Monday, July 2, 2007

Odds and Sods*, and Canada Day!

*I thought it was one of those odd British sayings that permeated my childhood and stuck with me, but apparently it's the title of a compilation album by The Who.

How odd. Maybe it's both.

In any case.... a post of odds and sods.

Happy Canada Day! I was out in the field, camping with the medieval types - the SCA - so I missed posting on the actual day. No computers in the Viking Age!

Check out my fellow Canadian's blog detailing the ABC's of why Canada is great!

Farmer's Markets are NOT necessarily populated by farmers. A lot of the produce available at the two local farmer's markets nearby are for sale by resellers, who somehow garner foodstuffs cheaply and resell them at market. Often out of season and often driven some godless number of miles to get there. Apparently, this is a really common occurrence in Ontario, and two recently created farmer's markets in Toronto have gone to the trouble of _certifying_ the farmers who want to sell there.

It's a tad annoying for those of us new to Eating Locally, who want to depend on the local farmer's market for food.

Trans Fats: According to Wikipedia, some trans fats occur naturally in ruminants - cows, sheep, etc. And Canada's nutritional labelling laws include the naturally occurring trans fats. So, a product like cheese might reasonably include some natural trans fats. I guess ya just gotta decide on what a reasonable amount is, and how the trans fats most likely got into the product in question.

The Garden: It's a strange year. First, it took longer then usual to clear the last frost date. And then all of a sudden, it's HOT. Freaking HOT, and frequently HOT. The garden has zoomed ahead of all rationality - blooming and dropping flowers at a heartbreaking 'blink and you miss it' speed. I have daises in bloom, and where I am, that's not supposed to happen until August. It's still June!

Playing catch-up then on the pictures: these lovely foxgloves are largely gone now.

Pretty colours.....

And a source of heart-stopping digitalis as well.

Medicinal Herbs: I'm currently growing motherwort, comfrey, sage, echinacea, valerian, catnip, lemon balm, mint, calendula, feverfew and foxglove. While I'm aware that all of these have medicinal uses, I haven't the foggiest on how to actually go about using them. Can anyone recommend some good reading material on growing and using medicinal herbs?

Rest assured, I don't want to be a dabbler. I have no intention of using them until I'm quite certain I know what I'm doing. I've taken valerian as a sedative aid in the past. The vomiting wasn't fun.

Air Conditioning: We caved in to the heat, increased our carbon footprint just a bit, and bought a small room air conditioner. The intention is to run the bedroom temperature down at night to a comfortable sleeping space and shut it off during the day. So far, my sinuses have disagreed with the air it outputs and my ears with the noise. The cooler and dryer air is definitely to the good 'though. I'm hoping that we will all adjust to each other.

One Local Summer: The One Local Summer project has been so successful that Liz has started a new blog to accommodate all of the entries. Check it out here!




Sigarda Sigibertsdottr said...

WOW!!! great flowers!
best, Sigarda

Liz said...

Gorgeous foxglove!

The way I look at it with trans fats, I think it's best to avoid the artificial ones and let the naturally occurring ones slide. I think they're not bad unless they're in large quantities. It *is* a lot to keep track of, though!