Thursday, December 29, 2011

Seed and plant orders have been placed. Copies of the confirmations.

I have been planning, and writing, and planning some more. I have been drawing maps of where the different vegetables will be planted. Where the new raised beds will go. Then I planned some more. So here we are. Christmas is over and it is year end for the store. We are leaving for vacation at the end of January, so getting inventory and year end done before then, as well as get everything done in advance for my being away...means that it was now or wait until march to do these orders. Having never ordered seeds and herbs by mail, I was really worried that if I waited, much of what I would like, may be sold out. So, oh poor me, I had to get the orders done. So here are the confirmation copies of the three orders I did so you can see exactly what I'll be growing this year.

Richters order  Dec 29. Ship after feb 22

  Cat.No.    Item    Price    Unit    Quantity    Subtotal  
P3910 Marjoram, Sweet Plants   $ 3.00 ea 1 $ 3.00
P5300 Savory, Winter Plants   $ 3.00 ea 1 $ 3.00
P6620 Verbena, Lemon Plants   $ 4.00 ea 1 $ 4.00
P1300 Bay Laurel Plants   $ 7.00 ea 1 $ 7.00
P6460 Thyme, Lemon Plants   $ 3.00 ea 1 $ 3.00
P6080 Strawberry, Alpine Plants   $ 1.80 ea 12 $ 21.60
P1870 Comfrey, Common Plants   $ 3.00 ea 1 $ 3.00
P8016 Artichoke, Globe Plants   $ 3.00 ea 1 $ 3.00
Pre-shipping Order Total = $ 47.60 
Currency: Canadian Dollar 
Potted herbs and plug packs ship spring 2012. 
To reserve your plants, you will be charged for them at time of ordering.
Shipping and Handling: $ 35.00
Sales Tax: $ 9.92
Grand Total: $ 92.51

Botanical Interest Order.  Dec 29

Thank you for your order!
Product Name Prod # Unit Price Quantity Price
Beet Gourmet Blend Heirloom Seed
0174 $2.69 1 $2.69
Carrot Carnival Blend Organic Seed
3115 $2.99 1 $2.99
Cucumber Homemade Pickles Seed
0022 $1.79 1 $1.79
Pumpkin Lumina Seed
0158 $2.99 1 $2.99
Squash Summer Early Yellow Crookneck Heirloom Seed
0045 $1.69 1 $1.69
Tomato Cherry Yellow Pear Heirloom Seed
0104 $1.89 1 $1.89
Tomato Pole Black Krim Organic Heirloom Seed
3118 $2.39 1 $2.39
Tomato Pole Brandywine Heirloom Seed
0051 $1.89 1 $1.89
Subtotal: $18.32
Shipping Total: $3.95
Order Total: $22.27

west coast seeds order Dec 29

( 2011-12-29 )
Item Code Item Name Item Size Qty. Price
TM784A Tomatoes>Amish paste 0.1 g 1 $ 2.99 CA
TM780A Tomatoes>Gold nugget 0.1 g 1 $ 2.79 CA
FL2978A Morning glory>Heavenly blue 2 g 1 $ 2.99 CA
FL3252A Sunflowers>Zohar organic 1 g 1 $ 3.99 CA
SQ724A Zucchini>Romanesco zucchini 3 g 1 $ 2.99 CA
PP629A Peppers>Pepperoncini 0.5 g 1 $ 2.99 CA
KL420A Kale and collards>Winter kale blend 1 g 1 $ 3.95 CA
CB242A Cabbage>Danish ballhead 1 g 1 $ 2.79 CA
BT162A Beets>Winterkeeper lutz green leaf 5 g 1 $ 3.25 CA
ON565A Onions>Walla walla 1 g 1 $ 3.29 CA
CF304A Cauliflower>Snow crown 0.1 g 1 $ 3.29 CA
TM792A Tomatoes>Brandywine 0.5 g 1 $ 2.99 CA
Sub Total 38.3
Tax Summary :
GST/HST * ----- $ 4.60
HST Rebate ----- $ 0.00
Tax 4.58
Shipping ( ) 0.00
Total 42.88
Didn't order brandywine, yet it is on order. I emailed right away to remove.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

I think Rainier Cherries are the most beautiful fruit.

I was just surfing on the world wide web and stumbled, yes stumbled, on this gorgeous picture of Rainier Cherries. I am trying to find a fruit tree I just can't live without to put right against the back of my house. Would cherry be a good choice for this?

Sunday, December 25, 2011

A gardener's dream Christmas.

I have everything I need. I told everyone that there just isn't any material thing
that I need. After much persistance on their part, I came up with a short list of
gardening things from Lee Valley. I told them if they just got one thing, that would be plenty. I think they went out and bought everything on my list. They will be hooped next year. Now I really need...nothing.
At our house Christmas is called paper day. We fling it everywhere.
The cats love it!
Sorry about the quality of the pictures. I used Allan's camera, which obviously isn't working perfectly at the moment. 

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Calendula flowers in the dehydrator

We have a customer I'll call J. He does a bang on rooster crow. We are graced with said rooster crow a couple times per week. J brought me a bouquet of calendula flowers the other day. In the bouquet was a dried flower head full of seeds. Yayyy. I was actually going to order some seeds to grow calendula for tea and making salves next year. Today I was going to dispose of the flowers and realized that I could dehydrate them. Duh.
The petals of calendula are small and light. Which means...they blow all over the place in a dehydrator. I think I should have figured that out before hand. They are now in the greenhouse drying in a dish.
I've just washed a box of mandarin oranges. Why you ask? I found a recipe for a rub which calls for dried mandarin orange peels, buzzed up to a coarse meal..mixed with herbs, coarse pepper and salt. Rosemary-Mandarin Orange Spice Rub. Doesn't that sound wonderful.

The link will take you to the recipe located on one of my favorite blogs. Check out Northwest Edible Life. Erica is a wonderful writer, hilariously funny and brilliant at what she does.

Monday, December 12, 2011

The garden in December

Snowberries in the 'Wild Area'
There is something wonderful about an unexpected sunny day in December. I added some more coffee grounds to the blueberry garden today. I also noticed some little green shoots that look like grass in the heavily mulched strawberry bed. I have a feeling it could be canola shoots from the organic fertilizer I made. I'm going to have to start sifting the canola. The seeds are a bit of a problem.

Friday, December 09, 2011

Would you eat anything cooked at this house?

This is my cat Beamer. He was a barn cat that had been a pet once and dumped. I scooped him up and brought him home with us. He is a delight and frankly our girl cats think he's really hot. (No pun intended) He is the Brad Pitt of this cat world. Allan made a grilled cheese sandwich and found this situation a while later. I guess it's been colder than I realized.

I love how he seems mesmerized by something out the kitchen window. Most likely birds.

Monday, December 05, 2011

Urban farming starting to take root in Montreal...{come on Sidney, if Montreal can do it, surely little Sidney can}

MONTREAL – The city's public consultation office will hold hearings in the spring into the issue of urban agriculture, after volunteers gathered nearly 30,000 signatures on a petition requesting this.
It’s the first time the right for citizen-initiated public consultations in Montreal has been used successfully since it was introduced in January 2010.
Usually the city’s executive committee decides topics for public consultation.
Montreal Mayor Gérald Tremblay congratulated the volunteers who collected the signatures. They needed to gather 15,000 signatures in a three-month period, but collected 29,068.
“Urban agriculture addresses social, environmental, economic and educational issues,” Tremblay said.
“I hope that the public consultation will allow the sharing of constructive ideas that will improve the quality of life in Montreal by further integrating urban agriculture into the city’s development.”
Many Montrealers already practice urban agriculture, he said, through gardening at home or in community or collective gardens.
Several Montreal families are already raising backyard chickens, although the practice has been banned in the city for decades. North American cities are currently grappling with urban-agriculture issues such as raising animals in the city, allowing beehives and using public land for agriculture.
The Conseil régional de l’environnement de Montréal was one of nearly 50 organizations involved in the petition drive.
It said the public hearings, held in different parts of the island, will provide an accurate picture of the state of urban agriculture in Montreal and help to develop a vision for its future.
© Copyright (c) The Montreal Gazette

Study: Organic Farming Outperformed Conventional Farming in Every Measure

The results are in from a 30-year side-by-side trial of conventional and organic farming methods at Pennsylvania's Rodale Institute. Contrary to conventional wisdom, organic farming outperformed conventional farming in every measure.
There are about 1,500 organic farmers in Saskatchewan, at last count. They eschew the synthetic fertilizers and toxic sprays that are the mainstay of conventional farms. Study after study indicates the conventional thinking on farming - that we have to tolerate toxic chemicals because organic farming can't feed the world - is wrong.
In fact, studies like the Rodale trials ( show that after a three-year transition period, organic yields equalled conventional yields What is more, the study showed organic crops were more resilient. Organic corn yields were 31 per cent higher than conventional in years of drought.
These drought yields are remarkable when compared to genetically modified (GM) "drought tolerant" varieties, which showed increases of only 6.7 per cent to 13.3 per cent over conventional (non-drought resistant) varieties.
More important than yield, from the farmer's perspective, is income, and here organic is clearly superior. The 30-year comparison showed organic systems were almost three times as profitable as the conventional systems. The average net return for the organic systems was $558/acre/ year versus just $190/acre/year for the conventional systems. The much higher income reflects the premium organic farmers receive and consumers pay for.
But even without a price premium, the Rodale study found organic systems are competitive with the conventional systems because of marginally lower input costs.
The most profitable grain crop was the organically grown wheat netting $835/acre/year. Interestingly, no-till conventional corn was the least profitable, netting just $27/acre/year. The generally poor showing of GM crops was striking; it echoed a study from the University of Minnesota that found farmers who cultivated GM varieties earned less money over a 14-year period than those who continued to grow non-GM crops.
Importantly, the Rodale study, which started in 1981, found organic farming is more sustainable than conventional systems. They found, for example, that:

. Organic systems used 45 per cent less energy than conventional.

. Production efficiency was 28 per cent higher in the organic systems, with the conventional no-till system being the least efficient in terms of energy usage.

. Soil health in the organic systems has increased over time while the conventional systems remain essentially unchanged. One measure of soil health is the amount of carbon contained in the soil. Carbon performs many crucial functions: acting as a reservoir of plant nutrients, binding soil particles together, maintaining soil temperature, providing a food source for microbes, binding heavy metals and pesticides, and influencing water holding capacity and aeration. The trials compared different types of organic and conventional systems; carbon increase was highest in the organic manure system, followed by the organic legume system. The conventional system has shown a loss in carbon in recent years.

. Organic fields increased groundwater recharge and reduced run-off. Water volumes percolating through the soil were 15-20 per cent higher in the organic systems. Rather than running off the surface and taking soil with it, rainwater recharged groundwater reserves in the organic systems, with minimal erosion.

Organic farming also helps sustain rural communities by creating more jobs; a UN study shows organic farms create 30 per cent more jobs per hectare than nonorganic. More of the money in organic farming goes to paying local people, rather than to farm inputs.
With results like these, why does conventional wisdom favour chemical farming? Vested interests. Organic farming keeps more money on the farm and in rural communities and out of the pockets of chemical companies. As the major funders of research centres and universities, and major advertisers in the farm media, they effectively buy a pro-chemical bias.
Still, the global food security community, which focuses on poor farmers in developing countries, is shifting to an organic approach. Numerous independent studies show that small scale, organic farming is the best option for feeding the world now and in the future. In fact, agroecological farming methods, including organic farming, could double global food production in just 10 years, according to one UN report.