02 May 2016

Still here...

I thought I'd better post an update in case anyone is wondering why I haven't been posting much recently. The main reason is that I'm back working full-time again, for the first time since moving to Canada. Carving out time for gardening is one issue, but finding time for blogging about it is quite another!

I'm working as the archivist for the County of Hastings and the City of Belleville. I took over the job on a temporary contract last July, and was appointed on a permanent basis in March. In the first nine months I had to move the entire archive to a new location, which was quite a challenge but we are now safely in the new building and settling in. I am loving it.

In other news, Mike's mother has finally received permission to move to Canada as a permanent resident. (We got this news the same day I heard about getting the permanent job - a red-letter day!) We first applied for her to come over in April 2010, so it has been a long process, but now we can move ahead at last. The to-do list has grown again, but at least we can now make definite plans for bringing her here and making changes to the house to accommodate her. Exciting times!

25 March 2016

Winter's last blast

 After a mild few weeks, the weather took a turn for the colder this week. Yesterday an ice storm came through and left a fairly thick coating of ice over everything. This morning it warmed up quickly, so the ice began to melt: we could hear it almost exploding off the roof as we woke up.

The chickens' run resembled an ice rink. And it turns out chickens don't like skating, even if they are Canadian.

31 January 2016

Chickens out

Last day of January and a rare sight: the chickens being able to venture outside. For the last two winters they were cooped up for three months in a row. This winter has been much kinder. There are still a few inches of snow on the ground, but today's temperature is due to climb to 6°C/43°F, so I'm thinking by this evening there won't be too much left.

We have yet to have a day this winter where the temperature has gone below -20°C/-4°F, which is fairly unusual, and the average temperature for the month of January is running at -5°C/23°F, where normally it is -7°C/19°F.

The week ahead looks mild, but then there is a return to more normal winter temperature after that. As this week and last week are usually the cold point of the year, I'm certainly not complaining...

16 January 2016

Library trip

I don't let the weather stop me returning my library books...

It turned quite snowy here this week, with about a foot of snow falling on Wednesday night/Thursday morning. Luckily the book drop box has been designed with Canadian weather in mind!

03 January 2016

First and last

...harvest, that is. The first of 2016 and the last of last year's crops, I think.

With winter finally putting in an appearance, and the temperature due to drop drastically tonight, I dug up my remaining swedes/rutabagas and harvested the cabbages, sprouts, purple cauliflower and kale which were still bravely clinging on in my two brassica beds. There were over ten pounds of swedes!

The cabbages were still very small, so I decided to use them up by making kimchi out of them. They're not napa cabbages, which is the usual kimchi one, but I will experiment with what I have, approximately following this recipe, and if it works out, I'll buy the proper cabbage next time I go shopping. I found some baby leeks, carrots and one lone Chioggia beet in the greenhouse, so I've sliced those up and added them to the kimchi mix.

Now I just need to find a way of using up all those swedes...

24 December 2015

Christmas Eve harvest

I know it can't last, but the exceptional weather has continued, with temperatures hitting 15°C/59°F today. I was able to harvest quite a few green things from the garden for our Christmas dinner:



small but perfectly formed purple cauliflowers

and both sprouts and Brussels tops

I pulled up a swede/rutabaga, too.

We are promised a storm next week and I'm sure winter proper will be upon us soon, but I am thoroughly enjoying this reprieve, however temporary!

06 December 2015

Bringing the garden indoors

Still mild here (hope writing that doesn't jinx things) - the greenhouse herbs are still going strong. Here's the dill:

The parsley is still going, too. I mentioned the herbs to a colleague who asked if I bring some in for the winter. I don't normally (apart from the rosemary), but this struck me as an excellent idea, so this winter I have done just that, bringing some in from the garden, others from the greenhouse. The cat is having to share her windowsill with rosemary, dill, sage, thyme, oregano, parsley and coriander/cilantro. You can't see it in this photo, but the rosemary is actually flowering at the moment!

There were still some root crops to harvest: I pulled the last of the parsnips, most of the carrots and a couple of parsnips from the greenhouse and dug up a couple of pounds of sunchokes from the garden, as the soil is still soft enough to dig.

I also got a cabbage from the brassica patch, which is still doing well - there will be swedes/rutabagas to pull and more kale there. I think we might even get some Brussels sprouts, although they won't be as big as the ones happening in the UK this year. They even made the front page of the Weather Network's site (I think they are having to drum up stories about sprouts because the weather is being so un-newsworthy here!).