Tuesday, 30 May 2017



Parsnip seeds may take upto three weeks to sprout

The Place Under The Pine Garden Committee has been planning the 2017 garden for months now, spending hours and hours, late into the night even, going over the data from the past 10 years. The focus has been on what produce was actually consumed. Anecdotal evidence and common memories of what vegetable was 'the best' has varied year over year. The list of 'best' vegetables is what determined what the Garden will grow this year.
In no specific order the plants chosen for Garden 2017 are as follows:
  • Brussels Sprouts
  • Parsnips
  • Cherry Tomatoes
  • Zucchini
  • Green Beans
  • Peas
Last year the garden purchasing committee could not find any Brussels sprout plants. This year, Home Depot had a six-pack of them. Due to space constraints only four have been planted in the garden. The remaining two have been passed along to other Places.

Brussels Sprouts - handy six pack $3.50 at Home Depot
Tomato plants from seeds do not produce the quantity of fruit and timeliness of fruit needed by the PUTP, so a cherry tomato plant was purchased, again from the Home Depot. 

Many varieties to choose from - Cherry Tomato was our choice
Parsnips were a hit last year, both for their ease (plant and leave until after a few frosts) and their taste (yum). Heirloom variety parsnip seed picked up at the Home Depot.

Parsnip seeds

Zucchini have always grown well from seed in the PUTP garden. What seems to matter is not the seed, but, the pollination of the giant flowers. We have had years of 30+ squashes and years of zero squashes. Be kind to the neighbourhood bees.

Zuch seeds

This year's experiment is going to be corn. A small corner of the yard has been turned over as a place to grow this big plant. Corn has never been grown in the PUTP, but, it has been eaten countless times. This experiment could turn out to be a great success or a total failure. Only time will tell.

Quick harvesting bi-colour corn

The Place Under The Pine Seed Bank 

Over the past few seasons the Garden Committee has made an effort to save as many seeds as possible. Success from saving seeds is not measured in monetary value (which would only be a few dollars saved per year) but in the feeling that saving the seeds brings the citizens of the PUTP. It is a feeling of being somewhat self reliant - we do not HAVE to go buy seeds, in theory we can grow a limited selection of thing. We can CHOOSE to purchase new seeds.

Peas were saved in an envelope. Beans in their dried pod.

Pea and Green Bean seeds from last year were saved and are going into the garden now.

A surprise gift from last year has turned the a patch of the garden a vibrant green colour. Lettuce from last year, that went to seed, was turned over into the earth in the fall. This was intended to be mulch/green manure, but, instead has sprouted into a patch of green oak lettuce. It is ready to eat before the rest of the garden has even been planted...thank you mother nature.

Don't step on the lettuce!

Tuesday, 16 May 2017



A few weeks ago we came home to a house full of water. It reminded me of a TV show, water pouring through the ceiling, us sloshing through water, squishing noises coming from every footstep over the carpet...

What happened was, our the bathroom, which is on our second floor, had a clogged toilet yet was still running. Water ran for a couple of hours while we were out of the house. The water seeped through the floor, which is right over top of our living room, and came through the ceiling. From there it pooled on the living room floor and slowly made it's way through that and ended up in the basement. So, all three floors drenched!
Luckily for us, we had insurance. And, insurance would cover all the damages. New floors, ceilings, carpets, and walls. However, since the damage was so widespread, and so much work needed to be done we were given the boot and told to move out for awhile. Again, insurance found us a great Inn to stay at, not too far away. So, we are now living in a motel - but, really it is a motel only by name. The place is the entire top floor of an old farmhouse which has been remodeled into an apartment - we have two big bedrooms, a good sized kitchen, lots of living area, and a bathtub with jets (so, no problem getting the kids to want to take a bath).
Of course it was stressful to move out for an undetermined amount of time - it could be three weeks it could be more than a month? It was a challenge to pack. Even though we tried to think of this as an adventure, there are times when you just want to be home.
We've been settled at the Inn for a few weeks now and overall we are managing well. Living a somewhat minimalistic life and without our regular household project our life seems to have slowed down. This weekend was a good example. It rained all weekend and forced us to stay in and get cozy. We had time. Time to relax, do a puzzle, play some board games, build some lego...there were no house project to do, no basement to tidy, no yardwork. So, it was different. Enjoyable, but, different.
I will be extremely happy when we move back into our house, but, for now I'm happy with our temporary life.