Monthly Archives: December 2011


The harvest is my favourite time of year and so are the spring sowings and the summer warmth when the greens are growing so fast. And then its winter! Mild winters might be what we pray for and we are fortunate to live in a climate that allows outdoor work any month of the year so for this article I will share with you my joys of the winter season. Apart from drawing up garden plans to make next year the best yet and drooling over seed catalogs there are many garden tasks that keep me active and upbeat. To get a jump on spring plantings I have already gathered material for making potting mixes. The garden has been dug over and mulched and my compost is perking slowly with all the remaining weeds from the garden. The heap shouldn’t be ignored for long periods because they could be a warm home for rats and mice.

We need a cold season to freeze out some of the worst pests. Climate change means a proliferation of nasty pests which are not dying over the winter months. For that reason I turn my compost heaps and remove clutter that would give shelter to slugs and bugs. A good freeze would decimate a bad slug population and likewise aphids that would otherwise be a problem. Traditionally the autumn fires served the purpose of clearing dead wood which can also harbour disease. Fire also has another benefit of releasing the nutrients in the ash for a soil improver. (Ash is also a good additive for clay and acidic soils.) Winter is when the excess livestock is culled to preserve food stocks. We fatten up, tell stories to comfort the children and celebrate the Solstice; the turning point of the year where it all starts over again

Soup For Seniors Kitchen and Lunch

The next soup making kitchen is scheduled for January 23rd at 11:30am at the South Hall.

When we have made the soup, we always stop, and sit down together before we begin clean up and packaging. This month, we would like to invite any seniors who would like to, to join us for lunch, just soup and bread, at about 1:30pm.

Cooks and enthusiastic participants needed!

Update: 14 volunteers made 74 containers of soup of three different varieties: Turkey Vegetable with Pasta, Caribbean Squash Soup and Hearty Lentil Soup.

2018-05-04T17:02:42-07:00December 4th, 2011|Categories: Community Meals, Food Program|0 Comments

Eating Locally by Alison Colwell

A few weeks ago I attended a “Beet and Cabbage” workshop. We made 3 different kinds of slaw, an amazing Borscht, cabbage rolls, beet cupcakes and more – But what stayed with me – more than all the great new recipes – was a lesson about the practicality and importance of choosing ingredients that are local, in season and that are suited for our climate, beets and cabbage, squash and carrots, for instance. They grow well in our climate most of the year.

Tomatoes and peppers are summer vegetables here, and yet they are a constant on my family menu. When you shop at a grocery store in town – the shelves are full. You can pick any recipe you want before you shop, go to the store and find everything you need at any time of the year. But this is misleading. There are times of the year, say, at the end of August – when we have the opportunity to feast on our fresh, local abundance of tomatoes and peppers and put away as much as we can for the winter. Long-keeping varieties of tomatoes can be stored and eaten ‘fresh’ right into the early winter months. But as winter approaches I realize I needed to focus more on Squash and beets and the other crops still being harvested right now.

I once worked in a café where we came into work each morning, and checked what produce had been left for us in the cooler. It was that produce that dictated the menu for the day. It was a creative challenge, but taught me the lesson of using what you have. Learning to love and make do with whatever produce is locally in season can be challenging but rewarding. Talk to the local farmers, and the gardeners and use what’s readily available to inspire your creativity in the kitchen.

Malcolm has two favourite soups (and he’s tried a lot of soup!): Nettle Soup and Chanterelle Soup. Both are specific to a few weeks, or month each year. And I think that specialness is part of what makes them his favourites.

When we use food that is in season where we live, then there will be times when we won’t have certain ingredients. But that makes us love and appreciate them all the more when we do have them.

And in the meantime, I’ve discovered an unexpected love of cabbage!

2018-05-10T14:23:08-07:00December 4th, 2011|Categories: Food Program|0 Comments