I realize this reduces my chances of getting one, but I must tell you about Mood Swing Studio’s Abloom collection of necklaces, earrings, and broaches. My favourites are the necklaces, each is one-of-a-kind and lovingly crafted by Kristen using vintage enamel flowers re-appropriated from old-school jewelery. With titles often referring to popular culture or songs, Kristen’s names for her pieces are almost as interesting as the pieces themselves. My current fave is called “Dance This Mess Around” which I am guessing (and hoping) is a reference to The B-52′s.
Photo by Mood Swing Studio.
Please note that items are listed in U.S prices.
1. Extreme Close-View Monocular – $16.95 A small, pocket-sized viewing scope that magnifies objects 7x from 10″ to infinity. Perfect for the geeky gardener or amateur naturalist in your life who enjoy getting a closer look at insects and flowers in the garden. It’s also really helpful for identifying bugs and disease. Of course, some may prefer to see those things from way back here, thank you very much.
2. Earthly Paradise Calendula Salve – $12.99 I make my own but if I were going to buy hand salve I would buy it from Earthly Paradise who just happen to make a killer salve. A healing hand salve is an absolute necessity for gardener’s like me who prefer not to wear gloves since the soil can really sap the moisture right out of your hands.
3. Oak Nail Brush – $12.36 It’s become a ritual: Returning from the garden the first thing I do is scrub my hands and nails with a bar of my favourite oatmeal soap and a good nailbrush. This beautiful oak brush is handmade using white tampico bristles — I have no idea what that is but it sounds terribly posh! And really, at that price it kind of is.
4. Richter’s Pot Maker – $12.95 Make your own seed-starting pots using newspaper — recycled and free you’ll never complain about running out of pots again.
5. Second Nature: A Gardener’s Education by Michael Pollan – $11.20 This isn’t a how-to guide but a book ABOUT the act of gardening and a “…manifesto for rethinking our relationship with nature.” A great thinking book for any gardener and one that I have personally gone back to many times.
6. Kitchen Compost Pails – $16.95 Again a Lee Valley item. I have seen these pails available elsewhere however they tend to be priced at a few dollars more. These buckets act like a sort-of purgatory for kitchen scraps, a holding station between produce and the compost bin. Believe me, being frugal-ish people we were resistant to purchasing a special container just to hold kitchen scraps on our counter, juggling an assortment of yogurt containers before finally taking the plunge. It was so worth it. This baby holds a lot and the handle makes it easy to carry out to the composter, especially given that we often have to carry ours a few blocks to our community garden plot!
7. Modern Birdhouses – $195 Like their human-sized counterparts these birdhouses modeled after real Modernist houses designed in the Case Study Houses Series are not cheap. But say I had a lot of money, and say I had enough that I could splurge on a very fancy birdhouse, I’d get the Richard. Just saying.
Yay! After an unexpectedly long production schedule the You Grow Girl 2008 Calendar is finally here. I’m really proud of this one. Once again my goal was to produce a calendar that is a nice balance between rich imagery and inspiring information that I hope will keep you excited about turning each page through all 12 months. Here are the details:
Get inspired through 12 months in the garden. This full color calendar features 30 rich garden and botanical images along with a selection of organic gardening tips, growing techniques, and creative ideas. Learn about pretty heirloom pepper varieties, growing orchids, deciduous citrus trees and more.
All photography and text is by me with the exception of the cover and August. Those photos were taken by Davin Risk.
Copies are now available directly through the printer. However, I have ordered a batch of copies and am selling those directly through our store. You can reserve your copy through me now but these copies have not yet arrived at my door so shipping will be delayed slightly until they do. I will sign these copies and shipping should be cheaper, especially for Canadians who usually get hit by heavy International Shipping Fees through Lulu.
I want this book! We took a week off last month, staying at the home of an avid tomato gardener whose name I have not sought permission to reveal (and therefore will not). While there she introduced me to the Kokopelli Seed Foundation, a non-profit organization based in France who are working to actively address issues of food security and preserve biodiversity by producing organic open-pollinated seeds as well as educating and promoting these issues globally.
One of their projects is the book, “The Seeds of Kokopelli” by Dominique Guillet is a massive 440 page, hardcover tome introducing Kokopelli’s work and farms, as well as proper pollination, seed production and saving techniques for an assortment of vegetables. The bulk of the book functions as a food plant directory introducing thousands of open-pollinated and heirloom herb and vegetable varieties. My host had the French version of the book at her home
(“Les Semences de Kokopelli“) which proved to be a bit of a tease given that I could only gaze at the photos, picking up a line or two of French here and there. Even still, on quick glance the book introduced me to a few interesting varieties that I’ve got on my list for next year including:
What I saw has absolutely convinced me to order a English edition for myself. $46 (includes shipping to Canada) is an excellent price for such a massive encyclopedia of plants. The price including shipping to the US is a deal at $34-38.
During the spring and summer months I grow indeterminant tomatoes (large, vine plants) in large garbage bins like this one purchased for $10 each a number of years ago at the local Ikea. The flat grey colour has faded significantly over the years but the containers are still holding up under the wear and tear of hot summers and winter heaving caused by fluctuating temperatures.
I typically fill each container with a single tomato plant and surround it with 4 basil plants. With the weather being warmer this fall I decided to try and keep the rooftop deck productive AND aesthetically pleasing by replacing the spent tomatoes with attractive, cold-hardy edibles previously growing in smaller, individual containers. This also allowed me to get a head start on clean-up bringing in some of the smaller, terra cotta containers that will eventually come indoors for the winter.
In This Container:
- Tri-color sage
- Pansy (will keep flowering. Flowers are edible.
- ‘Lacinato Blue’ Kale aka ‘Dinosaur’ Kale
- ‘Red Bor’ Kale
- Cinnamon Basil (not cold hardy but surprisingly still going strong.)
Everything in this container is edible. Unfortunately, while we were away a squirrel made a hearty lunch of the dinosaur kale but everything else is still thriving and ready for picking whenever we need a bit of sage for our eggs, some flowers for a salad, or kale to flavour a soup.