Category Archives: Home & Garden

Adding medicinal plants to your garden Use knowledge and common sense with herbs

Dionne Jennings has always had a love of plants and herbs. She started studying herbalism on Vancouver Island 19 years ago and completed apprenticeships five years ago on the Saanich Peninsula and in Red Deer.

“I think my first real exposure to herbalism was a small yellow piece of paper with a dandelion illustration on it saying Herb Classes at a local health food store. When I stepped into a small house perched on the corner of a nature sanctuary, I was hooked,” said Jennings.

Continue reading Adding medicinal plants to your garden Use knowledge and common sense with herbs

Seedy Sunday unites gardeners of all levels Annual event highlights importance of food diversity

Every year on the third Sunday in March you’ll find the Edmonton Seedy Sunday event. This year’s event began with sunshine and blue skies, and the break in the cold weather drew a large crowd of people.

At 11 am the line for the event was already snaking out the door. Before things became too hectic, I spoke with Kelly from Seeds of Diversity, a seed exchange organization. Growers can sell heirloom seeds, and for a slightly higher price, non-growers can purchase seeds as well, with membership.

Continue reading Seedy Sunday unites gardeners of all levels Annual event highlights importance of food diversity

Gérard Forget is a man with many roles Local resident enriches community with his passions

Gérard Forget looks across the ice rink at his garden plot. One can imagine his mind is underneath the snow, working into the dirt with springtime dreams of peas, corn, and beans.

Forget coordinates the Alberta Avenue Community Garden-Jardin Communautaire Alberta Avenue. At this time of the year, he plans the garden and finds gardeners who want to share their passion with their neighbours.

Continue reading Gérard Forget is a man with many roles Local resident enriches community with his passions

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