Gardening

The weatherman is saying that it is supposed to be a beautiful weekend here in Truro, so it’s time to get the garden ready. 

D’Arcy & I have always been fairly conscious about what we eat, however our interest in where our food comes from was sky-rocketed to a new level when our daughter was diagnosed with life-threatening food allergies two summers ago.  Her allergies were so severe that we hesitated to take her into the grocery store; she would break out into hives if I sat her in the cart where a previous child might have been eating a cookie from the “cookie club”.   In the winter especially, when all the peanuts & tree nuts are out en mass, we had to feed her canned or frozen fruit & vegetables just in case somebody else had lifted their bag of nuts over our produce, leaving unseen dust behind.  It took a long time for us to come to terms with the fact that this small amount we can’t necessarily see is enough to send her into anaphylaxis.

Last year, we decided to plant a garden of our own. 

D’Arcy rented a sod cutter & a rototiller and away we went.  It was a family affair as we tore out a rock garden and started digging into the lawn.

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My father came down and helped us with the planting and we planted carrots, onions, garlic, beets, spinach, yellow peppers, red peppers, broccoli, sugar peas, green beans, cilantro, basil & sunflowers.  Oh yes, and tomatoes – lots of tomatoes!  We ended up with about 50o tomatoes, using them to make green tomato chow, salsa and tomato sauce.  We served and gave them away to guests & family, and told the other B&B’s in the area to come over with their baskets and take as many as they wanted… 

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It was very satisfying to grow our own food and oh, so convenient to just run out the back door to grab what we needed for supper (or breakfast!).

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Our bounty of sunflower seeds

Our bounty of sunflower seeds

We have long supported one local farm and buy the majority of our meat and strawberries at Riverbreeze Farm Market.  (They also have an awesome corn maze that is fun to go through in the fall!)  This year, we are going one step further and have joined Club Salad Bowl Gardens, a Community-Shared-Agriculture style delivery program. Every Tuesday, for 18 weeks starting in June, we will receive a box of organic goodies (whatever is ready to be picked!) from a local farm.  This will supplement what we just don’t have room to grow.  It makes me hungry just thinking about it!!

Happy Earth Day!

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Sydney, Cape Breton Recommended B&B’s

I sit of the Board of the Nova Scotia Bed & Breakfast Association, and this weekend, on Friday & Saturday, we had our bi-annual Directors’ meeting in Sydney at A Paradise Found Bed & Breakfast, run by Rick & Connie Bowers. 

I had the good fortune to stay with Bev & Gordon Gabriel at Sydney’s newest B&B, Colby House.  Bev has been a regular guest of ours since 2003, so I knew that my stay would be fantastic.  She & Gordon surpassed my expectations.  The house was every bit as beautiful as I expected, but the warmth & thought put into all the small touches were what made my stay extraordinary.  My room was calm & cozy, and a special treat for me was that when I looked out my window, I was looking at the home my father-in-law grew up in!  I got myself nestled into the bed for a restful night’s sleep and Bev’s breakfast of fruit, yogurt, muffins, juice, coffee, bacon & orange french toast with maple syrup literally kept me going all day!

I was disappointed to learn that Bev is retiring from her “real job” next month so that she can run the B&B full time; that means she won’t be staying with us as often.  I would recommend Colby House B&B  or A Paradise Found B&B to anyone who is traveling to the Sydney or Louisbourg area while on their Nova Scotian vacation.  I can’t wait to go back & take D’Arcy with me since he had to stay home and run the show here…  Life is tough sometimes!

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Happy Easter!

Happy Easter from the McDonahs!! 

So far, our day has been anything but traditional.  The girls have both succumbed to a bug, so have been quaranteened in their room.  D’Arcy took the boys to church, and when he turned the corner on to Prince Street, he discovered the following:

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We had extremely heavy rain last night (it had been forecast as snow, so we were happy to get rain)   but it obviously washed out part of our stone wall.  D’Arcy is spending the afternoon carting stones in the wheelbarrow, trying to stabilize the wall until we can figure out how to fix it.  He’s worried about the larger section as it seems to be leaning precariously as well. 

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It would seem that the list of priority jobs has shifted again!  😉

The boys will be heading up the hill to my parents’ house for Easter Dinner with the rest of our family, and my mother has kindly offered to send “take-out plates” down to us.  It’s not quite the Easter we had planned, but it’s certainly one we won’t forget anytime soon!