Tomorrow is the Organic Stone Soup event. If you have time to come and learn more about local organic food with fun hands-on activities and family story-telling time, plus yummy organic soup, please come to Guelph! The event is sponsored by the Canadian Organic Growers. There will be a mini farmers’ market, plus some demonstrations/take-home items for the kids.
I’ll be there doing some organic gardening demonstrations. My take-home activity is a planted bean seed. In the photo above you can see my daughter modelling her trial run. I have a jar of “Surprise Me” bean seeds, which is a mix of purple, green, and yellow beans. Children will get to fill their container with soil and plant one or two of the seeds, then guess which colour the beans will be. The containers will be taped shut with masking tape so nobody ends up disappointed when their lid pops off and the contents spill all over the inside of the van.
Come if you can! Saturday, March 19, from 11 am until 2 pm at St. George’s church in Guelph: 99 Woolwich St.
First of all, it costs a lot of money and it will take a lot of my time to do all the paperwork and documentation. I didn’t take this into consideration when I set my prices for the seedlings, and I don’t feel right about increasing the prices now. I feel like it’s not fair to everyone who has looked at the catalogue and figured out what they wanted to buy.
Second, I want to make sure I do a good job of it, and I feel that having a ‘practice year’, where I follow all the rules to the best of my ability, will help me be better prepared for when I get certified for real.
So please consider me to be unofficially organic. I have gone far out of my way to ship certified organic potting soil to my yard, I use certified organic amendments like composted cow manure and fish emulsion fertilizer, and I use organic seeds wherever possible. I don’t use any synthetic chemical fertilizers or pesticides.
My plants will be labelled so you know which ones are 100% organic (non-certified, though) and which ones are started from conventional seeds. Where I use conventional seeds they are guaranteed untreated and non-GMO.
I hope this delay in certification sits well with everyone; I’m doing my best to be as certifiable as possible, and learn as much as I can this year, so when next year rolls around I will be ready for it.
Sarah’s Kitchen Gardens wants to help you grow your own local and organic food. Imagine a ripe, juicy tomato fresh from your very own garden, or snap beans that really snap, or any other fresh food that you love. Imagine the food traveling distance measured in feet, not miles. Imagine this food grown without the use of chemical fertilizers or pesticides, by you.
If you need help……
Starting seeds: we have seedlings for sale in the spring.
On December 20, Sarah’s Kitchen Gardens will be at the Bailey’s Local Foods pickup, selling some gifty-type items for the holiday season. Here’s the list:
- bag of organic composted cow manure, for that special someone
- Grow Your Own Sprouts Kit
- handmade stained-glass beehive with dangling bee – for your window
- veggie earrings, because we all love our veggies
- pretty but tough garden aprons
- gift certificates
Hope to see you there!
Sarah’s Kitchen Gardens
Grow food. Eat fresh. Share the garden love.
Yesterday I washed and sliced a sinkful of plums and put them in the dehydrator. 24 hours later, we have delicious fruit candy with a bit of a sour taste – it hits the kids’ taste buds right in the sweet/sour spot that all kids seem to have. And the only ingredient is plums.
These are no ordinary plums, either – we get them from a local supplier who picks them up in Niagara, from an almost-organic farm. Normally these types of fruits (think peaches, pears, plums) would get sprayed about 15-18 times in the growing season with all sorts of chemicals. This makes me shudder – and sometimes I get an itchy rash from conventional fruit.
These fruits from the local Niagara farmer are occasionally sprayed – maybe 5 times – and never within the window of time when they’re being picked. The farmer uses organic methods in other ways, even though he’s not certified – he feeds the soil lots of great compost and manure and uses whatever organic methods he can. He only sprays when he absolutely must in order to save his crop. He’s still replenishing the soil from all the years of depletion that preceded him.
I am happy to support his almost organic farm – because this fruit doesn’t bother me like regular fruit does. I don’t get tingly itchy lips when I eat it. And it’s so tasty!
My baby chicks are not babies anymore! They are getting very close to harvest time. The rooster is the biggest of the bunch, as you might be able to tell from the photo. These four are what I have left from the six I started with. For some reason I ended up with two that didn’t make it. There was no sign of foul play (example: neighbor’s cat), so I can only assume they died of something natural, like a heart attack or something. That’s a hazard with this breed – they are bred for quick weight gain, which tends to cause heart attacks and systemic problems that the older varieties don’t have. I’m happy with four for now, because I’m planning to learn how to harvest them myself. (Starting small is good!) My parents-in-law are experts; they’ll be showing me how to do things.
Quick cost analysis: So far I’ve spent about $44 on the birds, which will be about $11 per bird. Considering organic pastured chicken bought whole tends to go for about $20 or more per bird, depending on weight, I think I’m doing alright. Once the birds are butchered and weighed, I will have a more accurate cost per pound.
Why am I growing chickens in my garden?
First, you need to know that I like to try new things. That’s just as big a reason as any kind of organic environmental cost-effective excuse I can give you. The “Oh Cool” factor is just as big if not bigger. Yes I’m cheap and yes I want to eat organic meat and yes the chickens are happier when given room and dirt to scratch in. But ultimately, I love to show people new and crazy things. So… here they are! Chickens in my backyard. Happy chickens eating bugs and scratching in the dirt.
Second, I’m an omnivore. I like my veggies, but I also like my meat. Without meat my body does not function well. (I won’t go into detail here.) So, in my kitchen garden where I grow food, I thought I’d grow meat as well as veggies. Meat is food. Let’s grow some.
Third: It saddens me to think that people today have such a disconnect between their food and where it comes from. I’m hoping to help educate whoever wants to learn more about where food comes from. I know not everyone can grow their own meat, but in my small part of the universe, perhaps people could come see my chickens and connect with what the meat looked like before it was a cold slab of flesh in their fridges.
Would you grow meat in your garden if you had the room?