Photo by Gayla Trail: All Rights Reserved

A Glut of Green Tomatoes

When it comes to dealing with an end of season garden glut I have one rule: everything roasted. I am yet to find a vegetable or fruit that doesn’t benefit from this treatment. I thought I’d tried it all and there were no more surprises left. I was wrong. Last weekend I pulled out almost

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My friend Barry has an elderberry tree in his yard. Last summer he offered up the harvest in exchange for a sampling of the end product. I collected a lot of berries and was a bit unsure about what to do with them. Raw elderberries have a somewhat unpleasant scent and are not edible so

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Canning Tomatoes: 3 Recipes

This article and the accompanying recipes originally appeared in print in the Globe & Mail on September 5, 2009. I thought I’d repost it here today since the season is so ahead this year and my large, indeterminate tomato plants are on the verge of a first round of ripening. CAN NOT WAIT! If you’re

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Making Sorrel with Fresh Hibiscus

Sorrel or rum punch (sorrel spiked with rum) is a popular, refreshing drink in the Caribbean, especially during the holiday season. Knowing this, I was particularly excited to get to the market and get my hands on some fresh sorrel so that I could find out how the drink compares when the flower calyces are


A One-Pot Garden Scraps Meal

Before I came down with the Great Attack of the TIFF Flu 2009 (named as such because the worst part coincided with the Toronto International Film Festival) a lot of our meals looked like some version of this one. They probably looked like this one throughout the flu debacle as well but 1. my memory

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Snack Foods for the Apocalypse

This is how I see canning: making snack foods for the apocalypse. Because in truth, with the exception of the plain tomato jars and sauces, many of the items I put up tend to be condiments, pickles, and intense fruit preserves — food I could probably live without. If, say, we were to suffer through

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Let’s Make Tiny Vaginas, Each One Beautiful & Unique

And make our own edible version of Judy Chicago’s Dinner Party! There has been a long and harried internal debate raging in my brain for days over that title. I have avoided making this post, worried that I will offend people by using the anatomically correct word for part of the female anatomy on a

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Pink Borage

I’ve never been able to determine why borage (Borago officinalis) flowers, which are typically blue, sometimes turn pink. Some books mention the possibility of pink and even white flowers but don’t account for why they appear. I don’t think it is related to soil pH as is the case with some flowers. Could it be

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Hibiscus Drink

The rooftop garden is finally set up for outdoor living and the heat has suddenly cranked up, which means it’s summer drink time. I’ve taken to making up bright red batches of roselle, aka sorrel (not to be confused with the cold hardy herb Rumex acetosa), a tangy and refreshing ginger infused hibiscus drink popular

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Preserving Spring Ramps

Ramps, aka wild leeks, are a wild North American onion-like plant that pop up in forested areas in early-mid spring. The season for ramps is short, typically no more than a few weeks between April and May depending on your location. Believe me when I say that they are GOOD. Ramps resemble scallions except that

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Give Me Tomatoes

Above image is the July entry from the 2008 You Grow Girl Calendar I LOVE tomatoes. If I had to give up growing all other crops and choose just one I would probably choose tomatoes although basil would follow as a close second. Who can imagine tomatoes without basil? Don’t make me choose. Tomatoes aren’t

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Things I Learned While Camping

Homesteading — the kind that involved living in tents and no machinery — was terribly difficult. I’m sure of it. Of course I already knew this, camping merely drove that point home in a new way. Simple tasks take longer, requiring more planning. Who wants tea? Well, first you’ve got to make a fire. This

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