Thursday, October 6, 2011

Giving Thanks

Not much posting around here these days I know. It's quiet on the blog because I've been busy with other things. After an introductory weekend in the spring, I signed up for my permaculture design course with the Permaculture Institute of Eastern Ontario (PIEO) and I'm right in the thick of it, with cool homework assignments and a group design project.

I'm taking time to observe a spot in nature, gathering information and making connections about what I notice. I'm learning about plant communication, specifically, secondary metabolites and alleopathy. I have to map out a piece of property and draw a contour line.

I'm so excited for our design project. We'll be creating a design for a small section of the Just Food Community Food and Urban Agriculture hub project!

Aside from that I've been making homemade dried apple rings with some delicious local apples from the organic farmer's market.

The ADG and I are still working in the garden, harvesting and preparing for winter. I successfully grew and harvested sweet potatoes this year. We ended up with about 40lbs of tomatoes. Tons of potatoes. Sweet, fresh corn. Black Spanish radishes. Kale. Chard. Lots of fresh herbs and much more. In a few weeks I'll dig up my medicinal roots. Dandelion roots for coffee: yay! There's work enough in the garden until the ground freezes.

But all this will have to wait for a few more days, as I'm heading out of town this afternoon to spend time with family for the Thanksgiving weekend. My mom and I will have a day together in the backyard working in her garden. I'm making elderberry syrup with my dad and stepmom, from the berries he harvested and froze a while back. I'll visit my Oma and Opa too, in the gorgeous Muskokas, and if I can find some time to sneak away, I'll look for juniper berries on the bushes that grow out of the cracks of pink granite.

And when I sit down for the holiday meal, my heart will be full of all the things I'm grateful for.

Wishing the same for you!


Anonymous said...

And a wonderful day it was, spending it with you in the garden. Thanks so much for all your help in cleaning and storing of all my garden ornaments. I'm looking forward to seeing your "surprise" tulip garden, next spring. is a great weekend to be thankful for all we have. Love you! Mom.

Tony R said...

Was it hard to grow the sweet potatoes? We tried three years straight to grow potatoes and just never had any real luck...10lb harvest at best from ALL the plants together...I really want to try sweet potatoes but I'm just wasn't up for it this year. Any advice? I hope you all had a Happy Thanksgiving

Amber said...

It was a great day in the garden with you mom!

Tony, the sweet potatoes were given to me as beautiful, healthy starts by a garden neighbour who had extras. I have no idea what variety they are.

I just stuck them in the ground and pretty much ignored them all summer long. After the leaves died back from a light frost, I dug them up and lo! we had sweet potatoes. I'd like to try growing them again next year, but imagine I might not have the same beginner's luck again!

Sorry I can't really give you any helpful tips. :)

Amber said...

Tony! I just remembered this post on sweet potatoes that you might find helpful. It's from an Ottawa blogger, so still not sure if it will suit your climate, but at least she gives detailed how-to's and a book recommendation.