Saving Seed….

…for a hopeful future.

Last Friday morning it was snowing again as I set off for town. I was on my way to the annual Words on the Water writer’s festival. Every March for the past sixteen years I have attended this local cultural event. When I returned late Monday afternoon I felt rejuvenated. Some seeds of inspiration had been sown at the W.O.W. festival!

While I was away the robins returned to our garden, pecking and peering about on the ground for excited worms. It seems they  have brought spring  with them. Although it is still chilly, the sun is shining and buds on the flowering shrubs are  plump. The grass has begun to grow again and the first daffodil  is about to burst open. Continue reading “Saving Seed….”

Let’s Talk Trash…

(or what goes around comes around)

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The end of the road on a January morning, 2017.

The past few days have been remarkably mild, considering it is still January. Snow drops are budding and daffodils are emerging from the recently thawed ground. Spring beckons.

We have been enjoying the gradually lengthening days; going for pleasant walks in the forest, starting on one or two outdoor projects. C. just finished building a new bridge over the creek. The last one disintegrated with old age and the ravages of the flooding stream last autumn.

Yesterday I took the garden fork up to the vegetable garden to dig up the last of the overwintered parsnips, filling a five 039gallon bucket with lovely, cream-coloured roots. We had some for supper last night, par-boiled and then roasted with a bit of butter, salt and pepper, in a tightly covered glass baking dish, alongside a brace of grilled black tail deer chops – truly delicious!

Lately I have been thinking a lot about cycles, seasonal, life-cycles and so on; the old making way for the new. All the trashy talk reverberating over the airwaves these past few months, has got me thinking about garbage and what to do about it. One thought leads to another and I find myself wanting to talk about the way we deal with our trash on the island. The main point being that here on the island there is no curbside pick-up. Here we must deal with our own waste from beginning to end. Continue reading “Let’s Talk Trash…”

Chance of Showers…

…for all areas

It has been one of the wettest autumns I have ever seen anywhere. I think. These days my memory seems to play tricks on me, so perhaps I’m just not remembering a wetter October and November in any of the places I have lived, in several places on this planet, during my lifetime.

The other morning the weatherman on the regional CBC morning radio told his listeners that there was “a chance of showers for all areas”. I was looking out the living room window at the time, watching a veritable wall of water descend from the heavens above as a solid stream of water poured from the broken gutter onto the ground below. “You don’t say?

Continue reading “Chance of Showers…”

A Day in The Life…

of a remote island dweller…and chronic tea drinker!

People who live elsewhere often ask, “What do you do all day long on your island.” How do I begin to describe a typical day in this place I call home? There are seasonal differences and a day in my life as a remote, off grid island dweller depends a lot on the weather, among other things.

Let’s take last Tuesday for example. I woke up earlier than usual with the sound of C.’s alarm clock chiming. Still dark outside, I could hear the incessant rainfall on the roof. C. had plans to leave for his annual winter camping and deer-hunting trip to the interior of the province. I needed to get up too, in order to take him and all his gear, in the skiff, down the channel, to the end of the road on the next island where our car stays when we are at home on this island. Have I mentioned that there is no ferry service to our island?

While we ate breakfast the rain stopped, temporarily, for the first time in many, many days. C. was able to load his gear into the skiff without it all getting soaked. We both got dressed for the open boat ride; layers of warm clothing topped off with heavy duty rain gear and rubber boots. From home, it’s a fifteen minute run, in a fast boat, to the end of the road. Continue reading “A Day in The Life…”

More about Drying

a few more details about the process…

The harvest continues here on the island as the temperatures gradually drop and the season changes before our eyes. Summer is really over now. The maple and alder trees are dropping their autumn leaves and the baring limbs stand in stark contrast to the deep green backdrop of the thick coniferous forest behind our house.

I’ve been busy putting the garden to bed for the winter. The last of the tomatoes have been picked, despite still being as green as grass. They will ripen gradually over time, set out on the counter in the cool laundry room at the back of the house. The garlic has been planted in between the rain storms and I finally got around to picking the last of the apples yesterday, filling a large box with lovely crisp, tart-sweet, yellowish green apples from our orchard.

Garlic being planted with organic fertilizer in shallow trenches.

In my last post I wrote about my drying experiments using excess produce from the garden along with the heat from our woodstove. At least one reader indicated interest in the process, so I thought I would share a few more details of my current pastime. Continue reading “More about Drying”

Harvest Time in the 25th Garden…

dscn5633It has been a while since my last post. Sounds like holy confession. The problem is that there is a glut of things to write about and I am having trouble picking one topic and sticking to it. Like most things in life, not just blog posts.

This year I grew my 25th vegetable garden at home here on the island. I can hardly believe that figure; have I really been planting a kitchen garden for a quarter of a century! Am I allowed to swear on a blog! I could write entirely about the garden and never mention anything else in my life, but really, the garden is just one aspect of this island life, though I do spend a lot of my time engaged in it one way or another. Today I am going to narrow it down to a fraction of that aspect, and tell you a little bit about the harvest of my garden, this particular autumn. Continue reading “Harvest Time in the 25th Garden…”