Sunday, October 31, 2010

Turkey Poop

Last year we started carrying a new fertilizer at 'The Greenhouse'. It is made from the droppings of free range turkeys. I did not find the opportunity to try it out last year (it sold too quickly) but I gave it a try this summer. I have attached a photo of my onions. The ones on the left were turkey pooped, the ones on the right did not receive any supplements. You be the judge. Every one of our customers who used it came back raving about the results. I'm hooked!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Autumn Interest

Flowering Crabs are probably our best seller next to Crimson King Maples. I have never understood the rationale of the purchaser, tho. People always look for the one with the pretty bubble gum pink flowers. Undoubtedly it is stunning when it is in bloom but it is a bit of a dud when it comes to autumn colour. My favorite flowering crabs are the ones with the beautiful, brightly coloured apples that stay on throughout the winter. The Harvest Gold is probably my favorite. The leaves are golden in colour and the apples are yellow at first, turning to a cherry red. The red against the gold is exquisite. Birds looking for food visit these trees all winter long. At some point in late winter, if you are lucky, you will see one of these trees loaded with Cedar Wax Wings. They show up one day and pick the tree clean in no time.

The 'Grace' smoke bush is another of my favorites. The leaves turn a neon pink in early October. They stand out for miles. Many customers come looking for burning bushes at this time of year, but when they see the outstanding colour of this underutilized shrub, they cannot resist it.

Kiwi vines are another stunner. Most people point out to me that kiwis will not grow in Newfoundland. Not only do they grow, but they are prolific. Do not expect the apple sized kiwi that we buy from New Zealand. These vines produce a fruit the size of a grape tomato that may be eaten skin and all. These vines turn a brilliant yellow in the fall. On a sunny day they make the garden glow.

The moral of the story is to plan your garden for four seasons of interest. A true gardener will consider Spring, Fall and Winter with the same passion that they do their summer garden.

Monday, October 11, 2010


A friend and I recently chatted about saying Grace in school. Her daughter has just started her first year in the school system and is expected to say Grace before eating. Seems it is still done in some schools in Newfoundland. We talked about how the implementation of a non denominational system has not taken religion from the educational system entirely. There are strong arguments on both sides of this debate and its difficult to take a stand on one side or the other. BUT... at least we can.

I thought about it quite a bit after that conversation. I had a different concern when my son was in kindergarten. There was a little girl who was Jehovah Witness in his class and because of this there were no Christmas trees made from colourful construction paper to adorn the walls and windows of that classroom that year. My son, Zack, though it was quite unfair that the majority was over ruled to accommodate one child. Perhaps the teacher should have researched both pagan and non-pagan celebrations and taught a balanced message of true tolerance and an appreciation for the diversity of opinion; whether they be religious or not.

Tolerance is a BIG word. What we have to remember is that it works both ways.

Today I am giving thanks. In a world full of terrifying images and realities, we are truly lucky to be born on this soil of Canada. Whether I choose to follow a book to guide my way or touch the soil of my garden to feel truly connected to 'something', it is not important. I am not a particularly religious person but it does not stop me from being thankful. Be it God, Allah, Ganesha or Mother Earth, I have a full belly and a pantry lined with colorful bottles of preserves to get me thru the winter. Grace is in humanity not in words or books.

I am thankful.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Buying stuff

Sean and I are away at a buying show. I don't usually enjoy going to these things because I am not a typical consumer and tend to order things for resale that I like. I avoid the ceramic flower containers shaped like a dog bed with puppies hanging out over them. The way I look at it, the flowers put in the container will cover the dog, so what is the point? My colleagues in the same business tell me they sell like hot cakes. I just cannot go there.

Instead, I head for the booth with the cedar greenhouse. It is covered with a baffled poly carbonate that helps retain heat. It has a solar panel which charges a lithium battery that powers a thermostat which will open and close the roof to ventilate on hot days. One of the benches inside has a flooding tray that floods to bottom water your plants. It cycles twice a day so you can put your plants and baskets in it, go away for the weekend and not have to bother your neighbors to water your plants or open the door of your greenhouse when it is hot. It is completely off the grid. I fell in love with it. I wish I were retired so that I could putter with this in my own back yard.

I'll post some more products later... We are heading to the restaurant Jesse (my daughter) works at... The Nectar Social House in Dartmouth. It's all about the food now isn't it?!