Wednesday, August 11, 2010

August 11th

Look at this beauty. Nothing to do with gardening, or cooking. But he is my number two and deserves his moment in the sun. Harvey Aka Mr. Play, doing what he does best, being feline and regal.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

August 10th

Hot, day. Lazy cat.

Monday, August 9, 2010

August 9th

I find something so poignant about the plants that reach out for something to cling to, to wrap themselves around. This is the black-eyed susie climber on my balcony, it's wrapped itself around my wooden chair, and it travels along the hard, cold concrete of the balcony floor looking for somewhere to thrive. There is something about it, that causes a tender sensation in my heart.

Friday, August 6, 2010

August 6th

Sick person food. Not beautiful to be sure. Raw grated beets, lemon juice and a little flax oil. Helps ease the gallbladder when it's freaking out. Never an episode before in my life....WTF!

August 5th

Fresh from the farm, picked and eaten the same day. These beans were extraordinary fresh, tender, gorgeous.

August 4th

Been a little sickly so catching up on photo post. Please witness these beautiful Garlic Scapes received in my grocery box. They make a gorgeous pesto.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

August 3rd

Searching the sky for the solar flare, too early...

Monday, August 2, 2010

August 2nd

Some lovely and funny things I saw on my walk today. Cheers.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

August 1st

First day of the August Break. Beautiful heirloom tomato. I love the orange skin, and the bloom of pink at the centre. It was delicious in my caprese salad with fresh basil, olive oil and buffalo mozzarella. Happy August!

Friday, July 30, 2010

Come join me on the August Break. Please click on the icon to the right to learn more! Hooray!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010


Morels! Fresh Morels! found at the grocery store for 7.99. This is an incredible find. Morels are very rare, and not usually cultivated. I have seen them dried at Whole Foods for something like 80.00 per pound.

Morel Morchella spp., Discomycetes.

I have had one morel, once before in my life, 13 years ago. I was working as a gardener on my hands and knees under a blue spruce. I was weeding by hand, it was a very progressive company run by an amazing swiss man and master gardener who hired me as an apprentice for the summer. We used no pesticides or herbicides and instead painstakingly removed weeds by hand, on a property that was apporximatly 40 acres. The gardening became a very zen like practice for me and everyday, the physicality combined with the repetition of the practice altered my state a little, I went through a transformation and noticed every root, insect, bloom, and bud and the relationships of these plant forms to one another. I became highly aware of how much beautiful activity is flowing around us daily, that we miss because our heads are too high from the ground. Anyway, I digress, I was on my knees under a blue spruce, where it was dark and damp and cool. The needles of the spruce were like poisonous darts, if you got stabbed by one you ended up with a great deal of pain and a welt. Beside me was a woman named Kathleen, and she handed me a morel she had picked while the smell of the spruce tree permeated our senses. She asked me, have you ever had one? I had never even seen one before. It was odd shaped looked like a cross between a gnome hat and a honeycomb. She told me to go home and slice it and saute it in butter.

One morel.

I remember being nervous because she had just picked it, there in the garden? What if it's poisonous. I followed her instructions and was flabberghasted how flavourful, earthy, deep and decadent one little mushroom could taste. The one and only morel I have ever had, 13 years ago. That is until now.

I took these beauties carefully washed them sliced them leaving big enough pieces that I could chew them. I sauteed them lightly in butter and finished them with white wine. They shrunk down by about half. I made some gorgeous velvety scrambled eggs and poured the morels over top of them. They were so delicious, I think I cried a little while I ate them, luscious, gorgeous, decadent, earthy, sweet and salty. I feel so much gratitude for the diversity of food. If you ever happen to see fresh morels available any where I appeal to your inner hedonist, bring them to the checkout and open your wallet, I guarnetee you will thank me.

Friday, July 23, 2010


Catching up. This is more of a montage to explain what I've been doing on my balcony. From left to right Top Row: Swiss Chard, First Clematis Bloom, Arugula. Second Row, Morning Glory, Sunset, Planting Day. Third Row: My Spider friend, G20 Riot day, that corresponded with my planting day, very weird surreal juxtaposition, Black-Eyed Susie Vine. More to come.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Bad Blogging but saying YES

Ack, I am remiss. This is a life lesson. Sigh. I have been out for the count. I have not posted for many, many days and now fear I am losing face, silly really, but here is my excuse list. For some reason, I have lately been saying a big, fat YES to everything in my life. I had been doing an art course called Planetary Archetypes, that is this amazing, clay process, and esoteric examination of my life by looking closely at the archetypes of Venus, the Moon, Saturn, Mercury etc., and how the energy of these planets influence certain years of your life, amazing process, and then I decided to overlap that course with another amazing course called Unravelling by Susannah Conway it was eight weeks in length and centres again on examining the self by using photography and journalling.
Needless to say, I have just come up for air, and with working full time and living, blogging slipped by the wayside. But I have photographed my garden and I will be posting some photos very soon. I am getting back on the bus. I am new to everything in the blogosphere as well as the paving of the road to hell with my good intentions. I'll forgive myself if you will. Be back soon. XO

Monday, June 7, 2010

Win, Win

I believe in the win, win. That's where you have your cake and eat it too. This is possible, despite the naysayers you will encounter from time to time. The win, win in principle is a situation where everyone benefits. That's why I believe in the CSA. CSA is an abbreviation for Community Supported Agriculture; this is a farm that is supported by members who purchase a share of the growing season. The farmer, grows comfortably during the season because he/she has been paid already and the members enjoy (in most cases) organic, local fare all season long. I have joined such a farm. To me this is idealism in action, the farm is local, it's in Brampton, it's organic and the produce is harvested the same day I receive it, so it is absolutely fresh, and delicious. The farm stays small, so it doesn't become an agribusiness, but there is still room for growth. The members of the farm become a community unto themselves, and as a member there is the opportunity to volunteer on the farm to witness how the food is grown, and contribute your own labour.

There is something about this endeavour that fills me with pride," it's a pocket of resistance" (to quote John Berger) in a world of agribusiness, and GMO's (genetically modified organisms). It's a way to know what you are eating and do some good all at the same time. I am so fortunate to work in a healing centre where we created this CSA, to learn more about this, please see here:

(for some reason I can't get the hyperlink to work, so you will have to cut and paste,sorry)

In this photo, I have green onions, green garlic and radishes. I will be updating you with lovely plates of food I make with produce received throughout the growing season.

Notes from the garden: The garden at Mi Casa, is moving slowly, I've been very, very busy and when I put aside a day to do some plantings the temperature drops to 10 Celsius and it pours rain. I will be posting very soon about some new plant friends.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

My number 2...oh who am I kidding, The Boss.

Just a brief post to introduce you to Harvey, the CEO at the High-rise potager. He's not acclimatized to the balcony but keeps me plenty of company by meowing through the screen. His likes are fetching, snuggling and holding hands. Which he actually does. He has lovely gigantic paws which he will put on top of my hand and will then curl his toes so you can't release your hand, it's devastatingly cute. He is a very unique cat, funny and loving. He's a rescue cat and I recommend anyone who is looking for a cat go to a local shelter and find a friend. Ok..I know this blog is about gardening, but he's a character in the story, and the boss, especially when it's dinner time.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Gut Gardening

A word about intuition. I will begin with a small caveat, I do have a background in horticulture, although not by any means extensive, I did work professionally a looooong time ago. I know some basic things, like the difference between an annual and a perrenial, or the latin for the virginia creeper, (Parthenocissus quinquefolia). But there is a lot I don't know, A LOT. I have many gardening books and while they are necessary they can also be overwhelming, especially when you are just beginning.

I have taken the radical step of starting a "gut garden". To learn all about this process please go here:

Recently, I have accepted that I am a person that operates better in my world by using my intuition as my primary guide and tool. When I plan too much I can become overly controlling, indecisive and overwhelmed. I slip in to what's known as" monkey mind" amongst those who meditate. I am taking the radical step of trying this process, and I'll let you know how it goes.

This photo is of my most favourite flower in the universe. The Peony. I love the magnificance of their blooms. I love the way the buds, are perfect, tight, spheres that explode in to this mammoth, loveliness that is so splendid that peonies often faint from the weight of their own beauty; once they bloom they are often kissing the grass.

I will not, alas, be able to plant one on my balcony, but sometimes the universe provides. Sometime ago I had mentioned my adoration of this flower to a woman who is a patient at the Naturopathic clinic I manage. And yesterday she cut me a bouquet from her own garden and presented it to me at work. How lucky am I? Heaven.

Friday, May 14, 2010

The impetus

I am an old gardener in a new gardener's body. I recently moved to a high-rise, the antithesis of what I craved in a home. For me I like the ground level charm of an old house with wide plank slanted floors and the patina of a by-gone era. But I also found it difficult to get the synthesis of character, outdoor space and a well-managed building on my budget. Rent is expensive in Toronto, especially if you love to live alone. So, I found this building in a great part of town and VOILA, I am in a high-rise and much to my surprise I am loving it.

My intention for this blog is to record my journey starting a garden on my balcony, to record my thoughts, the process, and the places it takes me. I will not be giving gardening advice. I have long wanted to grow my own herbs, flowers and vegetables.

And I love the beauty that a garden inspires, I love how you can grow a plant and how that can extend to inspiration in a vast array of areas; cooking, art, community, activism, healing and above all meaning. The journey starts on my 20 foot (yes, I scored) balcony, but I do forsee it extending into other areas of my life that are abundant with meaning. I leave you with an image of the view from the balcony, yes it's in winter. But it represents the start of this process as I took it on New Year's day 2010 when I moved in.