Category Archives: Gardening

Spot for you to do some reading on gardening and staying healthy. Also a great place to put your feet up and relax for a bit.

It’s That Time of Year … Garlic Scapes

Don’t throw them garlic scapes away. My wife takes them in the house, cuts them into small pieces and puts them onto trays in our dehydrator. Once dry, she grinds them up and puts it in small glass jars and stores them in a cool, dry dark place. Come winter she adds a dash here and a dash there in her soups, stews, spaghetti sauce or what ever. It makes things taste just that much better along with having tons of health benefits. This Dehydrator works quite well.

What more can you ask for?

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Supper Last Night

My lovely wife prepared a delightful supper last night, which you can see in the picture below. It was not only delicious but also a healthy meal choice. The plate consists of sweet potatoes, mixed vegetables, and a mouthwatering homemade meatloaf. To add some extra flavor, there are a few pieces of aged three-year-old cheese. And, of course, there’s a dollop of ketchup, as I simply can’t enjoy supper without it. Although during tomato season, I would forgo the ketchup. It won’t be long before we can savor the homegrown tomatoes once again.

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Desert Last Night

Fresh Ontario Grown Strawberries on a Homemade Waffle, topped with whip cream and Mike Clapperton’s Maple Syrup—it’s simply irresistible!

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Our Vegetable Garden

Growing your own vegetables may seem difficult to some, but it’s actually quite simple. If you have a little bit of space, which doesn’t require much, you can grow the same vegetables that I am growing in the pictures below. And the best part is, you’ll save money because you won’t have to buy them from the grocery store every week, where you don’t know where they were grown or what chemicals were used on them.

Another great benefit of working in your own garden is that it keeps your body active, strong, and healthy. Instead of spending money on drugs or visiting the doctor every month, you can find the solution right outside your back door.

Food for thought.

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Garlic Scapes

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For those that haven’t removed their Scapes from the garlic, this is the time to do it. But don’t throw them away, cut them off, bring them into the house, chop them into small pieces and put them in a dehydrator, if you have one. Then once dry take out your coffee grinder and grind them up into a powder and come winter you will have an abundant supply of garlic powder for your soups and stews. There isn’t anything more tasty than them, and not to forget how healthy they are for you. But wait, there’s more! These Scapes aren’t just ridiculously delicious; they’re also great in an Avocado Dip, or you can add them to your Spaghetti dinner with a touch of Olive Oil. Makes me hungry just thinking about them.

Here’s a recipe for an old-time avocado dip with Garlic Scapes:


  • 2 ripe avocados
  • 1-2 garlic scapes
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 1 tomato, diced
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon cumin powder
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Optional: chopped cilantro for garnish


  1. Begin by preparing the garlic scapes. Trim off any tough ends and chop them finely.
  2. Cut the avocados in half, remove the pits, and scoop out the flesh into a bowl.
  3. Mash the avocados with a fork or a potato masher until you achieve a smooth consistency.
  4. Add the chopped garlic scapes, onion, tomato, lime juice, cumin powder, salt, and pepper to the mashed avocados. Mix well to combine all the ingredients.
  5. Taste and adjust the seasoning as per your preference. You can add more lime juice, salt, or pepper if desired.
  6. If you like a spicier dip, you can also add a pinch of cayenne pepper or some finely chopped jalapeños.
  7. Once the flavors are well combined, transfer the dip to a serving bowl.
  8. If desired, garnish with chopped cilantro for added freshness and presentation.
  9. Serve the avocado dip with tortilla chips, crackers, or vegetable sticks for dipping.

Bon appétit, my garlic-loving friends!

What We Should All Be Thinking of Doing These Days

Some have asked. George, why not rustle up some good ol’ farmer advice with a pinch of humor for y’all!

Alright then, so listen up, Canada! It’s high time we put on our gardening gloves, grabbed a shovel, and started growing our own veggies and fruits. Why, you ask? Well, let me tell ya!

First off, let’s talk self-reliance, folks. We Canadians are known for our maple syrup, hockey skills, and, of course, being polite. But it seems lately that we have become too dependent on other countries for our grub? What we need to do is take matters into our own hands and grow our own darn food!

Now, imagine this: you step outside your door, pluck a juicy tomato straight off the vine, take a bite, and savor the explosion of flavor. There is no way that store-bought tomatoes can compete with that freshness! You’ll be saying, “Move over, ketchup, I’ve got my own homegrown goodness!” Trust me, your taste buds will thank you.

But hey, it’s not just about taste. It’s about knowing what goes into your food. When you grow your own produce, you’re the boss of your garden kingdom. You decide whether to go all organic or add a little somethin’ to keep the critters away. No more mystery chemicals or pesticides. You’ll be the captain of your own pesticide-free ship!

And let’s not forget the savings. Money doesn’t grow on trees, but fruits sure do! By growing your own veggies and fruits, you’re saving those hard-earned loonies and toonies. Sure, there might be some initial costs for seeds and tools, but think about the long-term savings. Your wallet will be thicker than a lumberjack’s beard! Actually, there are a lot of folks growing beards these days, and I am not sure why. Ha ha

But here’s the kicker: we’re not just talking about being self-reliant here, we’re talking about a full-blown gardening adventure! Picture yourself with your overalls, straw hat, and an abundance of veggies. You’ll be part farmer, part superhero, providing for yourself and your loved ones. It’s like having your own personal farmers’ market right in your backyard!

So, folks, let’s roll up our sleeves, grab a shovel, and get down and dirty. Let’s grow our own fruits and vegetables and show those other countries what we’re made of! Remember, with a little humor, a lot of love, and some good ol’ Canadian spirit, we’ll be harvesting the sweetest, juiciest produce this side of the North Pole. Happy gardening, eh?

What’s Happening In Cottage Country On July 3/2023

Good Morning!

It looks like another beautiful day shaping up for us here in Cottage Country. Other than the heat, that is. But in saying that where we live, there are a lot of trees, which in turn means … there is a lot of shade. At the moment the sun is shinning, and I suspect it will continue on that way all day. It will also get even warmer for the next few days.

Highway 522 is getting busier and busier every day, as is our gift shop. Yesterday was a very busy day with folks dropping by one after another. It is nice to see folks out and about.

Bug Report: Other than a few of them pesky deer and horse flies along with a few lingering mosquitoes, things are pretty good these days. I am not complaining, by no means.

Yesterday with dealing with the customers we didn’t have much time to do much outside work, but that is okay as I didn’t feel like doing much outside work. Ha ha.

On another note, our vegetable gardens are growing leaps and bounds now. We are eating fresh garlic and lettuce from it every day. And it won’t be long before our cucumbers are ready. It sure is nice to be able to walk out to the garden and bring some in for the table when ever we want it. All organic and fresh.

Also for those that does have a garden it is time to hill up the tomatoes, peppers, garlic and potatoes. I will get at mine tomorrow or the next day. In doing so, it loosens up the soil around the base of the plants and protects them from the hot, dry weather that we will be having for the next two months. So … sharpen up your hoe and get to work. Early morning is the best time to do it.

With that, I am off for a piece of toast that my lovely wife is making for me for a change, and will then see what the day has in store. I never know.

Have a good day!.

Fresh Salad For Lunch

Took a picture of our garlic and lettuce, showing how it is growing so far. It sure is tasty, and the garlic is Awesome!

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t took a few pictures of our Heirloom and Historic Peonies. They sure smell pretty, just like a rose.

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Nature At Her Best

Here is another bouquet that my lovely wife put together using plants from our gardens. It’s amazing how she can take a few flowers and make them look so nice.

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Tulips Showing Off

Presenting another photograph featuring tulips from one of our gardens. I admire the country-flare aesthetic created by the rock, which adds a delightful backdrop to the scene.

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Flowers Of All Kinds

Here is a picture of a small garden we have by our front porch. It has a mixture of wild buttercups, and some perennials. And not to forget the dandelion! We just let nature take its course.

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Inspiration For the Day

My lovely wife walks out to our backyard, comes into the house, and walla! A nice vase of wild flowers along with some of hers. Simple but nice.

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Soil PH in Your Vegetable Garden

Have you ever wondered why some plants thrive in certain soils, while others struggle or fail to grow altogether? Well, in my earlier days I sure did. But thanks to my old Dad, I found that the answer often lies in the soil’s pH level. What I discovered was that soil pH plays a critical role in influencing the nutrients that are available to plants and their ability to absorb them. If you’re not too familiar with the pH scale, let me break it down for ya. It’s a tool we use to measure how acidic or alkaline a substance/soil is, and it goes from 0 to 14. When we talk about a pH of 7, that’s right smack in the middle, and we call it neutral. Anything below 7 is considered acidic, while anything above 7 is alkaline. Now, here’s where it gets important for us farmers/gardeners. Different crops need different pH levels to thrive, and we need to be mindful of that to give ’em the best shot at success. I found that some plants like it more acidic, while others prefer it to be more alkaline. The bottom line is; if we don’t pay attention to the pH requirements of our crops, they may not grow as strong and healthy as they could. So … it’s something we have to keep in mind when we’re tending our soil. For instance, asparagus plants prefer a slightly alkaline soil with a pH level between 6.0 and 8.0, while potatoes prefer a slightly acidic soil with a pH level between 4.8 and 6.5. Peppers, on the other hand, prefer a slightly acidic soil with a pH level between 5.5 and 7.0, while broccoli thrives in a slightly acidic to neutral soil with a pH level between 6.0 and 7.0. The thing is, it’s important to make sure your plants have the right pH balance to keep them healthy and growing well. Then it comes to acidic soil, certain nutrients like calcium, magnesium, and phosphorus become less available, which causes limited growth and nutritional deficiencies. Whereas in alkaline soil, minerals like iron, zinc, and manganese become less available, leading to yellowing leaves and other symptoms of nutrient deficiencies. So … how can you determine your soil’s pH level?  Well, the easiest way is to use a soil test kit, which can be purchased at most garden centres or online. They give you an easy way to measure your soil’s pH level, so you can change it as needed to meet the needs of your plants. It should also be noted that the pH of your soil can be raised by adding lime if it has a high amount of acidity. And on the other side of the coin, adding sulphur can assist lowering the pH level if your soil has a high alkaline content. Furthermore, adding organic matter, such as compost, can also help to stabilize the pH of the soil, creating a more suitable environment for a wider range of plants. Finally, my old Dad used to say: “happy soil, happy crops, happy farmer!” And that’s no lie, as it’s a well-known fact among us farmers/gardeners, that soil pH can make or break a harvest.

“So, remember folks, if you want your plants to thrive, you gotta’ test that pH and get it just right. And if you’re feeling a little lost, just remember this age-old gardening wisdom: when in doubt, just give your soil a good talking to. It might not change the pH, but your plants will definitely appreciate the extra attention!”

In Closing I Would Like To Wish You Well.

You can reach George Walters at: [email protected]

Farming Here In Canada

Nurturing Our Soil, Nurturing Our Nation: Why Supporting Our Own Farmers is Crucial for Canada’s Self-Sufficiency

Introduction: In a rapidly changing world, where global supply chains dominate our supermarket shelves, it is becoming increasingly important to reflect on the importance of supporting our local farmers. Ontario, blessed with fertile soil and dedicated agricultural communities, has long been the breadbasket of Canada. However, the current trend of selling off prime farmland and relying on imported produce poses a threat to our nation’s self-sufficiency. In this blog post, let us explore the reasons why it is essential for us to support our own farmers, buy Canadian produce when it is in season, and cultivate a sense of compassion towards those who work tirelessly to feed our nation.

  1. Preserving Our Agricultural Heritage: Farming is more than just a profession; it is a way of life. The Ontario farmer carries the rich legacy of nurturing the land, passing down agricultural wisdom from one generation to the next. By supporting our farmers, we not only ensure the preservation of this heritage, but also sustain the unique cultural identity that comes with it. The sale of prime farmland robs future generations of the opportunity to carry on this cherished tradition and connect with our agricultural roots.
  2. Strengthening Food Security: In an increasingly interconnected world, food security is a pressing concern. By supporting our own farmers, we take a proactive step towards securing a stable food supply chain within Canada. Buying locally-produced food reduces our reliance on imported goods and mitigates the risks associated with global disruptions, such as climate change, political conflicts, and trade restrictions. When we prioritize Canadian produce, especially when it is in season, we foster resilience in our food system and ensure that our nation’s citizens have access to healthy, fresh, and nutritious food.
  3. Environmental Stewardship: Canadian farmers are known for their commitment to sustainable farming practices and environmental stewardship. By purchasing Canadian produce, we support farmers who implement responsible land management techniques, prioritize biodiversity, and conserve our natural resources. Moreover, buying locally means reducing the carbon footprint associated with long-distance transportation, thereby contributing to mitigating climate change. Supporting our farmers not only promotes sustainable agriculture, but also helps protect our environment for future generations.
  4. Boosting the Local Economy: When we buy Canadian produce, we directly contribute to the growth and prosperity of our local communities. Supporting our farmers means supporting their families, their employees, and the small businesses that rely on agriculture. By keeping our dollars within our own economy, we strengthen the local agricultural infrastructure, create jobs, and foster economic stability. A vibrant farming sector translates into a thriving rural economy, ensuring a higher quality of life for all Canadians.
  5. Connecting with Nature and the Seasons: Choosing to buy Canadian produce in season allows us to reconnect with the rhythm of nature and appreciate the unique flavours and diversity of our land. It reminds us of the joy of anticipation as we eagerly await the arrival of strawberries in the spring or the crisp apples of autumn. By embracing local seasonal produce, we not only support our farmers, but also savour the freshness and quality of food that is harvested at its peak flavour.

Conclusion: Supporting our own farmers and prioritizing Canadian produce is not merely a matter of economics or national pride; it is an act of compassion towards those who toil under the sun to provide us with sustenance. By doing so, we preserve our agricultural heritage, strengthen our food security, promote sustainable practices, boost our local economy, and foster a deeper connection with nature. Let us embrace the opportunity to become more self-sufficient and ensure a bountiful future for all Canadians. Together, we can nurture our soil and nurture our nation.

Grass Cutting

My wife figured this might get me out there cutting grass more often.

Garlic 2023

Our GARLIC is looking good this year. It won’t be long before we will be eating the Scapes. And later on in the summer I will dig the bulbs for winter eating. They sure are tasty, especially in my lovely wife’s spaghetti.

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Fertilizing your veggie garden naturally

Here’s a blog post for you about fertilizing your vegetable garden with natural ingredients the old way, written from a farmer’s perspective and with a bit of humour. Enjoy!

Today, I want to talk to y’all about fertilizing your vegetable garden with natural ingredients the old way. As someone who’s been tending to crops for as long as I can remember, I can tell you that the best way to nourish your veggies is by going back to basics and using ingredients that Mother Nature intended. And trust me, it’s a heck of a lot more fun than buying a bunch of fancy, chemical-laden fertilizers.

So, what exactly are these natural ingredients, you ask? Well, let me tell you. First up, we’ve got good old-fashioned manure. Yes, I know it’s not the most glamorous thing in the world, but hear me out. Cow, horse, chicken, or even rabbit manure can work wonders for your soil. Not only does it provide a good source of nitrogen, but it also helps with water retention and soil structure. Just make sure you let it age for a bit before using it, otherwise you’ll be in for a real stinky surprise.

Next up, we’ve got compost. Now, this may not be the most exciting ingredient either, but it’s definitely one of the most effective. Compost is basically decayed organic matter, like leaves, grass clippings, and kitchen scraps. When added to your soil, it helps to improve its texture, adds beneficial microorganisms, and provides a slow-release source of nutrients. Plus, it’s a great way to reduce waste and make use of things you would have otherwise thrown away.

If you’re looking to add some specific nutrients to your soil, there are plenty of other natural options out there. For example, if you need more phosphorus, bone meal or rock phosphate can do the trick. If you need more potassium, wood ash or kelp meal are good options. And if you need more calcium, you can try adding some crushed eggshells.

Now, I know what some of you may be thinking. “But George, isn’t using natural fertilizers more work than just buying something from the store?” Well, yeah, it might take a little more effort on your part. But think about it this way: when you use natural fertilizers, you’re not just nourishing your plants, you’re also nourishing the soil. And healthy soil means healthy plants, which means healthier and tastier veggies for you to enjoy. Plus, you’ll be doing your part to reduce chemical runoff and promote sustainable agriculture.

So there you have it, folks. Fertilizing your vegetable garden with natural ingredients may not be the flashiest option out there, but it’s definitely one of the most effective. And who knows, you might even find yourself enjoying the process. Just don’t forget to wash your hands afterwards!

Until next time. GW


Howdy there, folks! Today, we’re gonna talk about one of my favourite veggies to grow in the garden: Asparagus. Now, if you’re lookin’ for a plant that’ll give you some good eatin’ year after year, asparagus is the way to go. It’s a mighty fine addition to any country boy’s or gal’s garden, and it sure does taste mighty fine on the dinner table too. So let’s dig in and learn all about harvestin’, growin’, and usin’ this green delight!

First things first, let’s talk about when to harvest that asparagus. Now, when it comes to this here plant, patience is key. You see, asparagus takes a bit of time to establish itself and build up its root system before you start pickin’ those spears. Typically, you wanna wait about two to three years after plantin’ before you start harvestin’. I reckon that might sound like a long time, but let me tell ya, it’s well worth the wait!

When it finally comes time to harvest, you wanna keep an eye out for them spears shootin’ up from the ground. You’ll notice ’em poppin’ up in the springtime, usually around April or May, dependin’ on where you’re located. Look for spears that are about 6 to 8 inches tall and have tight, closed tips. Now, here’s a little trick: when you’re cuttin’ them spears, make sure to use a sharp knife or pair of shears and cut ’em right at ground level. Be careful not to damage any of the other spears that are comin’ up nearby.

Alright, now let’s get into the nitty-gritty of growin’ asparagus. When it comes to plantin’, you wanna find a nice sunny spot in your garden with well-drained soil. Asparagus likes its space, so give ’em a good 18 inches to 2 feet between each plant. Diggin’ a trench about 8 inches deep and a foot wide should do the trick. Now, mix in some good ol’ compost or manure with that soil to give your asparagus some nourishment.

Next up, lay them crowns (that’s what we call the root system) in the trench, spreadin’ out the roots real nice-like. Cover ’em up with about 2 inches of soil, but don’t fill the trench entirely just yet. As them spears start growin’, keep addin’ soil gradually until you reach ground level. That’ll help protect the crowns and encourage healthy growth. And remember, asparagus likes a good drink of water, so make sure to keep ’em hydrated, especially during dry spells.

Now, let’s move on to the fun part: Usin’ that homegrown asparagus in the kitchen! Once you’ve harvested your spears, you wanna make sure to use ’em up fresh for the best taste. Asparagus is mighty versatile, so you can cook it up in a variety of ways. One popular method is to steam ’em until they’re tender but still have a little crunch. Then, you can enjoy ’em plain, with a little butter, or even wrapped in bacon for some extra country goodness.

If you’re feelin’ a bit adventurous, you can also roast or grill those spears. Just drizzle ’em with some olive oil, sprinkle a pinch of salt and pepper, and let ’em sizzle away on the grill or in the oven. Asparagus also plays real nice with other ingredients, like lemon juice, garlic, Parmesan cheese, or even in a good ol’ country-style stir-fry.

So there you have it, folks! That’s the best I can do using my country boy lingo. Have a great day! GW

Probiotics From Veggies

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Today, I would like to talk about how fresh vegetables can give you the probiotics you need for a healthy stomach and mind. Seems, though, I have been talking about a lot of things today. Anyway … as we get older, it’s important to take care of ourselves and our digestive systems, and one way to do that is through probiotics.

Now, what are probiotics, you might ask? Well, they’re the good bacteria that live in our gut and help keep our digestive system working properly. They can be found naturally in some foods like yogurt and kefir, but did you know that fresh vegetables can also be a great source of probiotics?

That’s right! Vegetables like sauerkraut, kimchi, and pickles are all fermented foods that are rich in probiotics. Fermentation is a process where the natural bacteria in the food are allowed to grow and multiply, creating a natural source of probiotics.

Not only do probiotics help keep our gut healthy, but they can also have a positive effect on our mental health, especially as we age. Recent studies have shown that a healthy gut microbiome can help reduce the risk of depression, anxiety, and cognitive decline in older adults.

So, how can a person incorporate these probiotic-rich veggies into your diet? Well, it’s simple! You can try making your own fermented veggies at home, or you can purchase them from a local farmer’s market or grocery store.

Here’s a simple recipe for making your own sauerkraut that my wife and I have used for years.


  • 1 head of cabbage
  • 1-2 tablespoon of sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon of caraway seeds (optional)


  1. Shred the cabbage and place it in a large bowl.
  2. Add the sea salt and caraway seeds (if using) and mix well.
  3. Pack the cabbage tightly into a jar or crock, making sure there is no airspace.
  4. Cover the jar with a lid or cloth and let it sit at room temperature for 3–7 days, depending on how sour you like your sauerkraut.
  5. Once it’s ready, store the sauerkraut in the fridge and enjoy!
  6. I will see if I can do up a more detailed way of making it another day.

So there l have it, folks! Fresh vegetables can be a great source of probiotics, and they can help keep our stomach and mind healthy as we age. So the next time you’re at the farmer’s market, be sure to pick up some sauerkraut, kimchi, or pickles to add to your diet. Or better yet grow and make your own!!