Spring Heave-Ho ~ Rusty Relics and Glistening Glass

Let’s face it,  most of us wait for spring. And, no matter how long and fierce the winter, spring eventually lands on our doorstep. Like many others, I love spring, the sense of renewal and hope and on the farm – discovery.

There is a wonderful voyage of discovery as you find the first flower shoots pushing their way through the snow and thawing ground like eager shoppers at a Walmart sale. Each flower wants to be first on the scene. In my vegetable garden I eagerly await the tender green shoots of garlic, lovingly planted in the fall and they never fail to reward me. Dreams of garlic scapes dance through my head

The other wonderful discovery in the spring on the farm is what the ground heaves up, gosh that does not sound appealing but that is the best description I can give you. Years ago we were not as diligent about where and how garbage was disposed of. Year over year the ground offers up buried treasures and bits from our past, like a living history lesson.

Note Relics of the Past crop

Each spring there is the glint of broken glass and rusty relics such as horseshoes, poles, buckets, drawbars and discarded metal utensils. Old farm utensils always seem to make an appearance as does barbed wire and pieces of china.

A small sampling of this year’s discovery including a bed spring (perhaps I shall place a candle in that), rusty weigh scales, a fry pan, wrench, horse bit, chain, ornate metal work perhaps from an old sleigh or carriage. Much of the glass is broken however this year there were wonderful glass discoveries in blue, brown and green as well as clear glass. Lots of Javex bottles and 1 green bottle discovery turned into 7 bottles – presto, instant collection.

Rescued Collection

Bottle Collection

Blue Bottle


Many of these treasures are cleaned up and displayed in my farmhouse kitchen. Others end up on the wall of our wood shed sort of like a trophy case.

Woodshed Whimsy


Perhaps my favorite find this year is a small plaque from our town that was affixed to something at one time. Now I’m on a research mission to find out about this business, the time frame and what it may relate to.

Metal Plaque

Ah, the joys of spring on the farm, so much to discover and treasure; I adore the Spring Heave-Ho.

“In the spring, at the end of the day, you should smell like dirt.” ~Margaret Atwood

Scented Violets

Scented Violets


2013 Garden of Weeds

All winter long I dream of summer in my garden.  February/March sees me tenderly planting seeds to get things growing for the greenhouse.  April the ground is cultivated and tilled and the excitement grows as my garlic pushes its eager face up through the straw mulch.

Basil Seedlings for planting

Basil Seedlings for planting

In May and June the garden starts in earnest with planting of potatoes, beans, peas, peppers, squash and my beloved heirloom tomatos, by the hundreds.  So clearly during the month of July, after taking off my garlic scapes, I must have blinked.  I turned around and wondered aloud “Where did the weeds come from?”.  Admittedly we had copious rain and lots of warm sun this year but my garden now looked like Jack and the Beanstalk had taken up residence. 

Bindweed, pigweed and weeds that I’m sure have names longer than the tap root I was about to yank out.  Seriously, I couldn’t see my tomato plants for the waving heads of weeds.  I am loath to remove the milkweed as the flowers are so beautiful and fragrantly reminiscent of lilac and I welcome the Monarch butterflies and bees to my garden.  The rest of the weeds however had to go. 

Beautiful Milkweed Flower

A solid week working methodically row by row (the garden is on the mammoth side) wheelbarrow loads to the weed pile, I could feel the gentle breeze blowing between the rows, sun warming and ripening fruits and there was a restored sense of calm to the summer garden.  Two weeks since my weeding marathon and the new growth on the veggies is extraordinary.. 

I am waiting for a boy scout to arrive and present me with a merit badge for forestry as the tomatos are now almost 5 feet tall and ripening fruit faster than shooting stars. 

All is good in the summer garden.

Ernie’s Plump straight from the garden

Picton – the place to be on Saturday Feb 23rd 2013 for Seedy Saturday

Only one  more sleep untill Seedy Saturday Picton

 Seedy Saturday

Once again this year we have a wonderful line up of vendors/exhibitors and information for your enjoyment.  It is always an energetic and amazing day.  The seed swap table is sure to be the hub of activity but make sure you take the time to visit and chat with our vendors/exhibitors

Karyn and Don fromTerra Edibles

Katie from Honey Pie Hives and Herbals

Stacey from Edible Antique

Bob from Tansy Lane Farms

Amanda from Green Hill Greens

Carol-Anne from PortlandBridge

Diane representing Seeds of Diversity

The Moucks they are Seeds Savers Extraordinaire

Erika Wolff and her sprouting containers

Fiddlehead Farms will be dishing up some delightful food at the Canteen.

We will be having hourly informal discussions on topics such as sprouting, seed saving, container gardening.  There are several free catalogues and resources for you to pick up and enjoy at home. 

New this year is our book donation table.  Lots of amazing books have been donated and they are yours for the taking – all we ask is a donation amount that you are comfortable with.  If you have some garden books to donate, feel free to bring them along. 

And, don’t forget about those three fabulous raffle baskets to be won – Gardener’s Delight, Bounty of the County and Beauty of the County. A huge thank you to our donors as the value of these baskets is in excess of $500. 

So, see you there.  Saturday Feb 23rd 10-3 St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church 31 King Street at Bowery. Please see my  post from Jan 18th for even more information.

Funding for this event is provided in part by The Bauta Family Initiative on Canadian Seed Security, a project of USC Canada delivered in partnership with Seeds of Diversity Canada and supported by The W. Garfield Weston Foundation. For more information visit
http://www.usc-canada.org<http://www.usc-canada.org> and

Seedy Saturday Picton Feb 23, 2013

In the midst of a wonderful January thaw and surrounded by new seed catalogues, a gardener’s fancy soon turns to the planting and growing season ahead. Well, okay, honestly, I have not finished the clean up in the garden and organizing of seed labels from last year. However, I boldly and with much excitement, look forward to another great adventure in the garden in 2013. What shall I plant that is new, what are my tried and true that deserve a place of honour in my plot?

Nothing signals the start of the planting season quite like a trip to our local Seedy Saturday event at the end of February. Part seed exchange, part seed shopping trip, part information gathering and part social event, Seedy Saturday is a non-profit, volunteer organized community event. 2013 marks our 4th annual event and once again I’m delighted to be part of the organizing committee.

 Wooden Basket Bounty

What will you find at Seedy Saturday?

SEED VENDORS – We have several local sellers of organic and sustainably raised heirloom seeds so you can purchase what you need for the growing season; from vegetables to flowers to herbs

A large SEED EXCHANGE TABLE – bring seeds that are excess to your needs and pick up something from the table you would like to try. Don’t have seeds to swap – no problem, pick up something from the table and if you can, make a small donation to our honour box. We want to make it easy and fun for you to grow in your own garden.

INFORMATION GALORE  from how to save seeds, how to grow successfully, how to start that first garden, edible flowers, composting, growing in containers – if it’s garden related, we will be able to answer your questions

INFORMAL DISCUSSIONS about seed saving with a number of knowledgeable seed savers. There is pride in being able to save your own seed and preserve your garden’s diversity.

BOOK TABLE – this will feature donated books on a wide range of garden topics all available for a donation of your choosing.

CANTEEN with yummy food for a modest price

RAFFLE BASKETS to bid on with wonderful garden related and/or local food treasures

You will also find a relaxed and friendly atmosphere, familiar faces and new friends, all designed to make this a wonderful start to the growing season.

Well, now that you are excited I’m sure you are asking When and Where is this wonderful event being held?

10 a.m. to 3 p.m. – Saturday, February 23, 2013
St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church, 31 King Street, Picton, Ontario
If you are not in the Picton area, check out the Seeds of Diversity website to find an event in your area. Seeds of Diversity is a non-profit organization devoted to protecting the seed heritage of Canada (and the world).

 Basil Seedlings  

I’m sure you have some questions you really want to ask so we sat down with one of this year’s exhibitors, Amanda from Green Hill Greens and asked her a few questions.

Why should I bother saving my own seed?
If you enjoy growing plants from seed, then saving seed from plants you’ve grown is the next logical step for many gardeners. It’s the way that people have grown and improved plants for thousands of years and it puts the power of food production into your own hands.

What makes heirloom seeds better than the ones I can buy at the garden center?
Heirloom seeds represent generations of work by gardeners who have nurtured varieties for particular traits. Seeds saved from heirloom plants can be used to grow the same variety next year: you can’t do this with commercially-produced hybrid seeds. Getting heirloom seeds from local growers means that you can be sure you’re getting seeds from plants that do
well in our area.

What’s the best edible flower for the home garden?
Squash flowers can be used in a number of ways: stuffed with herbs and cream cheese and fried in butter, for example, or simply torn and used raw in salads.

I only have a barrel to grow in, what can I plant?
Many herbs and vegetables grow well in small containers: lettuces, carrots and beets are definitely worth trying. Peppers are good too, and you can also sow a few edible flowers like nasturtiums for an attractive display.

Thanks Amanda.  Have questions like this, come and get your answers.

Pink Poppy

Next Post – I’m naming names!

Save The Date – February 23, 2013 10am-3pm

See You There

Seedy Saturday