Among the brilliant ideas gleaned from years of gardening beside my Mother, the Master Gardener. When faced with a shortage of pots for your plants, just grab a bag of dirt (or potting soil) and GI Joe it!
While we've been making a move to co-habitate, the garden has been taking off in varying shades of green, but first we had to take rocky terrain and turn it into arable land capable of fostering food stuffs with the aid of a little cardboard gardening.
There's cheese, and then there's great cheese, and then there's great Canaidian cheese, band a bunch of artisnal Canuk cheese makers together and you have The Great Canadian Cheese Festival (#TGCCF) June 1 - 3, 2012 in Picton, Ontario. The single largest exhibition of Canadain artisan, farmstead and specialty cheese from coast to coast.
In an urban environment it's easy to detach from the where our food comes from. Many of us have never had to milk a cow, catch a squealing piglet or yank a clucky hen from her nest to gather eggs. Which is why farms like Mariposa Farm, open the public Friday, Saturday and Sunday, are so necessarily, and so very much fun.
My little eco-sprouts are growing like proverbial weeds. Pumpkins, sunflowers and geraniums are up and leaning into the light on the sills of my kitchen.
The city's newest brew pub, Mill Street Brew Pub hit the ground running early this year with a big, splashy opening. Located in one of downtown Ottawa's historic buildings, along the river's edge; it's spectacular location attracted a great deal of attention from curious folks (like me) who were eager to see the end result. So once all the fuss died down a bit we ventured out for an early lunch on a Sunday to take a peek.
Dirt eggs, earthy, with a side of grit. No, we're not eating them, but we'll be enjoying lovely stuffed squash blossoms by June, and prefect little gourdes come harvest time. This is one of three eco-friendly indoor starting methods I'm trying this year for eco-seedlings. The eggshells will contain the seedlings in a tiny cocoon as stalks harden and tender roots grow.
Time to get back to the dirt, to tend those things sprouting and eager for sun, the tiny seeds we sowed last year, the corner we cleared in a bargain with Mother Nature. I invite you to follow this year's Gypsy Garden and share tips & ideas for all things green and growing.
Dragged the chef in my life on a food recognizance mission in Ottawa's Hindonburg neighbourhood. Target: Art is In Bakery's wearhouse kitchen/retail outlet, or as I like to call it Club Bread, where old world bread meets new world hip, the only thing missing is the doorman.
Ashford Castle, located on Ireland's west coast has a history that stretches back as far as 1228, once owned by the Guinness family, it's now one of Ireland's leading Five Star Hotels and gourmet destinations. At the helm of the Castle's kitchens is Head Chef Stefan Matz: widely considered one of Ireland's top chefs, Chef Matz shares with us his thoughts on Irish Cuisine in the 21st century, and his passion for the produce of the Emerald Isle.
Time for a new edition of Food Gypsy CSI (Corinna's Secret Ingredient) and a look at an expensive little addiction: Truffles. Truffles aren't a big secret, they've been enjoyed by lovers of fungus for thousands of years, prized for their earthy flavour and musky scent. Sharing a few secrets from our kitchen that keep us in truffles --- without breaking the bank.
The recently expanded Red Apron, is among my favourite food outlets in Ottawa's downtown core. Selling their own brand of sophisticated comfort food for pick-up or delivery, Jennifer Heagle and business partner Jo-Ann Laverty have created a business model that is at once simple and sophisticated. Good food, reasonably priced and ready to serve.