A Crossword Puzzle to Honour Toronto’s Food Heroes

 

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If you like whiling away the hours with the New York Times crossword, or like to kill a few minutes fiddling with Sudoku, or unscrambling the daily Jumble you will love our latest advert on the back cover of Edible Toronto. This month we’ve put together a challenging little crossword puzzle that will test your knowledge about some of Toronto’s Food Heroes; agencies and actors that make our city a world-renowned source of inspiring food stories. Continue »



Benefits of a Cool Spring

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Snowdrops last longer in a cool spring.

Spring has sprung, but a lot of us are still wearing winter coats. The temps are still a little cooler than usual, and the trend is supposed to go through the first two weeks of April. The good news is that spring ephemeral bulbs like snowdrops—the very first flowers to arrive—are sticking around for weeks instead of being a flash in the pan.

That means we may enjoy crocuses a little longer than normal too, once they show up. The slow, cool spring may be maddening but once we have a few rains, things are going to be popping up all over.

In the meantime, we have time to sort through our seeds for planting, clean our tools, and as soon as the garden centre is open in April, buy some early perennials, and soil amendments, like compost and manure. Remember, you can always plant spring bulbs in pots as well. So as soon as the ground is diggable, pop in a few pots of crocus, or grape hyacinths in some bare spots in your garden. They will come up year after year.



A Corn Maze for Halloween!

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Are you ready to be corn-founded and a-maized? If so you’ll be thrilled to know that Fiesta Farms has brought back our fantastic Corn Maze that was such a hit last year!

Installed outdoors in our Fiesta Gardens Centre, this fun-filled walk-through puzzle is sure to delight the whole family, and maybe even bewitch you a little!

“This is the second year we’ve done it,” says Dino Virgona, manager of the Fiesta Farms Garden Centre. “Michael, one of our staffers had been wanting to do it for a couple of seasons so last July we planned it out and made it happen. This year Michael, John, Chris and Ryan put it together.”

“The maze isn’t haunted,” Virgona adds. “There are skeletons hanging around but nothing that jumps out and scares the crap out of you. There are way more ways to get lost though, so be warned.”

 

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Walk through it during the day for an entertaining stroll, or wait until the sun goes down- the maze stays open until eight p.m. each weeknight- to add a that little element of spookiness to your sauntering. You never know what lurks around the next corner, but for those who want a little hint, check out this video of last year’s maze.

 

 

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The #FiestasCornMaze is up until Halloween, when Virgona and his team take it down and start setting up the Christmas tree market.

Hours: 9-8 Weekdays 9-6 on Weekends

Location: 200 Christie St. Toronto, ON TTC: 7 minute walk north of Christie Station

Parking: Garden Centre Parking Lot

Accessibility: Fully accessible, though some rows are narrow

Admission: FREE

 



Bitter Melon: Ornamental Vine & Edible Fruit

Bitter melon vine, showing flower.

Bitter melon vine, showing flower.

I came across this beautiful vine covering a chain link fence recently. The fence itself was almost completely obscured, which is a good thing in my books. (Practical as they are, banishing chain link fences would be one of my first orders as Queen of the World)

The vine leaves themselves are exquisite, finely cut in a way that William Morris—the Arts & Craft designer who took his inspiration from nature—would have loved. The leaf veins, vines and tendrils add to the pleasing array of form. Not only is the vine good at beautifully camouflaging an ugly fence, but it has smallish yellow flowers with the sweetest jasmine fragrance—swoonworthy on a summer evening.

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Plant Profile: Gazania

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You’ve got a dry, hot spot that gets full sun all day. What to plant? A perfect choice for a sunny spot like this is the impossibly cheerful gazania. It’s a low-growing, drought-tolerant flowering annual that shines through in those challenging spots.

Many annuals—like the ever forgiving petunia and geranium—can be plunked anywhere and they’ll more or less cope. Shady spots make fewer flowers, but you’ll still have flowers. Not so with gazanias: they are picky and absolutely must have full sun to show their spectacular blooms. If they don’t have sun, they fold up their petals and sulk. (Yes, the petals actually close.) And why wouldn’t they? They’ve got pizzazz and they want to show it off.

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