Wednesday, September 23, 2015


So its fall!
At least that's what my calendar is telling me.
I suppose if I were to sit and think on it...
It feels like fall too.

The air is cooler.
(Not so stifling and heavy)
The geese are honking their goodbyes.
The nights are beautiful!
(no bugs)

Not to mention, my calendar says its fall today...officially.
When its fall we pick apples.
Certainly not the first time.
Definitely not the last time.
We have picked apples at local farms too!
What makes this year a little different is that our favorite trees are heavy with fruit.
My sister in law has several GREAT apple trees.
The past few years have been hard on them.
Serious winters, porcupine damage, deer thieves...
These trees hardly stand a chance!
And yet this year they are spectacular!
(and luckily for us, they are right around the corner)

We drove up one evening to grab the apples before the deer at them all.

Owen was pretty annoyed that there was only one picking tool to be had...
So I made him the official apple picking photographer.
At 8 years old...he's not to bad!

Apple picking action!

I remembered the cloth in the picking tool this time...

No I didn't bring rum to pick apples...although...

We also scored a cabbage too!
(Located in the nearby veggie garden))

And in case you are wondering...
Here is a handy post that describes what we do with all of those apples.

And if you are interested...

I have posts on Apple and Havarti Quiche

As well as Parsnip Apple and Brie here.

Both are well worth trying!!!
I promise! 

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Talking Garlic at Burt's Greenhouses

Well another weekend...and another event about GARLIC!

This time I traveled to Wilton, ON to Burt's Greenhouses
to see Mr Brian Burt talk all about how they grow garlic.
Brian and Ruth have been growing garlic for sale for 5 years now.

Held in the greenhouse itself, it was a super informative talk.
It was interesting to learn from the growers perspective.
Why they grow what they grow and how.

Brian is a very animated speaker...
so it wasn't until I went to get out of my chair that I realized how long I'd been sitting.
He kept the small group hanging on his every word.

Brian spoke about some of the issues in growing garlic...
such as bulb and root nematodes.
They use french marigolds (as shown behind Brian in the above picture)
to help the garlic fight off the bad nematodes.
He also spoke about leek moths and 
how they spray the garlic in May with beneficial nematodes in the evening to combat this issue.
He grows Cutlass oriental mustard to fight off the pathological nematodes.

He overwinters the garlic in his greenhouses in order to 
maintain a consistent level of moisture and temperature.

He also top dresses the garlic rounds with chipped deciduous wood due to the high tannin content.

Brian mentioned that they specifically grow garlic rounds rather 
than bulbs to help keep the stock safe from pests that prefer a more developed bulb.

All in all it was a great talk that I would highly recommend to anyone interested in growing their own garlic.
It stores well (when properly harvested) and can be enjoyed in almost any dish!

I hope that Brian felt the event was a success and will repeat the event next September.

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Verona Garlic Festival 2015

Saturday was the annual Verona Garlic Festival.

It has become quite an event for this community!

Thanks to BearRoot Gardens for this beautiful braid!!!

I just love stocking up on garlic.
Although we tried to grow garlic for the first time this year...
It wasn't a huge success.
Thank goodness for events like this!
Its a place where you can stock up,
Meet the grower and 
Learn something new!


There were many many vendors.
They came from all over Ontario!
The vendors were mainly garlic producers...
but they offered so much more!

All kinds of garlic...garlic pesto, garlic dips, marinades, sauces.
But not just garlic!
There was a honey vendor, a hot sauce guy from St Lucia, 
a booth offering wine samples...

The Tai Chi Society was out too.

Small farms trying to get the word out.

Garlic is great!
And shopping locally feels good.
(it tastes even better)

If its within reach, you should definitely make a plan to attend next year's event!

PS.  There were so many vendors offering free samples...
my mouth was certainly burning by the time I left!!!