Celebrate the Season with Squash

While squash may be intimidating for first time users, it is easy-to-prepare, affordable, and nutritionally exceptional. It’s also widely produced across Nova Scotia. When you purchase squash make sure to choose those that are firm and heavy for their size, have bright and glossy exteriors, and are free of nicks, bruises or soft spots. With proper storage, winter squash can be kept up to three … Continue reading Celebrate the Season with Squash

How to Build A Cold Frame

Well folks, it’s that time of year again when gardens are flourishing with the bounties of the early and late spring plantings and I am beginning to plan for my first attempt at season succession. A cold frame has been heavily considered to help extend the seasons in my garden throughout the colder months. Cold frames, in essence, can be made from various items – … Continue reading How to Build A Cold Frame

Eating Local Produce in February

It’s February and I’m thinking about that question for food-lovers in northern climes: how do we continue to eat healthy, local food through the winter months?

I thought I’d take this opportunity to chime in and share some perspectives (and lessons learned) on the topic of root cellaring from our windswept hilltop in Pipers Glen, Cape Breton. Here, we operate a small market garden and strive to have year-round access to as great a diversity of vegetables possible. Continue reading “Eating Local Produce in February”

How to Extend Your Garden Season With Cold Frames

Up here in Cape Breton, spring is just a tease. Cold frames are an excellent backyard strategy for gaining a few weeks on food production, either in the spring or late fall. Last fall, this handy tip sheet was compiled to support a cold frame building workshop hosted by Leonard Vassalo at Blue Heron Farm in Gardiner Mines. We built three cold frames, which were donated … Continue reading How to Extend Your Garden Season With Cold Frames

Adventures in Winter Gardening

The weather today was so lovely that I almost started feeling that spring had finally arrived.  I’m too much of a weather pragmatist to trust that is the case, although I’ve learned that gardening in our climate can really surprise you when it comes to what you thought was possible. Last autumn I caught the 4-season gardening bug after reading Niki Jabbour’s great book, The … Continue reading Adventures in Winter Gardening

Root Cellar Meals

With a fully stocked root cellar comes a necessary change in eating habits. You’ll need to cook with root vegetables even more than you usually do, and keep your cellar stock in mind. Here are some root cellar meals we’ve made recently. SPANISH TORTILLA Thinly chop 3-4 medium sized potatoes, boil until tender. Then saute in a cast iron skillet, with 1 finely chopped onion … Continue reading Root Cellar Meals

Preparing Your Root Cellar

As the weather cools off, it’s time to prepare your root cellar for winter.  If you’re new to root cellaring, here are a few posts we’ve written over the past two years: Root Cellar Basics Root Cellar Workshop Root Cellar: Building Materials Root cellars are relatively low maintenance. But there are a few things that should be done to prepare your root cellar for the … Continue reading Preparing Your Root Cellar

Winter Planting: Gardening Doesn’t End in July!

Not many people realise that our mild climate in Coastal Nova Scotia allows for some plants to grow all winter long. Parsley, parsnips, leeks, and spinach will survive being frozen over. I plant parsnips in August for an April harvest. I have also heard encouraging reports from beets and turnips but have not tried these out. Lettuce, radishes, arugula and peas won’t live through the … Continue reading Winter Planting: Gardening Doesn’t End in July!

Root Cellars: Building materials and using what you have

This spring we embarked on transforming part of our office basement into a root cellar, and now that September’s here, it’s time to start thinking about filling it up with produce. It’s nice to see a project through to the very end and be able to start using it for its intended purpose, even though it was a very handy space this summer to store … Continue reading Root Cellars: Building materials and using what you have

Root Cellar Workshop

This weekend, we built a root cellar! Building a root cellar at the Ecology Action Centre office has been an idea that we’ve been kicking around for years. It went from the idea stage to the reality stage when we received some funding from the Spirit NS Local Food Fund last fall. After the excitement of receiving the funding, the next big question was: So, … Continue reading Root Cellar Workshop