Category Archives: Home & Garden

The work really is never done on a farm What it means to work on an organic farm in Colombia

Farming in Colombia so near the equator sheds a whole new meaning on the cliché, “early to bed, early to rise.” The sun sets around 5:40 and rises 12 hours later, give or take a few minutes. I cannot recall the last time I was asleep by 7:30 p.m., let alone night after night. I’m here working as a volunteer.

Continue reading The work really is never done on a farm What it means to work on an organic farm in Colombia

The history of a well-loved local home The Grant house was home to a lawyer and his family

In January 2002, Patricia Dunnigan bought a house rich in history and now lives in the 1914 house with her husband, Aydan Dunnigan-Vickruck.

Throughout the years, past owners have done a lot of work on the house.

“The interior was quite beautiful, someone had done a lot of renovation in 1995,” Dunnigan said. “I can sit anywhere in the house and I can see a different view, a different angle,” she continued.

Continue reading The history of a well-loved local home The Grant house was home to a lawyer and his family

Holiday market brings a season of connection Just One World offers ethically-sourced gifts to shoppers

Christmas shoppers hunting for ethically-sourced gifts have plenty of choice at Just One World, held Nov. 12-13.

Previously known as Just Christmas, organizers changed the name to more accurately reflect  the ethical and global market. The location has also changed. Alberta Avenue Community League hosted the event for the past 10 years, but now the Ital-Canadian Seniors Association is hosting the volunteer-run market.

Continue reading Holiday market brings a season of connection Just One World offers ethically-sourced gifts to shoppers

Enjoying the sensual fruits of summer Indulging and preserving the fresh offerings of harvest

While the warmth of summer unfolds, I invariably find myself repeating my French father’s wartime food scavenging habits. Family karma asserts itself, and I find myself eagerly eyeing the raspberry and rhubarb plants edging the laneways while imagining tasty concoctions.

Our summer is so short that it seems shameful not to enjoy the season to the utmost. A summer stroll takes on more dimensions when you stop to pick food and mentally savour the fresh taste of your harvest. Knowing I’m getting much-needed exercise makes me feel virtuous. This virtuous feeling is further enhanced when I think of the copious quantities of vitamin C contained in both rhubarb and raspberries.

Continue reading Enjoying the sensual fruits of summer Indulging and preserving the fresh offerings of harvest

Creeping bellflower spotted everywhere This pretty purple flower is actually a noxious weed

Letter to the Editor:

On many walks through my neighbourhood (Alberta Avenue), I see an abundance of the creeping bellflower plant, either in clumps in back alleys, or displayed with pride in people’s front yard gardens.

The City of Edmonton has designated this plant as a noxious weed.

Continue reading Creeping bellflower spotted everywhere This pretty purple flower is actually a noxious weed

Reap the benefits of green communities Embracing the healing and restorative power of nature

The West Nile virus worries me. Not because of the one in a million chance I might get infected, but because we don’t need another excuse to demonize the outdoors.

Ours is the first society that spends the majority of its time indoors. According to studies, the average North American spends less than two hours per day outside. Compared to our climate-controlled, sealed and sanitized homes, we have developed the attitude that nature is uncomfortable, disorderly, unsanitized and potentially dangerous. Possibly true.

Continue reading Reap the benefits of green communities Embracing the healing and restorative power of nature

Local resident’s garden is a labour of love Andrea Ruelling grows food and brings neighbours together

Every spring, Andrea Ruelling reads Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life for inspiration.

Her garden is inspirational as well. The front yard is divided into raised beds, two of which are self-watering. Peas and squash plants climb lattices, ripe strawberries tempt passersby, lettuce and carrots flourish. That’s but a sampling of the front yard, never mind a backyard full of potatoes, dill, tomatoes, sunflowers, raspberries, rhubarb and more.

Continue reading Local resident’s garden is a labour of love Andrea Ruelling grows food and brings neighbours together

Tackling invasive plants and common weeds Knowing the difference between harmful and useful plants makes a difference

Himalayan Balsam is a beautiful flower, but its seeds launch six meters and quickly overtakes other plants.

“Invasive plants don’t grow naturally here, they’re brought in intentionally or unintentionally,” said Daniel Laubhann, environmental technician with the city. “In a natural environment, other factors keep the plants in check.”

Continue reading Tackling invasive plants and common weeds Knowing the difference between harmful and useful plants makes a difference

Uniqueness and beauty in Parkdale-Cromdale Take a tour of interesting houses, beautiful yards, and local business

From interesting houses and beautiful yards to a ravine and river valley oasis, you will find it all in Parkdale-Cromdale. As I walk, cycle, or drive through our mature neighbourhood, I’m thankful I don’t live in a cookie-cutter treeless suburb.

Below are two different walking tours, one of Parkdale and one of Cromdale/Viewpoint (with lots of pictures!).

Continue reading Uniqueness and beauty in Parkdale-Cromdale Take a tour of interesting houses, beautiful yards, and local business