Protestors in training

The other day there was a Candian movement to protest a new bill being proposed by Stephen Harper. Bill C-51, a notriously vague and all-encompassing bill meant to protect Canadians from ‘terrorism’. 

I hate politics, but constantly find myself entertaining laws, policies, ministers actions and corporate lobbyists and elections in the back of my mind. And I think that it is because no one else gives a shit that I become overwhelmingly dispaired by the sheer volume and extent of corruption and disease in human politics. So, it is my mission to make sure my kids grow up with a sense of civic dutyand awareness, mixed of course with some anarchism and activism.

So, to do our part on National Oppose Bill C-51 Day, we dug out a leftover science project board, some markers and crayons. With the few minutes we had to spare between our planned Saturday activities we stood upon the Alaska Highway and displayed our sign. Normally you want to have some clarification of exactly what it is we are protesting. Like “our voices count too” to show opposition to the inclusion of environmentalists under the definition of ‘terrorist’ in the bill.

But, we live in Northern British Columbia, where Natural Gas, Liquified Natural Gas, HydroElectric Dams, pipes and transport trucks and railcars, are so abundant that most everyone who saw the sign worked in or for the fossil fuel industry. Whether they saw the words or not, they likely dismissed us before giving it a moments thought. People here just do.not.protest.ANYTHING. We only did it to get the kids involved and give them an opportunity to learn what it means to change a bill or oppose legislation. And to share on social media, of course. 

I was really suprised at how easily they understood the controversy of the bill and how simplified their proposed amendments were. Instead of protecting innocents from radicals, why not reach out to the people who are at risk of becoming radical and offer to improve their situation? My daughter suggested that when her friends exclude her or make her feel different, it makes her care less about being nice back, and that both she and the others get meaner and thus conflict ensues. The teachers should have a room and councillor where people feeling excluded or mistreated can seek help finding solutions and support. Brilliant <3 My kids are so great.

Food Is Free


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You’ve heard about those grocery stores selling ‘ugly produce’ and you’ve seen the discount racks where nearly-expired cookies are on for half-price. 

But a little-known secret is that there’s a better, cheaper, and more adventurous and rewarding way to supplement your grocery budget!

Behold, the holy grail of free food (and more):

Ya, ya. “Gross”, “ewww”, “call the cops!” 

What you should be doing is thanking me for bestowing upon you such elite and well-kept secret wisdoms.

I mean, it’s not as gross as it seems. Once you learn where the hotspots are and you commit to routine visits, you’ll realize that there are prime windows where a freshly emptied garbage becomes a free for all of just-tossed goodies. 

I’m talking salami logs, boxes of bags of chips, sacks of flour, loaves of bread. Cases of juice and piles of granola bars. I love granola. So crunchy.

Most of the time, and for reasons unknown to me, some of the stuff has months of best-before left. Maybe a shopper changed their mind and left a block of cheese on the cracker shelf. The employee, not being able to determine the length of time it spent out of the chiller, must throw it out. I also think those after-school shelf stockers don’t look closely enough at expiry dates because oftentimes the stuff that says expires on 03/14 is thrown out on feb 14. They should be studying their calender homework during breaktime.

In with my rubber boots, work gloves, and grabby grappler claw. I think it’s specifically a garbage picker-upper. Anyways, some days a visit to the dumpster returns nothing but some bruised apples floating in juicy slimy garbage sludge. But other days, resting upon a bed of plastic shipping wrap, lay a whole case of Iced-tea, or dented cans of tomatoes, soup, or tuna. One time I arrived upon that glorious green canister to discover that all of past seasons’  seeds and bulbs had been tossed. Bags and packets of green pepper, spinach, tomato and watermelon seeds, boxes of garlic and onion bulbs, tulips,  daffodils, and crocuses. So. Much. Food. I kept a small share and gave the rest to friends and donated the remainder to the local community gardens to share with their placeholders. 

The ther day, I went with a good friend to Walmart (not my usual diving spot, but we decided to check it out). I don’t usually bring a friend because I don’t want my supply to get watered down so I keep my ‘hobby’ a secret.

They do have a compacter, but theres a six-inch horizontal gap running the middle of the bin and with that grabby grappler we were able to start pulling out some good stuff. We were giggling about my hair touching the dirty overhanging garbage juice umbrella when suddenly the inner shoot opened and toward us came flying yogurt containers and egg cartons. As we were pulling out a yogurt coated cereal box, a single random egg came outta nowhere, bounced off the ledge of the horizontal gap, and defied all laws by somehow ricocheting and slinging the yolk at my friend. She felt the small splatter on her cheek but didnt notice the oozing yolk running down the boob of her shirt. And I was laughing so hard I couldnt get the words out to tell her what I was pointing at so she was unawares until she went to brush herself off and ended up with it smeared down the entire front of her shirt and all over her hands. Good times. 

That day we scored some big bags of shredded cabbage, a coupla pizzas, chicken burger patties, pork chops, a hair brush, and other stuff:

Not bad, but I’ve had better.

If you have backyard chickens, this is the best way to keep up a supply of produce to feed them so that keeping layers around pays more than it costs.

We have two big deep-freezes to keep everything intact until we can eat it and if it’s something like cabbage that cant be frozen, I whip up a good soup and freeze it in single serve tupperware containers for hubbys work or kids school. Whatever :)

This month we have saved about $250 in food costs and got some good laughs at the expense of my egged friend. I told her she may never return to those bins without me. It’s the dumpster oath. 

I highly recommend you give dumpster diving a chance. But not in my town.

August Gardening


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Wanted to share some of my progress since my last post in building the garden :)
Its starting to look like theres a plan behind it but so much left to do!


Ive finished some of the boxes and harvested lots of peas and zukes so im almost ready to start building and puttin in the rest of the boxes for next year

Heres some of the vegs in the boxes:



And the start of the shady seating area beneath the apple tree:



I have so many paths to lay and am trying a few lasagna beds in preparation for spring planting but im making due with pine cones and grass clippings for mulch/compost with some bone meal and kitchen scraps added in.



They are a work-in-progress lol will be beauty next summer!

Heres a few of this summers new plants. I dont know how those peonies are doing. My hope is as long as the leaves stay green till september/october, i can expect them to come back next year. I transplanted them very hot in the season which you arent supposed to do but it was the only time i could get them from a neighbour friend so i took the risk. Theyve been transplanted for 2-3 weeks in these photos.



Some mallow, a highbush cranberry that i hope to somewhat espalier around the door, bleeding heart, and baby duck petunia in the pot if you can see it!


Some babies in around the garden, looking for permanent homes:







Im using the kitchen window to dry and collect seeds. Phlox, babys breath, birdsfoot, zinnias, some other invasive legumes and alfalfa.


A few more randoms…







Saskatoon harvest and my own recipe!


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We spent a chunk of the afternoon collecting saskatoons and got a good 3 lbs or so.

I was super disappointed to see how few saskatoon recipes are out there in interland. So i looked up a good staple blueberry muffin recipe and tweaked it to create this:


Let me tell you. Omg. Theyre sooo good!
Please, please, if you have saskatoons, try my recipe.


I purposefully made them small but they are also somewhat dense, almost like a scone. I am not sure how to make them fluffier more like a muffin but they are still moist and tasty the way they are!

Please if you give it a shot fire me a comment and let me know what you think! Theyre honestly my new favorite and i hope someone else gives them a try :)


Picket garden fence

Im so excited! I was going to use pallets to build the fence around the garden but i thought i would throw out an ad on the local classifieds first. Lo and behold, someone had just torn down their fence the night before and i got to go pick it up.
I just screwed the boards to the outside of the garden boxes so theyll prob need more structural support but its a good bit of progress for one day and zero dollars!



Figuring out how to deal with my grapevine


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I live in northern bc, canada, where the winters are long and cold. Luckily tho my little piece of heaven is in a canyon near a river, which improves growing conditions for fruiting plants and trees. When we moved into this house last fall this vine was wayyyy overgrown and had few berries:


You can see how it looked late in the summer, then the branches early spring before and after i pruned it.

I was worried that i pruned too much but only a month into growing season it has really flourished! I have been told it is a native manitoba grapevine and that i can look forward to a tasty jelly with the harvest! Excited!


I posted this mostly in hopes that a confused newbie gardener like myself can save some time trying to figure out the plant type, and pruning tolerance. I know it took a long time and some experimenting for me to figure out what it was and how much i could get away with pruning. So there it is! :)

Progress in utopia


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I have this grand vision of how beautiful and serene the yard will look when i finish my thousands of plans for it. Husbeast enthusiasm level is zero since finishing the greenhouse so im doing it mostly all on my own from here on out.

Yes, i got the garden plot all tilled out, mixed and planted and yes, OF COURSE i changed my mind and decided on box planters for the garden once i realized just how insane the weeds get. I have determined i am a gardener, through and through, but a weeder not at all.

Phase two of yard epicness includes the installation of raised beds, effectively killing at least half of the veggies that i have been so diligently caring for since march. I have scrounged up enough pallets to build a picket fence around the garden and plan to have all the wood cutting and screwing done some time next week. Instead of blogging anew with each completed yard project i will just keep adding here so its all in one place. This will be a very long winded post when i am done with it innnnnn sayyy three years!

Our hospital, the one in which i was born and also in which i delivered all my babies, is in the midst of a complete demolition now that our new hospital is up and running. I mustered up some nerve and begged a guy at the site to let me in to salvage some materials for sentiments sake. He said no. So i drove around the block and asked a second guy. He was much friendlier and allowed me TWO truckloads full of glorious, chippy, tarnished and torn, shabby and sweet, sentimental brick. It will lay the path between my garden boxes and hopefully be enough to do a small brick/moss patio-seating area in the yard also. Since its midnight and i havent taken any pictures of the boxes so far i will share some of my inspiration bits off pinterest.




In trying to achieve a ‘cottage garden’, my plan is to paint the picket fence white, and plant candytuft edging around the outside of the fence. Inside the garden, after laying my brick path, i will transplant some creeping charlie or maybe sprinkle some creeping thyme seeds along the edges of the boxes so that it will eliminate the need to weed any of the ground area (haaaaalelujah). Ive propagated a random rose bush i found beneath a maple in the front yard and am trying to get some of my mystery vines established in pots so that by the time i have my boxes and fence all set up i can place them in empty areas and start the process of random planting all around the outside of the veg garden. I want a jungle of flowers and evergreens im mah face.

My husband thinks ive lost it.

Does this mean im a real gardener now?

In case you dont follow my blog, heres the greenhouse we finished last month:


And some of the stuff ive been making and doing i stead of cooking and cleaning:





A random asparagus popped up in the garden! Turns out it had a pretty extensive root system so i am trying to transplant it!


And some of the flowers blooming around the yard:










I dont have a clue what that last thing is. It looks like a cross between a malva and a hollyhock but only time will tell. No buds yet.

Until next time! :) xx


Just wanted to show you what we have coming along. Theres so much left to do and i SO cant wait to see it all overgrown with veggies and flowers and beautifulness!
First picture shows most of the boxes and fence weve finished. Theres also a long box with fencing that stretches from the (soon-to-be) gate to the yard fence


And i got a little bit of a start on the brick pathway between the boxes! Jumping the gun but whatever.



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