Well it took a couple of weeks, but I think I have finally accepted Fall. Once the windows were closed, the houseplants brought indoors, and the knitting projects pulled out there was no turning back. Monday is Thanksgiving here in Canada. We are a non-traditional household who generally ignore most holidays, but we like Thanksgiving as a way to celebrate the harvest (the garden was good to us this year) and an excuse to stuff ourselves with food.
Inspiring Thanksgiving Ideas:
- Maple Leaf Roses – Link via the forums. A distinctly Fall way to make a centrepiece.
- Pumpkin Pie – We’ve got the pumpkin so it’s all systems go. I know I pump this one a lot but I’m proud of it and we enjoy it whenever pumpkins are available.
- Apple / Pear Pie – Another pie I have developed. I still have to write the actual directions down but the trick to it is that I first make apple sauce (sometimes adding pears too) and then spoon it on top of the apple and pear slices in the pie before putting the top on. It makes a moister pie that allows for less sweetner. We use maple syrup.
- Yam Butter
- Roasted Pear and Fennel Salad
- Baked Lemon Basil Chicken – I am just about to harvest my remaining lemon basil.
- Dandelion Hortopita – This is on our list for Monday’s meal. I’ll be going over to the garden this weekend to harvest a bunch.
- Drying Gourds. We made these mini pumpkin lights for the table a number of years ago. Davin made them by cutting ridges into the sides with lino carving tools and using a drill to make little dots.
- Gourds, Just Sitting There – I like these wee gourds on Wee Wonderfuls. Just sitting there. So pretty. I currently have a pumpkin and two acorn squash (one green and one variegated) sitting on my special hutch in the kitchen waiting to be cooked but in the meantime they are just sitting there. Looking pretty.
- Here are more Fall-like things sitting and looking pretty. Together. Except the peppers which are still growing. The flat pumpkin is a Long Island Cheese Squash. I think they’re gorgeous and could sit and stare at one for hours, but they also happen to make a great pie.
- This is a Hubbard Squash that I carved out and planted up with lemongrass and pansies. Everything is edible!
World Food Day was first organized by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) in 1979 to bring public awareness concerning global food issues and the importance in supporting agriculture. World Food Day is now celebrated on October 16th in 150 countires.
Ann Slater of the Ecological Farming Association of Ontario takes on CropLife Canada, a trade association for the manufacturers, developers and distributors of pesticide and GMO products that has been working on a smear campaign targeting organic food production.
Why is CropLife Canada so keen to smear organic? According to their survey of Canadian women, 77% sometimes buy or consider buying organically grown fruits and vegetables. Twenty-one percent say they buy organic because they are concerned about pesticides on their food and 22% believe organic produce is more nutritious. On top of that, 14% say they sometimes feel guilty about buying cheaper conventional produce when organic is available.
- Full article here
Her argument references this article by two market farmers from Oklahoma who carried out an experiment to tackle the question: “Are supermarkets cheaper than farmersÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ markets?” Their results are interesting.
The results reveal that perceptions rather than facts influence the false assumptions that grocery store food is always cheapest.
…grocery store food is not as cheap as some customers believe it to be. Nor is local simply for the wealthyÃ¢â‚¬â€œit is competitively priced since our research showed grocery storesÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ low posted prices tend to hide lower weight and quality.
What: Knit or crochet up beautiful, warm woolies for charity. Mittens, arm warmers, hats, and scarves are all fantastic. A YGG forum member suggests keyhole scarves as anything that wraps around the neck can be uncomfortable and even unsafe for women coming from violent experiences.
New items made by you only please.
To Support: Redwood Women’s Shelter, a terrific shelter located in Toronto, Canada that supports battered women and their families. They run primarily on support from the community.
When: Please mail your items by Dec 1. Email me at gaylaatyougrowgirldotcom for details.
UPDATE: I just spoke with a contact at the shelter and she provided a Wish List:
- Long Scarves – So I was wrong (above). Winters have been cold here in Toronto and they have need of warm scarves that can wrap around twice for bundling up.
- Women’s Mittens – They recieve plenty of mittens for children but need larger mittens for adult women.
- Baby Blankets – For bundling babies inside strollers.
- Larger Items – If you were planning to make a couple of scarves, make one large item instead. She said they have need for shawls and ponchos.
I want to add that she was very enthusiastic and appreciative. They support a lot of women and children so the need is great.
I am a strong believer that gardening does not, and should not, require a lot of “stuff”. Container gardeners especially can get along with their hands, or a fork, spoon, and kitchen shears if need be. However, the right tool can make you feel like you’re ready to kick some ass even when the only ass you’re about to kick is a small pot of basil on your window-ledge.
That said, about three years ago I wrote a glowing review of the Cobrahead Precision Weeder & Cultivator. It’s sharp blade, and versatility (useful for weeding, digging, planting, cultivating and more) made this a tool I could get behind. Years later and I am still using the same Cobrahead. It’s seen it’s day ripping through all kinds of soil conditions and looks pretty much like it did on that first test run way back when — albeit underneath the dirt and despite a complete and utter lack of care or maintenance on my part. I just wipe it off with my glove, throw it in my tool bag, and done.
Inventor Noel Valdes has just come out with an upgraded Cobrahead model and I was sent a fresh new tool to try out. The accompanying promotion material boasts of a new handle made of 100% recycled material, a heat-treated steel blade with a heavier zinc coating making it more bend, break, and rust-resistant. Despite all that I didn’t notice a difference during a test run in which I tried both my old and new tool in the same conditions at my community garden. To be honest as a user I didn’t think it needed upgrading since my old model is still kicking loads of compacted soil ass. The new improvement I did notice is the new blue handle that is easier to locate in the garden although I think a hot pink handle would be even easier to locate in the grass.
CONTEST Headsup: I’ve got one, new Cobrahead as a prize give-away. Sign up for the mailing list. On September 29, 2006, I’ll be sending out entry details through the list only.
* You Grow Girl is not being sponsored or paid to promote this product. I just like it.