Harvest Waste

This year was such a terrible growing year owing to the drought that gripped our area along with so many others.  Now the frost warnings have now started in this region so the food that was growing had to be harvested and brought in.  I have picked off all the peppers, squash, tomatoes and cut down the basil and swiss chard.  I got bags of food even though the season was not great owing I believe to the late rains.  Oddly, the melons did not produce a single fruit, but now… too late, the plants have loads of small round beginnings.  I guess if the frost does not hit then perhaps I will get something of them in the Indian Summer.  The food is now in Hamilton with me, all safely hand processed and tucked away in my root cellar and freezer.  Tonight I am going to caramelize the immature squash and onion then throw in some green tomatoes and stir this into some buckwheat pasta for supper.  Use up what did not mature.  Should be sweet and sour and hopefully interesting.

Between the rounds of cooking that went on yesterday I caught up on a lot of reading and news.  Among the items that I found interesting was a blog out of Tennessee called Dreaming Smaller in which a young man who has had a  catastrophic injury shares his plans and concerns about downsizing their home (for he and his family).  The land is where his family home, long ago burned out was situated.   In the long grass there hides a copperhead snake nesting site, so you never know when one of them will wiggle out of the grass and bite… These bites hurt a lot, he assures, but are rarely fatal… (!!!)  With this said, I know I am not the only Canadian who finds the idea of living near a poison snake pretty darn scary.  On a chance cafe meeting a young Australian tourist told me “Canadians have a weird national obsessive fear of poison snakes, every single one of you asks about them.”  With this in mind, I thought you might also like to check his site out.

Among the usual tragic news of accidents and shootings, the news out of Canada that I find most shocking and disgusting is the story of the “Peas Garden“.  This small garden was started on May 1, 2012 in Queen’s Park and maintained in all summer by about a hundred volunteers.  The food was intended for low income persons and the community was to have a harvesting party on September 29th, but on the eve of the harvest, the City Parks Director Richard Ubbens sent City Employees to rip it up and sod it over.  This was done without warning the group.  The food was all destroyed, the heirloom plants plucked.  The opportunity for food bank users to have this healthy locally grown food was callously removed.  This in a year which anyone connected to growing food will know was not ideal.  This in a time when food banks cannot keep up, this story really sickens me!  There is nothing, and I mean nothing that enrages me more than wastefulness and mean spiritedness toward the disadvantaged.

Food for thought… When did Canada get so turned upside down?

Categories: Drought, Environmentalism, Food, Forest, Ontario, Open your eyes, Rules, View | 3 Comments

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3 thoughts on “Harvest Waste

  1. Steve

    Wow…I read that article and it just blows my mind the stupidity and pettiness of people sometimes, it breaks my heart, especially thinking about the children who won’t get to taste the sweetness of homegrown foods because some big-headed self righteous, thinks’he’s-bigger-than-he-is “public servant” decided to flex his governmental muscles just to show how important he is (in their own mind,anyways)… sigh, IDK what gets into people sometimes, I really don’t, couldn’t that official see what good that garden was doing? Not only for the food itself,but the community as a whole? My heart goes out to that community.

    On the melons, I’m no expert by ANY stretch of the word, but couldn’t you cover them at night to protect them from frosting? Or does that only work up unto a certain point/temp? Not having actually had our own garden planted yet (we did grow some watermelon and pumkin that one year at the old place…) I haven’t had that experience, but I have heard my Mom talk about frost and plastic sheet coverings in early Fall (they have a 1/4 acre garden at their house, everything from sweet corn to beans/potatoe/tomatoes/squash/etc)… a thought that I hope helps anyways!

    Finally, wow, I’m blushing, LOL! Thank you for the very kind words about my story and oft neglected blog. As far as the snakes-bear in mind, it’s not a daily thing to see or be nearly bitten by one, there’s times one would go well over a month without seeing one-but one always knows they’re there under/behind that old shed, and anywhere else there is a damp and dark place close to the creek (we call it “the crick” :P). I don’t have much fear of them (having grown up on that very property around them)-lots of respect for their space, mind you-but having 2 kids, one of which being as rambunctious and wide open as his old Dad (me) was, I’m scared for them, afraid they’d be bitten and maybe have some kind of allergic reaction (or what if the often talked about “super-snake”, the one that injects 10 times the venom per strike did exist?) or worse… No, when/if we do move back over there, it’s war on the snakes, I don’t mean any harm, but they didn’t spend years and 10’s of thousands of dollars to live there! 😛

    • I could not agree with you more. I am really angry about this stupid thoughtless “public servant’s” wicked action.

      I could cover the garden but not being there means it would not get any water since I would not be there to take the plastic off… I figured I would just let nature do it’s thing.

      With regard to your snakes… Super snakes… kids… only every month or so… boy oh boy! I am glad that the ones we have are not poison. I have black snakes and garters where I am. I don’t mind them but if they jump out near me even these can startle me.
      xo L

      • Steve

        LOL, they’d startle me too! 😛 We also have black snakes and garters, though not so many garters that I’ve seen in recent years. I remember when I was growing up, there wasn’t a troll living underneath our bridge (the bridge Dad built from the hollow across the creek to the house/driveway 😉 ), but there was a large blacksake that lived off the woods rats and other smaller animals for years. I remember I wanted Dad to kill it out of fear as a child, and wondering in amazement why Mom wouldn’t let him!

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