Wednesday, September 14, 2016


People have different reasons they write. Escapism, therapy, a burning desire to help others. For me I sometimes feel compelled to write things down and last night was no exception so here is a rough draft of what happened to me yesterday night. Try not to laugh too hard. 

The Fifteen Dollar Moth

Driving, comfortably winding my way along the darkened road on my way to deliver eggs to the last customer before heading home. 

The girls are quiet, it's been a long day but now we are enjoying the peaceful evening and thinking thoughts of home and a comfy bed.  

I see something fall out of the corner of my eye. 

A soft, warm whisper of a touch on my arm which makes my heart skip a beat. 

Panic! Is it a moth? Bat? Panic! 

Breathe. Think. 

It's probably just a moth I tell myself. 

I really do not like moths, how do I get it out without looking like a complete idiot? Irrational fear or not, I do not want a moth inside my car. 

My mind is racing, my body tense despite knowing a moth cannot hurt me. Irrational or not, I do not like moths and I must find and remove this one. 

We pull up to our customers house and bag up her boxes of eggs. The air is cooling in the way an early Autumn evening does and the smell of the apples on the nearby tree reminds me of pie making with my children. 

I am pulled from my short reverie by the reality that I cannot find the change I need for this customer. I know I tucked $15, a ten and a five right there in my visor. I know I did!

And then I see it. The two bills of soft warm paper, lying beside the gear shift in the middle of my car. 

My $15 moth. 

And with a self deprecating chuckle and a deep but still unsteady breath I realize this whole panic has been for nothing.  

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Royal Burgundy Bush Beans

Would you like free beans? Freshly picked from our organic market garden. 

Our beans this year are a roaring success. Despite taking longer to mature due to the weather, the production right now is fabulous! We are in the middle of planting our fall crops so I think burgundy bush beans are definitely on the list! Not only are the plants nice and healthy, the quality and yield of the beans has been very good. I'm currently eating them for supper. Here's how I prepared them. I put them in water to boil for two minutes then drained them, returned them to the pan with some coconut oil, garlic seasoning, and lemon juice and I sautéed them for 4-5 minutes. Delicious as a side dish or just as they are. 

Burgundy beans are really fun for kids to cook. They turn green and the water turns a beautiful green colour too. But when you sauté them the remaining water evaporates and leaves behind a purple colour glaze that you can see in the photo above. I think my anniversary special for the farmers market this weekend will have to be beans. Spend $10 and get a free bag of beans and ill include my recipe. Spend $20 or more and I'll throw in some cinnamon buns. Sound good? Get there early, it's going to be fun! Come see us from 10-1 at the Wilmot Community Hall by Bayard Rd on the #1 Hwy near Middleton. 

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Mid summer

I'm sitting here at the picnic table with a slice of plum bread enjoying what is probably the coolest morning we've had in a month. It's about 12 degrees but warming steadily as the sun rises. It's a welcome break from some very hot and unrelentingly dry weather. The river is the lowest anyone can recall for decades but our well seems to be fine as long as people do not leave the hose running for 12 hours. 

We had a late night last night. Jordan didn't finish work until 1am so I'm still a bit short of sleep but there's lots of work to be done so I'm sitting here with my notebook. It's now August which means thinking ahead to the end of summer growing. But it's not too late to plant a garden. We are 65 days from first frost (it's just an average) in Greenwood and that means we have time for cool season veggies again. Peas, cabbage, broccoli, lettuce, radishes, leeks etc.  Some are started indoors and taken out as transplants so they're growing in the house until they're big enough, others will be direct seeded which means preparing the beds once one crop is finished to make room for the next. So even though we are busy harvesting beans, peas and watching the watermelons grow, were thinking ahead to the next crop and next year. We are also evaluating how the nursery did this year. Next year we will do more selection and an automatic watering system. 

I'm getting a camera for my early birthday present from one of my sons so I'll take some pics this week. Anything you want to see? 

This weekend the Mid Valley Farmers Market is celebrating its one year anniversary. There's a big celebration planned with activities for the kids and great deals at the vendors. If you've wanted to sell at the market but not sure how to give it a try, this week there are no fees for tables so what do you have to lose? Check us out on Facebook. 

Okay well I should get back to work. Time to organize the kids and wwoofers work for the morning. I'll talk to you soon. Elizabeth 

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Summer Heat

After the driest June on record in 70 years we are now enjoying (or in my case not enjoying) baking heat in July.  I'm not accustomed to temperatures and humidity that make it feel like the 90's. That's just way too hot for me. And apparently my body agrees as I've developed blisters and lesions the size of marbles on the underside of my arms and had heat stroke last week. I've been enjoying the past two cooler days and thanks to a trip to Dr Canete in New Minas I have ointment that I hope will heal and stop any more new blisters forming. They are quite painful as I'm sure you can imagine. 

It's all good growing wise though. We had some very helpful wwoofers here over the past month. Yuka from Okinawa, Lucas from France and Nadine and Eva from Germany. They were all really lovely people and got lots of weeding and planting done plus they were great fun to hang out with. Now that they're gone it's back to the grindstone for me. 

As far as the garden goes, the burgundy bush beans are flowering as are the melons and squashes and peas. In fact I'll send the girls out to pick today. Kate is a slow garden worker but a good picker and she likes it. We have enough beans planted to keep her busy with a succession of harvests for the next 2 months so she should be happy. The squash plants have just reached the point of starting to run all over the garden so that's great and we will have more cucumber picking and tomatoes this week. I should pick more zucchini as well to keep them small. The recent day of rain have them a great boost. 

We dug out the troublesome potatoes in one section and have replaced them with other veggies such as beans, peas and beets. I'm going to start leeks, Brussels sprouts and more cucumbers today and give some fish fertilizer to everything. It's a never ending cycle of weeding and harvesting and replanting once plants are finished. Busy busy! 

One project we tried this week was using a strong vinegar solution to kill the weeds. I'm particularly interested in thistle control. I'll let you know how it goes. 

The turkeys are growing like weeds! This weekend should see the completion of their movable pen and they'll be outside on grass which I know they'll love. I will too. Less cleaning. If you're interested in buying turkey for the holidays just let us know. 

August 6th is going to be our farmers market anniversary celebration with extra prizes and family fun. Stop on down and check it all out at the Wilmot community centre on Hwy 1 near Bayard Rd just east of Middleton. Every Saturday all summer from 10-1. Don't be fooled by the junk sale near Frenchys, 2 more minutes down the road and you'll be finding freshly baked goodies, soap, lunch if you like a good sausage or dare to try the monster market burger, handmade gifts and crafts, and of course tasty produce. It's also just fun to visit after you're done shopping. 

Well it's time to go feed all my critters and I have a section of about 8 feet of peas that are falling over I need to restring. It's a good time to water as well while it's cool. Hope you have enjoyed this vey brief update and sorry I've been incommunicado. 

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Secrets to a Successful Market Garden

I'm going to take the weekend to write this but would be interested in your input as well. I'm going to reference our own experience, John Seymour, JM Fortier, Curtis Stone, and some great research from Victorian England to 1960s Canada. If you have an idea please message me at humblebeecanada at g mail dot com. 

Saturday, May 7, 2016

Working away

Just more of an update than anything. We finally have a nice day for working outside so the bed forming continues and then we will lay drip hose. Stephen is plowing furrows in the ground then piling the dirt up to form raised beds and pathways. It's a labour of love! We have some crops in the ground already but everything just seems slow this year. The nighttime temperatures are finally above freezing and so we will be planting like mad for the next two weeks. Thanks for your support. Back to work! 

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Is it Spring yet?

While most of the country is enjoying Dpring several weeks early, the east coast is arguably colder and a few weeks behind. The day's certainly are warm enough being just a few degrees colder than normal, but the nighttime temperatures are well below freezing, even in the greenhouse. The sun is just coming up on this lovely May 1st and it's currently -5C/ 23 F inside the greenhouse. With the Suns rays it will quickly rise

to more comfortable levels but the low overnight temperatures mean seeds are delayed in sprouting, and some sprout only to freeze at night. It's very frustrating! Next week will see a return to above freezing temps but for now it's driving me crazy not to have more plants ready for people who are only seeing the warm days and want to plant. 

I shouldn't complain too much. Yesterday our friend Beckie and several other people were trampled by a crazed cow at the livestock auction. I think it sent a half dozen people to the hospital including at least 2 children before the police had to shoot it. And all because nobody at the auction thought to make sure all the gates were closed on the pens before unloading the cow. The cows owners took away her calf and unloaded her and she basically panicked and ran through the barn full of people viewing the other cattle for sale. I feel bad for the cow and for everyone who got in the way of her horns and hooves. A very scary situation that would have been much worse if one of the small children had been killed. It makes me very wary now of visiting Lawrencetown. 

I'm off for a firearms course today with my son Jordan. Should get going. It's 6 already. 
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