The Warm Breath of Spring

Another fine day of progress for determined gardeners, enticing the land to yield up some treasures. So much knowledge, experience and will inspires even the humblest mole.

These pics are all from the Aquarius Garden because that’s where Mr Mole was. Please send any updates and pics from other projects if available to moley[at]

Excellent progress at Aquarius. The BIG G greenhouse was set up, tilled and composted. A drainage trench reminiscent of the big one down in Panama was dug and earth was turned.

Magically it begain to rain at 12 noon reminding everybody to head home for their ploughman/woman’s lunch.

As Mr. Mole trudged off home the beautiful words of Gordon Lightfoot floated into consciousness.

Pussywillows cattails soft wind and roses
Rainpools in the woodland water to my knees
Shivering quivering the warm breath of spring
Pussywillows cattails soft winds and roses



You Can Cut It With a Knife

I was sitting on my deck in the afternoon sun and suddenly thought “dang it’s quiet”.

We are super fortunate to live in such a normally quiet place, but now it is even quieter.  Extraordinarily quiet.  The present quiet reminds me of sailing up north around Cortes Island or even further up Johnstone Straight. The extra level of quiet up there seemed to be due to greater distance from the background hum of civilization and fewer aircraft (float planes, turbo props, high altitude jets).  I remember thinking when back on Salt Spring Island that it felt like Manhattan by contrast.

And now we have Quiet Plus right here. Can’t hear any float planes, turbo planes or distant jets, although there must be some.  Vehicle traffic also seems reduced. Enjoy the silence.

Like everyone I am praying for a soft landing ASAP from the calamity of civilization were are experiencing.  But I will miss the quiet.


Sourdough Wheat Cakes With Rhubarb Compote

The tangy taste of spring rhubarb goes pretty darn well with earthy sourdough wheatcakes.  No I am not taking about adding earth to the dough, I’m talking about sourdough starter.

Sourdough Wheatcakes

1 c. whole wheat flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 egg
3/4 c. buttermilk
1 tbs canola oil
2 tbs sourdough starter

Mix the dry ingredients.  Mix the liquid ingredients.  Add the dry to the liquid.  Heat up griddle or pan.  Melt some butter and get going.
Recipe works fine without starter if you don’t have any around.


More About Potatoes

In this classicist of all classic cooking programs, Julia does the classic Pommes Anna, using classic clarified butter “don’t be horrified by the amount we are using- we drain out two thirds at the end.”  This was pretty exotic cooking for February 19, 1966 when this show aired.   I’d gladly eat some Pommes Anna today.

Julie seemed to be able to cook amazing stuff on a simple electric stove using a big old cast iron skillet in those days. Maybe a $25k stove and a $400 frypan isn’t strictly speaking necessary?

According to wikiknowitall “The show was done live-to-videotape from start to finish, leaving little room for mistakes. The resulting occasional accidents became a popular trademark of Child’s on air presence, used as “teachable moments” to encourage viewers to relax about the task’s demands.” One of these moments happened in this show when the top of Julia’s Pommes Anna failed to come out with the bottom in the final presentation.

Do you have a favourite potato recipe to share? Send it to me and I’ll put it up (if your receipe is in a YouTube video send the link) . Email to moley @ [this website]


Potato Head Blues

In celebration of the day- Louis Armstrong’s And His Hot 7 fabulous 1927 recording.

In the Garden

They’re Off! Potato Planting

A gorgeous warm spring day, enthusiasm and energy in abundance as folks dug in, the wisdom and  experience of seasoned hands guiding the work. Beautiful seed potatoes were chat (chitted?) and assumed their positions in well turned rows. They could be heard murmuring encouragingly amongst themselves in their eagerness to get to work growing in the warm dark earth.

On Planting Potatoes at Easter

by Robin Kidson

All winter, I’ve nursed the seed potatoes.
I’ve chitted them and tricked their green fuses
To break out into anaemic, triffid shoots,
Probing for the promise of light and summer.
Now it’s Easter, ambiguous Easter:
Time to halt the fooling about, and plant.
Sow, seed, sperm, sex, egg, birth, shoots, spring, begin.
I rub out the weakest shoots: a thumb swish
Extinguishes possibilities,
Roads not taken, gates never opened.
I gouge a bloodless trench into the earthskin,
And lay my seed potatoes to rest there
In sepulchres of rotted excrement.
Cross, pain, sacrifice, death, tomb, decay, end.
At an Easter long ago, a people sowed
Their corrupted seed, and paid the price
In blight and famine, death and flight.
The survivors and the stayers chitted
Their shoots of grievance until they found
The fertile soil of another Easter.
In a city with green hills far away,
Guns shoot, possibilities are denied,
But others are freed to grow towards the light.
Like your man said, this is terrible beauty –
Which would be a good name for a potato.
So, I write the varieties in a verse:
Pentland Javelin, Belle de Fontenay,
Ulster Chieftain, Duke of York, Desiree,
Yukon Gold, Kerrs Pink, Arran Victory,
Harmony, Wilja, Terrible Beauty.



Spiral Bread Proofing Bowl?

Would anyone know where I can find a bowl like this one than can create a spiral or other shape in rising bread.  With all of the potters around here someone must make them?

I want to bake bread like this.  Right now I am making sourdough starter following the recipe from Anita’s flour:

Sourdough Guide


Farmers Market POSTPONED to Tuesday April 21

When the Tuesday market does open it will be following the recommendations from the BC Health guidelines in place at the time regarding COVID-19.  The Province has designated farmers’ markets as an essential service, but has limited them to food and beverage sales, with specific restrictions. They are a place to access food, not for groups to gather.

In the meantime, you can still support our local farmers through their Community Supported Agriculture program (CSA Box program) and through Farm Stands.

Also, the Salt Spring Community Market Society is launching an online food hub to provide Salt Spring residents with the ability to order local food online. This hub can be found at:

The full article and background is here: