homegrown lavender salt

Lavender Sea Salt

I have a bit of an obsession with salt. I went through a phase tasting every kind of salt I could find, and I still get excited when I come across new types in specialty food stores. Last summer we happened upon a store called The Meadow in New York’s West Village that carries over

Making Plant Hydrosol with an Alembic Copper Still

Experiments in Plant Hydrosol Distillation

Oh, how I love my alembic copper still! I’ve been having such a great time experimenting with it over these past few weeks. The process of distilling plant matter in water to make hydrosol is creative and right brained, but it also engages my left brain in just the right way. It feels like alchemy,

Linden Flower Tea

Foraging for Linden Flowers (+ Giveaway)

I live smack dab inside an urban forest of linden aka lime (Tilia) and at no time is that more obvious than mid-June-July when the trees are dripping with blooms. Their sticky sweet, floral scent is so strong, my bet is that even if you have never noticed the trees, chances are good that you

dehydrated rose petals

How to Harvest, Dry, and Use Rose Petals

I’m not sure when I made the transition from rose-hater to rose-eater. These days I have several roses planted in my garden, most of which have been chosen specifically for their eat- and use-ability. All roses are edible, but only those that smell fragrant taste good. Scentless roses are flavourless. I recently returned from a

herbs_kitchen

Growing Herbs and Edible Flowers

Perennial herbs are coming up beautifully in my garden and we’ve been enjoying fresh oregano, chives, and French tarragon in our meals. I’ve also begun sowing annual seeds both indoors and out in the garden. With herbs on the brain I have compiled a resource guide that includes many of the best articles on growing,

basil_washbasin

We Want Basil Now!

Spring is happening here in Toronto. Flowering bulbs and hardy perennials are popping up in my garden quickly now and the local corner shops have begun hauling out carts full of plants to tempt us. Right on schedule, emails about basil have come flooding in. “Hi there, I bought a basil plant a few weeks

Photo by Gayla Trail: All Rights Reserved

Homegrown and Homemade Lavender and Honey Caramels

Here’s a homemade holiday gift from the garden that there is still time to make. It took me about an hour and a half to make the caramel slab and I’ll probably be cutting and packaging individual caramels until the second coming, but it will have been worth it. To say that these are gorgeous

Photo by Gayla Trail: All Rights Reserved

The Secret to Growing Happy Thyme

‘Doone Valley,’ a variegated creeping thyme with a lemon scent/flavour is seen here growing in my Dry Bed in and around red semperivum and a Silver Brocade Artemisia (Artemisia stelleriana). I’ve been growing thyme (Thymus spp.) for about as long as I’ve been gardening and I over that time I have tried every variety you

Photo by Gayla Trail: All Rights Reserved

Salomoia Bolognese (Italian Herbed Salt)

The quest to preserve what remains of the fall garden bounty continues at a fevered pitch. I used to complain that I didn’t have enough green tomatoes at the end of the season, and now… let’s just say, Be careful what you wish for. One nice way to use up the last of the herbs

Photo by Gayla Trail: All Rights Reserved

Jora JK125 Tumbling Composter Winner

The winner, chosen randomly using Random.org is Commenter #141 Raine. If you are the lucky winner, please check your inbox for instruction. If you have not received an email, please check your junk box or get in touch via the contact form over here. Happy composting! And happy weekend everyone! I leave you with a

Photo by Gayla Trail: All Rights Reserved

Constructing Lunch

We’re hitting that magical time of the season when a growing portion of our meals are gleaned from the garden. I enjoy moving around the space, snipping bits of this and that from here and there. I have edibles tucked in everywhere. There are lettuce seedlings in every bed, except the dry one. They would

Photo by Gayla Trail: All Rights Reserved

Rainy Day Books and Lemon Balm Tea from the Garden

“Rainy days and Mondays always get me down.” – The Carpenters I’m not going to mince words — the weather is shit right now. It’s grey and cold and the coffee I drank two hours ago has been unable to penetrate its dreary, low energy malaise. I feel like a zombie and I look like

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