’s hot or cold? Sweet or tart? Whatever the choice, there is nothing better than fresh made rhubarb sauce. Here is our recipe, made with brown sugar in place of some of the white sugar for a slightly richer flavour. Ingredients 8 cups chopped rhubarb (1 inch in size) 1/2 granulated sugar… Read more »

Rhubarb Crème Brûlée is Oh So Easy

Given what they charge for crème brûlée in restaurants I always thought it was hard to make. Then I discovered this recipe for rhubarb crème brûlée in a Foodland Ontario flyer provided by one of our local farm stands and was so surprised at how easy it was. It turned out so well, we made it twice in… Read more »