Honey-Drizzled Raspberry Brie Brûlée

The first time I met our elderly neighbour, Oskar, he was leaning on his shovel on the edge of his sprawling corner plot of land.

I can’t remember who nodded hello first, but we hit it off at once in a discussion about his garden. It was a beautiful, well-maintained plot, surrounded by a low rock wall, which my three children scrambled up in mere moments. He didn’t bat an eye at their antics, as they skipped up and down the ledge, probably because his children used to do the very same thing.

Over the years, and many visits across the rock wall, I came to learn that Oskar was a true homesteader. His wife had passed away shortly after delivering his sixth child, and Oskar raised the family himself. He had an impressive garden – the raspberry patch itself could supply his large family with berries galore. But alas, they had all grown up and moved away, save for one.

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Tour the homestead garden: Spring edition

I have a longstanding habit of visiting my garden first thing in the morning with coffee in hand and waking up amidst the fresh scents of rain, earth and herbs.

It’s a brief moment of stolen solitude, before I return to the clamour of hungry kids in the kitchen as the day takes off to a roaring start. Just the other morning, I slung my camera over my shoulder and attempted to capture the garden with its sprinkling of morning dew among the waving pea tendrils and rows of carrots.

A recent back injury (which was indeed confirmed as a herniated disc) considerably slowed down my gardening efforts this June. And so although they are not my prettiest raised beds to date, I am enormously proud of all I accomplished in spite of my limited time there. I know it’s technically been summer for a few days now, but today’s post is a snapshot of what’s been growing in my garden all spring. Enjoy!

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Why I mulch my garden in the late fall

Clara and I have been making it a priority to get outside every day in the afternoons, even though it now requires a warm jacket and boots. That burst of fresh air is a necessary jolt after a busy morning and a reminder to slow down, breathe, and tune out the noise for a bit.

She skips around the yard, chasing the hens or petting the cats. Just yesterday I found her standing by the now-empty carrot patch, softly singing a little song. “I’m singing to the seeds.” she said, when I curiously asked her what she was doing. Somehow she remembered my suggestion from this past spring, when she was impatient for her carrots to grow.

While Clara plays (or sings), I prep the place for the coming winter. The garden has been my main focus this week as I know a freeze could happen any time.

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A garden tour

Alive. Thriving and alive is what I see when I look out over my garden. It may be a tad unkept and it may be behind other plots in comparison, but considering it was completely devastated during a storm last July, I only feel gratefulness for what I have this summer.

Let’s take a tour, shall we? It changes so fast. Every time I pay a visit after a particularly hot day I notice the plants pushing higher, reaching further. Buds open after a good overnight rain and the fruit grows even bigger. These photos were taken over a week ago, and already there are changes. Considering we grew most of the garden from these seedlings, it’s a small miracle everything survived and thrived!

The lessons learned from gardening are numerous and change also happens from year to year as we learn from our mistakes.

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Signs of spring on our urban homestead

A beautiful, balmy weekend saw the last of our snow shrink into small piles and then sink away into the ground.

Early on Easter Sunday morning, I tucked my pyjamas into my rain boots and slipped outside with my camera before the rest of the house was awake. I wanted to hunt for signs of life in a brown backyard.

I found more than I expected – and the parallels between my discoveries and the holiday did not escape my attention. It’s been a long, cold winter. These signs of spring are a resurrected earth rejoicing.

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