Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Films on Canadian Farm Labour

A couple of more films for your consideration...

El Contrato: This documentary from Min Sook Lee (Tiger Spirit) follows a poverty-stricken father from Central Mexico, along with several of his countrymen, as they make their annual migration to southern Ontario to pick tomatoes. For 8 months a year, the town's population absorbs 4,000 migrant workers who toil under conditions, and for wages, that no local would accept. Yet despite a fear of repercussions, the workers voice their desire for dignity and respect.

Okanagan Dreams: This short documentary follows the migration of thousands of young Quebecers as they travel to British Columbia to harvest fruit in the lush Okanagan Valley. The camera follows several spirited youth into the orchards for seven weeks. As the rain sets in, reality unfolds: it's cold, the cherry crop is late, and money is short. But as they make friends and enjoy their independence, the promise of adventure is realized. Although their work is integral to the local economy, the youth find that the experience is not just about making money. It's about awareness, self-discovery and exploring the world.



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Friday, March 25, 2011

The Farmer and the Horse

I found out about this over at the Cold Antler Farm blog, where Jenna had posted a trailer to the movie The Farmer and the Horse.

A story about a landless farmer, a non-conformist,
and an escaped office worker...

From award-winning journalist Jared Flesher
comes The Farmer and the Horse, a film that
digs into difficult questions about sustainability,
self-sufficiency, and why we do the work we do.
Flesher’s film goes beyond the usual platitudes
of smiling organic farmers talking about the
good life. Farming is hard work—especially if
you don’t use a tractor.

The Farmer and the Horse is a film every young
farmer should see. So should everyone who cares
about land use, the environment, and good food.



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Luverly of the Week: March 2011 "Super Moon" by Sigurd R

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

A Crack in the Pavement

I found these cute short docs over at the National Film Board {of Canada} webby and thought that some of our readers might enjoy them as well. :)

A Crack in the Pavement is a two-part video set that shows children, teachers and parents how they can work together to 'green' their school grounds and make positive changes in their communities.

A Crack in the Pavement: Growing Dreams This short documentary shows initiatives kids take to transform bare pavement into dream schoolyards. Some grow trees for shade, and vegetables for a food bank. Others build a greenhouse or a rooftop garden, while others yet construct a courtyard pond as an outdoor classroom and refuge for wildlife.

A Crack in the Pavement: Digging In This short documentary follows students from Toronto's Jesse Ketchum School as they take steps towards the greening of their schoolyard. Along the way they get how-to advice and inspiration from kids across the country; from Pauline Public School, where students raised $10,000, to Broadacres School, where a family of wild ducks found a home in their pond.



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Sunday, March 20, 2011

spring-time faeries

Here are some Faeries for you to use in your Spring-inspired art & crafts projects. I hope you all enjoy the first day of Spring and if you have the time, check out the Celtic Myth Podshow's Spring episode! :D



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Thursday, March 17, 2011

*Double Squee* :D

More seeds to cross off the 2011 daydream list and there are some bonus pretties too!

The luverly folks Plant Trees, It's Self Defense sent us over a gaggle of seeds from across the pond...

They sent over Tree Lupins, Mammoth Russian Sunflowers, Bells of Ireland, Dill, Teasel, Tall Mangetout Peas, Sweet Peas, French Climbing Beans, Giant Red Mustard, Red Russian Kale, and Borage.

They also sent us a postie with stark and beautiful {Devon?} scenery, which now sits with our little collection of fridge pretties and oddities.

Last week I hit one of the local seed & feed shops in an attempt to placate the virus that I am sure all gardeners with long Winters suffer from. ;)

I picked up Mixed Double Hollyhocks, Dwarf Queen Asters, Jewel Mix Nasturtiums, Iceland Mixed Poppies, Red Oakleaf Lettuce, Tricolour Ensign Mix Morning Glories, Heavenly Blue Morning Glories, Bijou Sweet Peas, Fordhook Giant Swiss Chard, Purple Haze Carrots, Daydream Cosmos, and Early Sensation Cosmos.



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The Guist Ploughman....

I found this beautiful piece of writing yesterday. It says it is by a person named Mike Barber. Would any of you know if there is a recorded version of this somewhere for sale?

The Guist Ploughman

Grandfather was a teamsman true and bold
Loved his horses more than gold
He would tend them night and day
For the sake of the harvest he would say

One for the rook, one for the crow
One to die and one to grow
One for the rook, one for the crow
One to die and one to grow

When Martinmas comes the year turns round
Time to till the stubbled ground
He could plough an acre in a day
But he'd walk eleven miles and say ....

You can see the rest of it here.



A Luverly St. Patricks Day to You All

If you are looking for some music to go with your Guinness, check out this year's Irish and Celtic Music Podcast's St. Patrick's Day special. :)


Aymi & Laurel

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Dig It! :D

A 5 Minute Survey for Wonderfully Simple Folk

I found this survey over at the Plant Trees, It's Self Defense blog. It is a survey done by the Simplicity Institute which is aimed at folks who try to live a simpler lifestyle:

A Study on Simple Living, Downshifting and Other Low-Consumption Lifestyles in Affluent Nations

The Simplicity Institute is undertaking a multi-national study on people who have voluntarily adopted a 'simpler' way of life. The purpose of this study is to gain some empirical insight into those people who are choosing to move away from high-consumption, materialistic lifestyles and who are embracing simpler lifestyles of reduced or restrained income and consumption.

Who should fill out this survey?

This survey is intended for:

Those people who are living a 'simpler life' of reduced or restrained income, consumption and/or working hours.

(If you are a parent who has reduced or stopped paid employment to care for your children, or if you are a student, please fill out this survey only if you think your 'simpler lifestyle' is a long-term way of life.)

This study is not intended for:

Those for whom simple living is involuntary.

It took me about 5 minutes to do the survey. If you feel like you are a part of the target group and would like to participate, you can find the survey here.



Friday, March 11, 2011

Seed Saving vs. Agribusiness Monopoly {with Dan Jason}

This is a clip of an interesting talk with Dan Jason about GMOs and seeds.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Consecrating Seed

Royalty free photo

Last night I dusted off my little book that I write my gardening rituals and the like in to yank out this simple adaptation that I made a few years back of The Consecration of the Seed found in Carmina Gadelica Vol. 1.

Traditionally "three days before being sown the seed is sprinkled with clear cold water, in the name of Father, and of Son, and of Spirit, the person sprinkling the seed walking sunwise the while."

So on the Tuesday before I plant seeds outside on Friday, I will do a little ritual like this. I will lay all my packages of seeds that will be planted at that time, and take one of each type of seed out as a "representative" and sprinkle spring water on them. {If I have any seedlings that will be going out at this time, I will add them to the ritual too.} Instead of doing this in the name of the Christian Trinity, I do it in the name of my Gods, Ancestors, and local Land Spirits.
I should mention that this is a ritual that was probably carried out mostly on cereal crops. I do this with all seeds that are being planted directly in the ground, so this is a ritual I generally do 3 times: the first time around the beginning of April, the second around the end of May, and the third time around mid August.

On the Friday before planting the seed, I will say the following incantation:

I will go out to sow the seed,
In names of Them who gave it growth;
I will place my front in the wind,
And spread a gracious amount on the ground.
Should a seed fall on a bare rock,
It shall have no soil in which to grow;
As much as falls into the earth,
The dew will make it to be full.

Friday, day auspicious,
The dew will come down to welcome
Every seed that lay in sleep
Since the coming of cold without mercy;
Every seed will take root in the earth,
As the Rulers of the elements desired,
The braird will come forth with the dew,
It will inhale life from the soft wind.

I will come round with my step,
I will go rightways with the sun,
In name of the Gods that are mine,
In name of the Ancestors and the Nature Spirits kind.

Gods, Ancestors, and Nature Spirits
Be giving growth and kindly substance
To every thing that is in my ground,
Till the days of harvest shall come.

You can see the full original Consecration of the Seed here.



Wednesday, March 9, 2011

My 2011 Weeding Vow

It is quite possible that I am the the most latent of weeders in gardening history. I certainly am in my own neighbourhood {in recent memory at least!}.

This is something that I have both been proud of and rather ashamed of. Proud because I am usually able to get a good harvest even if the weeds seem to be taking over, and I can generally put the weeds to good use too. Ashamed because a part of the reason I avoid weeding is because I am lazy.

There. I said it!

Both of our veggie patches this year will be grown in rows and we will be mulching the pathways with cardboard and news paper. We want to grow clover on top of this because it is supposed to keep everything else down and when we cut it, it apparently makes a nice mulch for garden beds.

So my 2011 weeding vow is to yank out any of the following that is found within a foot of any of the beds:

Black Bindweed/Wild Buckwheat
{Polygonum convolvulus}

Photo source

It is very likely that I would leave another bindweed Convolvulus sepium alone as it is quite useful in magic. However, Black Bindweed will not get a chance to grow in our beds this year if I can help it. I had to cut these guys off of various crops last year. If left they can "hug" other plants to death.

Prickly Lettuce
{Lactuca serriola}

Photo by the weed one

Even though this weed is edible and I find the flowers to be quite charming, it is not welcome in the beds this year. We had a couple Prickly Lettuce beasts last year that did a number on whoever past them.

Spiny Sow Thistle
{Sonchus asper}

Photo source

Spiny Sow Thistle is another weed with pretty little flowers that is a meanie to passers-by...especially to those with sandals on. :(

Hairy Crab Grass
{Digitaria sanguinalis}

Photo source

With the amount of Hairy Crab Grass we have popping up, one could almost think that we didn't bother with lifting the sod for the garden beds! Grrr.

At this point everyone else is safe. ;)



Monday, March 7, 2011

Ok, Apparently It Does Get Worse!

Now not only do these assholes want to make miscarriage a crime, but they want the death penalty to be the punishment.



Sunday, March 6, 2011

The Current View...

...from our office window.

I can't wait til Spring!

Green Dreams,


Saturday, March 5, 2011

Wildcrafting Cattails

If you have never wildcrafted cattails, you don't know what you are missing! Here is the start an excellent series of videos by HerbMentor on how to harvest and prepare cattails. Sláinte! Laurel

Friday, March 4, 2011

Welcoming the New Moon

Photo by MShades

Hail unto thee,
Jewel of the night !

Beauty of the heavens,
Jewel of the night !

Mother of the stars.
Jewel of the night !

Fosterling of the sun,
Jewel of the night !

Majesty of the stars.
Jewel of the night !

~Queen of the Night from Carmina Gadelica

Thursday, March 3, 2011

14th Annual Powassan Maple Syrup Festival

Powassan's 14th Annual Maple Syrup Festival is just around the corner. If you're a local or are in the area, you should definitely check it out!

The Tree Tapping Ceremony will be on March 12th from 11 am to 2:30 pm and is a free event:

The Powassan Maple Syrup Festival and the area's maple producers are kicking off the 2011 maple syrup season with the Official Tree Tapping Ceremony on March 12th.

This year's event will be held at SUGARSTONE FARM-Andy & Shelley Straughan.

West Coast Lumberjack Show
Horse drawn rides
O.P.P Canine Unit (tentative)
Fundraising barbecue for Trout Creek Agri. Soc.
Face Painting-Fairview Early Learning & Child Care Centre
Ontario Woodlot Association
Canadian Institute of Forestry
Laurier Twp. Fire Dept.
Mayor McIsaac...the Official Tapper!

Enter the contest to guess the date/time of the first "draw-off" of fresh maple syrup and you can win a 1l. bottle and half the proceeds! Half of the proceeds to support the Commanda and Area Anglers and Hunters.

Maple syrup and maple products will be on sale!

The sugarshack is located at 150 Lindsay's Hill Rd., south of Trout Creek. Follow the signs! Contact Andy & Shelley @
705-723-2329 for more information.

The actual Festival will be held on March 16th and you can go to the website or contact Markus Wand at (705) 724-2314 or chair(at) for more info.



Luverly of the Week: Happy Summer by Svetlana V

Share the Beauty is a newer Etsy shop that features the beautiful photography of Svetlana V. Here are a few more luverlies from the shop:

Doll Forgotten in an Abandoned House

One Summer Evening

Balcony in Rome



*Squee* :D

Our local seed exchange and eco fair this past Saturday went over really well. I was one of the volunteers at the seed exchange tables and I figure that we had about 200 folks come through the exchange. Many of them were new gardeners too! The free workshops apparently had an amazing turn out as well.

Unfortunately I did not have time for the workshops. I barely had time to zip through some of the vendors at the eco fair. One of the vendors was Soggy Creek Seed Co. and I was able to pick up quite a few seeds that are on this year's daydream list.

I got Peas for Peace, White Egg Turnips, Crop Circle Radish, New Sun Arugula, Purple Mustache Pole Bean, Learn to Dance With Lettuce, Hobo Turnip, Kissing Booth Beets, Goats Kissing Booth Tokens Beets, and Strange Zucchini From Outer Space. I think all of them are pretty much re-named heirlooms. Heirlooms always = win for me. Plus they are from local and "organic" stock and the seed packets are pretty enough to frame. :D

Most of the seeds that came through the actual exchange were edibles and there were some ornamentals too. They were up for trade or 25 cents a "package" {I put that in quotes because packaging ranged anywhere from your standard seed envelope, to baggies, film containers and even bean pods}.

I scored Scarlet Runner Beans, Tanya's Pink Pod Bush Beans, Blue Jay Bush Beans, Blue Hubbard Squash, mixed greens dubbed Happy Salad Mix, Dinosaur Kale, Double Pink Columbine, Common Wormwood {*swoon*}, and mystery cantaloupe and watermelon from Dalew Farm.

I have a feeling that there will be a lot of hand pollinating going on this year. ;)



Wednesday, March 2, 2011

NO Monsanto

Hehe, I just came across this and I thought that at least a couple of our readers would appreciate this too! ;)