Tuesday, 26 August 2014



PINE TREE POST | Science Page

Anecdotal evidence suggests that people, in general, are drawn to water. Is this for survival, or is there a deeper almost spiritual side to our relationship with the wet stuff? You may recall a similar story from Earth Day 2013, click here.

A recent quasi experiment on the shores of Lake Ontario, involving a couple of children from the Place Under the Pine, is hard evidence that water is like a magnet to the human soul.
On a warmer than usual Sunday afternoon, two subject we will call E and O2 (O squared), were escorted down to the shores of a rocky beach in the west end of Kingston.

O2 (Left)  -  E (Right)
 These subjects were instructed to play with the rocks, throw the rocks in the water, etc. They took part in this task for half a minute before they suggested touching the water. They were drawn to it. Even with their social training/instructions from an adult, that they were only near the water to throw rocks in, their minds were being manipulated by the water.

The rock throwing did not last long
The subjects were given permission to put only their toes in the water. Again, the water pulled at their sense of boundaries/rules and temporarily disengaged them.
This caused one of the subjects (O2) to 'fall' in. Fall, being a relative term, as the subject did fall but it was no accident.
This lead to the other subject (E) to disregard the plan/instructions for only toes in the water and he was soon sitting in the water as well.

The water made O2 and E temporarily insane
This scientist can see no other explanation to this type of phenomenon that happens around water. The feel, sound, and mystical power of water effects the brain in many unknown ways, but, one thing is for sure - children cannot resist touching it, stepping in it, or completely drenching the only clothes they have at that time and having to drive home naked in order that their carseat remain dry. Some may label this behaviour as temporarily insane?
Is it?

Kingston | 10:51

Wednesday, 20 August 2014



There are times in life when you see a travesty, something that is just not right, an opportunity that is being neglected and/or abused. It may not be your responsibility, and it is technically considered against the law to do anything, but, you feel you need to do something. Usually when you gather up a posse and take matters into your own hands to 'solve' this injustice the end result is the highlight crime story on the six o'clock news
However, on some occasions, when the intentions are good, wonderful things can happen.

On a rainy Saturday, a posse formed under the boughs of the Pine. This crowd was loading bike baskets with potential projectiles and holding dangerous looking garden tools. There was also the talk of 'taking matters into their own hands...it's been long enough', which is always a bad premonition. 

Let's ride!

Ready for business!

Vehicle and tools - check!

The posse then made its way across the field towards the school and made it to the thing they wanted to 'make right'.
Minutes later the gang was seen violently swinging a garden hoe, kicking up dust and dirt, leaving a trail of dead...plants in their wakes!

Let's clear those weeds out!

It did not take long for this posse to finish what it came to do - which was to weed the neglected community garden at the children's school.

You may say the kids are growing like weeds, but these ones were bigger than the boys!

It turns out the Community Stone Soup Garden, the garden the school children planted, has been ignored all summer. As seen in the pictures above, the weeds have overtaken the gardens that were planted earlier this year by the students at the school. Unlike previous years, there was no plan put into place to coordinate volunteers with weeding and watering duties. Someone needed to do something, even if it involved trespassing. The kids from the Place Under the Pine were up for the task and worked very hard, leaving the gardens in a much better state.

Along with weeding a surplus tomato plant from the PUTPs was planted

There may have been ulterior motives - a chance to use the 'new' tractor for some real work or a chance to take a longer than normal bike ride. But, I believe underneath it all was the idea that one can make a difference to their community. 

They left in high spirits. Full of both weeds and altruism.

Race ya home!

Monday, 18 August 2014



Garden Update

There has been a record amount of raspberries produced this year - over 40 cups so far!
3 of the many cups picked this year
The Ministry of Urban Agriculture is extremely happy with the results, and would like to send out a big thank you to all of the citizens of the PUTP who made sure that this overwhelming amount of berries were put to good use. Wastage (unpicked berries, smooshed berries, accidental droppage, uneaten berries, etc.) was unbelievably low, some estimates put it around three handfuls.
Stats revealed a majority of these berries were consumed raw by those under the age of 18. 
The second highest user of the berries was the bakery. Resident baker Jen made two delicious pies.
Many cups of berries are required to make a pie
Mmm, mmm, delicious.
The small remaining amount have been used in yogurt, in home made popsicles, or frozen for future use in muffins.

Non-Raspberry News

During this mid-summer period very little produce, other than raspberries, were harvested from the garden. A bowl of lettuce, half a dozen late strawberries, and fifteen yellow beans were the latest totals. However, a variety of other plants are still growing and thriving.

Container planting has sprung up with vigor. A late start to some dwarf sunflowers looks very promising.
Photo circa mid July

As does the green container of basil.

Photobomber Oskie strikes again

Zucchini production this year is extremely low. Last year's totals were in the high twenties, while this year there is only a single oddly shaped squash. Possibly with the help of the sacred hear-see-speak no evil owl idol to look over the plant many late blooming zucchini will grow. 

A birthday present for Dad is thought to hold some mystical growing powers.

As a reminder, do not get too close to the zucchini as they have small thorns.
The Tomato plants have reached that point where they are much taller than the cages that are intended to keep them contained, and therefore, they have started their normal 'spreading'. The north-east quarter of the garden is now completely overwhelmed with the orange heirloom and the yellow grape plants. If you look closely in the picture below, behind the giggling baby, you will see an abundance of green tomatoes. A promising indicator of a grand harvest.

A giggling baby is also thought to have mystical growing powers on plants.