Tag Archives: Veggies

Spring is thick upon us. The pear trees are blooming, the blueberries are fertilizing, the morrel mushrooms are fruiting and going straight on our pizza. The cows in the field I walk by every day at work are learning to walk. They are so cute! The lambs are frollicking in the crew-cut grass and the peas are brandishing their new green petals.

We’ve got two big weddings coming up so our focus has been more on arranging that and less on the garden and the bees, it must be admitted. My brother is getting married to his lovely fiancee in a couple weeks in Calgary. Marc and I are flying out at a pukey hour of 5:30am and then we’re staying in a hotel we booked because of the reviews. Get this, it’s my favourite review so far,

Decor strange, staff friendly.

Bring on the strange decor! We stayed in a hostel in Inverness Scotland when we were travelling that could have suited that description perfectly. We’re talking purple walls with technicoloured handprints, lime green baseboards, a red door, zebra striped bedspread on an old iron bed frame. It was surreal. I’m hoping that this hotel brings us close to that experience again. One can only hope.

The second wedding coming up is Marc’s sister at the end of May. That one is a little closer to home, in Victoria. Weddings are such a joyous occasion and I’m really looking forward to them and to all of the planning being finished. Then we can get into the heat of summer with bees, vegetables, Farmer’s markets, pulling weeds in sundresses and sandals.

Pottery is going well and we did our first “bisque” firing at the beginning of the week. This process changes the clay to a ceramic material. It is the stage you do after the clay pots dry, but before you glaze the bowls/cups/plates. So now my works of “art” are rather pinkish, like old bubble gum. And they are waiting for their glaze bath which will come next. Also, we picked up some Earthenware clay. We’ve been using Raku clay which is grittier and for more decorative pots. I really wanted to get into the Earthenware clay because of it’s resilience and functionality. Above most things, I am practical. If I’m making mugs, bowls, and funny-shaped things (that I’ve been told, when it doubt, it’s an ash tray.) I want them to be useful. And did I mention, my teacher is very patient with me. I still have trouble centering the clay and I still ask silly questions, and he dutifully shows up, answers my questions, centers my clay, and generally puts up with my nonsense. Yes, there is lots of nonsense!

Did I mention I bring him cookies? It is my best form of currency… It’s amazing who will work for cookies. So far, my mechanic (which is essential) and my pottery teacher work for cookies so I consider myself a very lucky gal! Let’s see who will work for honey?!

Hope your merge from Winter to Spring is as welcome as it is for me! Happy April!

A Friday Moment

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I’ve been up to my usual tricks this week, gardening and shaping clay. I’m feeling a little dry on my blogging lately. Really, guys, this is my life. I read a little, I write a little, I work too much, I shape some clay, play some piano, prepare some bee stuff and drive my small truck around the island.

We’ve planted some more peas, beans, Jerusalem artichokes, carrots, cabbage and other assorted veggies.

On Island, the cows have had calves, the sheep have had lambs that I have no good photos to show you the evidence. The weather has been mostly cold and mostly rainy with some patches of sunshine.

What have you been up to?

BC Grown

I entered the Tru Value (our grocer) with my plastic green shopping basket. My mission: to find something edible for dinner. In a grocery store, you’d think this wouldn’t be very hard. But in my recent book perusing, I’d come across some writing by Michael Pollen. His advice for good eating is to “Eat food, not too much, mostly plants.” After watching what I’ve put past my lips lately, it is not mostly plants. It seems so simple but it is not. Why?

(rhetorical question I suppose.)

So I went into the grocery store with all this in mind. Something for dinner. Mostly plants. When I go grocery shopping, I always start from the right of the store and work my way to the left. The left most aisle in our Tru Value is the deli, the bread and then the meat. I decided right then and there to only buy local, just to see what jamboree we’ll get for a meal. I bought Comox grown double smoked bacon (4 slices) for a couple bucks, a dozen mussels from Quadra Island for another couple bucks.

Then I went to the veggie section, usually my last stop. Isn’t it funny how we choose what meat we want for a meal and then what veggies go with the meat? Well what if we started at the veggies, and have meat as an optional side dish?

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Then real-life happened and the power went out as I was writing this. I had beautiful photos for it and everything. But I did not get back to this until the next day. Then the next day had it’s own set of surprises. A very dear family friend of mine, John Bradford, passed away whilst skiing on Mt Washington. I am headed up to Tofino to “gather together and mourn.”

When someone dies on the Reserve in Ucluelet, the Natives say that they “sit” with the family in mourning. This can encompass making meals, cleaning house, sharing memories, or just sitting so that the family is not alone. I love this concept.

So I am going to sit. To Mourn. I apologize for the irregular blogging lately but real life has a way of sneaking in.

A Christmas Carrot

After spending a few days off (tiny) island with my “up-island” family, I have taken hibernation to a whole new level. And my thoughts are starting to turn to “What’s next.” Yes, you may all realize that I am not very good at living in the moment.

I am beginning to think about the garden. This is spurred by my frustration at my diet lately. Now, do not misunderstand, I love turkey and stuffing and the works. What I’m having a hard time with is not having a garden to eat out of. I was spoiled this summer and autumn. But we did not plan well (as it was our first garden) and now I am lamenting not having a winter garden full of root veggies, kale and hearty winter beans. I turn my nose up at the imported veggies that the grocery store offers, and then I duck my head and sneak them into my basket. I still need my greens! What a shame! My lack of planning has lined my food with a guilt at buying into our silly food industry that insists on shipping kiwis from New Zealand in the dead of our winter. Or Mexican avocados so we don’t miss out on our winter nachos.

This type of thinking, this eating seasonally is still pretty new to me. Perhaps by next year I’ll know when to plant kale and the root veggies so that I can truly benefit from our mild climate.

Good news though, my dear friend Theresa has long ago put her garden to sleep, but yesterday she bravely tromped out there and uprooted a Christmas Carrot! Could there be anything more delightful than pulling up a bright orange vegetable  from the ground while we peel our imported chinese mandarins.

I might venture out to my stark little garden and see if there are any forgotten veggies.

And then I will scurry back to my warm nook to finish yet another cup of tea and dig into my new book, “Natural Beekeeping.” (Thank you Marc!)

Happy Christmas to you!

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