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.
Now that the colder, dryer weather is upon us and the further-drying baseboard heaters have been turned on I’ve been loving my new bottle of Earthly Paradise’s Lavender Rose Moisturizer. This yummy-smelling moisturizer is made here in Toronto by Colette Murphy using organic and fair trade ingredients, all of which are simple (no crazy chemicals) and listed right on the jar.
I used to buy the Calendula Moisturizer for it’s powerful skin-healing properties but was taken in by the delicious combination of lavender and roses added to many of the same nourishing ingredients including organic calendula oil.
I bought my jar directly from Colette at the Dufferin Grove Farmer’s Market here in Toronto and it looks like she is only selling this particular type in-person. However the equally-yummy Calendula Moisturizer is sold both in-store and online at Grassroots Environmental Store.
There’s a new magazine in town, and I mean that quite literally. Edible Toronto is the Toronto edition of a group of locally-relevant edible cities world-wide. There’s an edible Brooklyn, an edible Seattle, and there’s even an edible Hawaiian Islands. Supported by Edible Communities, a member-driven organization, the locally-centred magazines aim to create relationships around good, local food between consumers, local growers, and chefs. Many of the articles are about farmers, farms, growers, markets, community events and restaurants but there are also recipes and gardening articles.
The title of the Toronto edition is a little misleading since it is actually meant to serve the surrounding Golden Horseshoe area. I love the purple broccoli cover photo by FoodShare’s Laura Berman. Their “Where to Get It” page has not been updated as of yet but I can tell you that I picked my copy up in the lobby of The Gladstone Hotel but I have also been told that they’re available at the Dufferin Grove Farmer’s Market (I think they were gone by the time I checked last week).
And did I mention it’s free!
I made a quick trip to my community garden plot yesterday where several large zucchinis and cucumbers were quickly expanding into over-sized monster vegetables. I had been gone for 6 days and Davin was unable to get into the garden with a poorly copied key. There are more cucumbers on the way and little scalloped patty pan zucchinis are forming. It’s gonna be a good harvest year.
A prize winner has been chosen in the last contest. Kelly of Texas has won a copy of “Let’s Get Primitive: The Urban Girl’s Guide to Camping – by Heather Menicucci. Thanks to everyone who entered the contest. There will be another soon.
I often dream of hens clucking around in a small garden pecking at bugs and laying fresh, organic eggs but alas that is not going to happen living in the cold, white north with no backyard or shelter against raccoons and minus will-it-never-end winters. And seriously, that was an actual question. Will winter never end? I see photos online of people working outside in tank tops and flip flops. Dangling their springy, warm weather like an evil, tortuous carrot. We’re still wearing layers and big jackets over here people! Local weather reports keep reminding me that it is unseasonably cold. Yeah, that’s the kind of thing I like to hear. That and the words “possible flurries.” But I digress (a lot). I found the book “Keep Chickens!” by Barbara Kilarski at Pistils Nursery in Portland, Oregon and while I can not provide a full review it looked like a very thorough introduction and resource to urban chicken-keeping.
The ultra modern, ultra stylish, and ultra expensive Eglu is not helping to curb the fantasy one bit. It’s like an imac for chickens!
Over the long weekend we happened upon an open garage door while walking through a Toronto alley. Two large bird coops lined the side walls. So strong is my chicken-keeping itch that it took me half a minute to clue in that those were not chickens cooing back at me but fancy pigeons. After five years, I think I’ve finally solved the mystery of turkey pigeon!
Urban Chicken Keeping Resources