In the Garden In The Valley

All the Way From Brussels!

December and we are still in the garden picking beautiful Brussels Spouts.

Some people like roasting these in the oven.  But, forget about them for ten minutes and you’re left with Brussels Cinders.

I like a sort of hybrid steam-roasting in a large covered skillet.  I put the sprouts in with a small amount of water and heat on medium high with cover on being careful to stop before the water is gone.  Then add some butter and saute until the sprouts get brown and nutty.

In the Garden In The Valley

Garlic Planting in Winter Garden

Lots of hard work this week planting garlic.  Many hands weeding, hoeing, peeling and planting.And now the garlic is bedded down and off to sleep.



In the Garden In The Valley

Cabbage Town

Affinity (Cabbages and Roses)

‘Rickety Kate’ (Minnie Filson) 1937

I wonder if the cabbage knows
He is less lovely than the Rose;
Or does he squat in smug content,
A source of noble nourishment;
Or if he pities for her sins
The Rose who has no vitamins;
Or if the one thing his green heart knows —
That self-same fire that warms the Rose?

Captain Cook’s Sauerkraut

Captain James Cook of the British Royal Navy was a renown seamen and explorer. The  innovation of providing sailors with fresh fruit and vegetables when possible and sauerkraut kept the scourge of scurvy at bay.

As described in “Untold Lives‘:  “Lack of vitamin C in the diet of sailors on long voyages resulted in the disease scurvy which could prove fatal.  The symptoms of scurvy are swollen gums that are prone to bleeding, loose teeth, bulging eyes, easy bruising, scaly skin, and very dry hair.  To counter this, James Cook replenished supplies of fresh fruit and vegetables for his crew whenever the ship made a land call.  He also took with him ‘Sour Krout’, that is sauerkraut, cabbage fermented with lactic acid bacteria.  On Cook’s first Pacific voyage in 1768, the Navy wanted to trial the efficacy of sauerkraut in combating scurvy.  The Endeavour was provided with 7,860 pounds of sauerkraut, a ration of 2 pounds per man per week.  Cook reported back to the Victualling Board in July 1771 that no ‘dangerous’ cases of scurvy had occurred and that he, the surgeons and the officers believed that the sauerkraut had played a large part in achieving this.”


In the Garden In The Valley

Winter Garden

Summer is now officially over as the light and dark share the couch equally on this day.  Soon darkness will be arrogantly sprawled out hogging up more and more space every day until poor light is forced into the corner with its knees tucked under its chin.

The winter garden has sprung to beautiful green life with the hard work of dedicated hands.  A beautiful and comforting sight as summer plants loosen their grasp to the land.  The last of the beautiful tomatoes are turning into delicious concentrated sauces in the heat of ovens and stove-top cauldrons.

Digging the potatoes!

In the Garden

Tomato Max

As everybody knows, only home grown tomatoes have this flavour, even this monster one (Canada Dry included for size comparison).

We will miss these when they are gone, but for now we should all get as much vitamin T as we can.


Chicken sandwich on sourdough, garden tomatoes and onions, home made pickles and sourkraut.


In the Garden In The Valley

Harvest Time

We will be remembering this warm beautiful time of gorgeous fresh food in the months to come!

See some pics here and send more for posting!

In the Garden

Pickle Time

Mark the fermentation master has been generously sharing his expertise to grateful picklers.  Until you taste a crisp fresh REAL pickle the way Mark does it you haven’t tasted the real thing.  Besides being delicious, fermented products like pickles and sauerkraut have many real health benefits for digestion and more.

Coming soon!  Pickle and Kraut videos with Mark and friend of the valley, herbalist and homeopath Seraphina Capranos


In the Garden

What’s Up Doc?

Things are humming! Some carrots are being harvested and work is continuing preparing the winter garden.

This one is for the National Museum of Carrots in Ottawa.

Preparing the soil and adding fertilizer.

Taking carrots home!

In the Garden

July is Humming!

The heat is finally here to give a friendly push to the plants at all three locations.  Teams are busy with weeding and watering AND prepping for the winter garden.

Bryan brings the winter garden manure.

Weeds away!

Shhh!  Don’t wake the carrots.

Prepping the winter garden.

Beans are climbing.

Ready for anything, anybody, anytime.

Southdown truckwash.

In the Garden

Little Deer Are Here

Watch out for these guys on the road!

Two little spotted deer and one small confused cat, not much smaller than the babies.  The changing colour of the drying grass seems perfectly timed to camouflage these little guys.  Spotted suits definitely the right fashion choice!