Taking Action Against Hunger

Thanksgiving is less than three weeks away and many of us have already put dibs  on a turkey that right now is blissfully strutting and scratching around on a farm. Soon we’ll be happily finalizing invitations and planning menus while poring over cookbooks and recipe files.




And finally at the annual Thanksgiving feast, sitting around the table, someone, the hostess or host or patriarch or matriarch will say a few words acknowledging how lucky or blessed we all are; we will nod, and we will raise our glasses in a toast, and we will give thanks. Thank you, we will say to each other, or to some intangible force or entity who has smiled on lucky us, and that will be the extent of our thanks, and that will be the extent of our giving. Continue »

Old Reliable: Hydrangeas

Two hydrangeas in full bloom flank an entrance .

Two hydrangeas in full bloom flanking an entrance .

We’ve had one of the strangest summers in Toronto. A cool wet spring followed by the driest July and August in decades. Those months gave us rain in the form of torrential downpours, but the problem with a hard rain is that doesn’t penetrate the soil, and much water tends to run off.

A couple of day-long gentle rains came as a relief in what was mostly a broiling September; however the rain wasn’t much of a consolation for the dead-looking brown sticks in the ground, aka the clump of Joe Pye Weed in my garden. (Surprisingly, my swamp milkweed fared better in the summer drought.)

Which garden plants can stand up to the feast and famine that drought and climate weirdness bring? Hydrangeas are one. My Limelight Hydrangea came through with flying colours. Hydrangeas prefer moist soil, however they are tough, once established. Mine has been in place for three years, and this summer has never looked better.

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Best Pairing: Ontario Corn & Chardonnay



Corn on the cob. Those four words are full of magic for most of us, redolent of summer camp, picnics and bonfires at the beach, and we here in Ontario are lucky to have an abundance of at least three delicious varieties available to us for most of the summer and fall. We’re also lucky to have incredible chardonnay producers in this province. Nothing goes better with corn on the cob than a chilled glass of crisp chardonnay.

In Ontario we grow yellow, yellow and white-sometimes known as peaches and cream- and white corn among the dozens of varieties, available from July to October, and each has their own unique flavour profiles and varying levels of sweetness.  Continue »

Aqua Greens



Wouldn’t it be cool if the Greater Toronto Area had a facility that raised organic fish from hatchling to market size, that grew organic greens and veggies year round using 90% less water than conventional farming methods? Well, there is such a place, it’s located just north of Pearson Airport and it’s called Aqua GreensContinue »

Using Dahlias As A Hedge


red dahlias along a fence

A row of dahlias makes a striking blooming hedge.

Here’s a great use of dahlias, which effectively creates a flowering hedge. Seven identical plants have been  planted here, along a decorative metal fence. These dahlias grow in partial shade for part of the day, and the flowers pop out of the shadows like glowing red stars. It’s a terrific effect and one that could be used year to year. Dahlias are a tender perennial, and the tubers should be dug up every fall, after frost, and brought in for the winter to be replanted next season.

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