Thursday, June 28, 2012

For Canada Day, Let's Eat Local, eh!

On this Canada Day weekend, I've been giving some thought to what it means to be Canadian. When I was growing up, we were taught how our country was full of natural resources, and how wonderful our fertile lands were. The song, This Land is Your Land, a Woody Guthrie song, Canadianized by The Travellers, always comes to mind when I think of this Land.

Now I believe we are in a sorry state. Our fertile  farmlands are being paved over and the majority of our food, even food we can easily grow here, is being imported! The food we are growing is being grown by "corporate" farms and not family owned farms.

Have a look at this video, "Are you eating Canadian", produced by Hellman's, for some stats:

It's time to take our Land back. We need to support our local farmers. Let's buy and eat local whenever we can. Visit your local farmers market and look for food grown locally in your grocery store. It may cost a little more, but the taste, superior nutrition and support to our economy is worth it!

Happy Canada Day!

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Italian Gardens - Sacro Bosco

It's the end of February and there's not much in the way of gardening to do here in Canada. So, I watch my favourite gardening shows. They give me my gardening fix, ideas and dreams of gardens I want to visit.

"Monty Don's Italian Gardens" is one show that fuels my dreams. Monty focusses on Renaissance gardens in Italy in this four part series. The key to gardens of this style were symmetry and harmony.

There is one garden, however, which does not follow the path of Renaissance symmetry - 'Sacro Bosco', or 'Sacred Wood',  in the Villa Orsini of Bomarzo. It contains fantastic, gigantic mythological sculptures, carved from the rock, found in the garden. It was designed by the then famous architect, Pirro Ligorio, for Prince Pier Francesco Orsini (1523-1585).

You can watch this episode here (fast forward to time of 35:10):

You can see all the episodes at the TVO website.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Some Gardening Humour - "The Italian Tomato Garden"

My heritage happens to be part Italian. I had to laugh when I read this:


An Old Italian man lived alone in the country. He wanted to dig his tomato garden, but it was very hard work as the ground was hard. His  only son, Vincent, who used to help him, was in prison. The old man wrote a letter to his son and described his predicament:

Dear Vincent,  
I am feeling pretty badly because it looks like I won't be able to plant my tomato garden this year. I'm just getting too old to be digging up a garden plot. I know if you were here my troubles would be  over. I know you would be happy to dig the plot for me.      
                                                               Love, Dad

A few days later he received a letter from his son: 

Dear Dad,  
Don't dig up that garden. That's where I buried the bodies. 
                                         Love, Vinnie

At 4 a.m. the next morning, FBI agents and local police arrived and  dug up the entire area without finding any bodies. They apologized to the old man and left. That same day the old man received another  letter from his   son: 

Dear Dad, 
Go ahead and plant the tomatoes now. That's the best I could do under  the circumstances.                           
                                                 Love you, Vinnie


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