Sunday, February 26, 2012

Seedy Saturday Haul

I had a fruitful, albeit short adventure at the North Bay Seed Exchange & Eco Fair. Unfortunately I had to do my rounds before the event officially opened, so there were some vendors I missed. However, I came home with awesome seeds from both the exchange and vendors, some raspberry leaf tea, and got to catch up with folks and meet some others.

{Isabelle Legault of Field Good Farms}

One of the people I was chatting up a storm with was Isabelle Legault {who I also purchased the raspberry leaf tea from} of Field Good Farms. Isabelle is a good example of why small farm folk are kickass. She is warm, knowledgeable, and extremely passionate about sustainable and ethical agriculture. It makes me giddy to see so many people like her coming back here to the North to carry on the ways of their ancestors.

{the haul}

As for what I actually came home with...

From the seed exchange I got Potimarron squash, Summer Ball zucchini/pumpkin hybrid, Orca bush beans, Rouge d'Hiver lettuce, Scarlet Globe radish, Black Krim tomato, Cherry Red Pear tomato, San Marazano Roma tomato, Tigerella tomato, Orange Blossom tomato, hot banana pepper, Scotch thistle, lavetera, and datura {light purple}.

I also purchase some seeds from Midlothian Valley Farm. I got Scarlet Runner beans, orange and red bell peppers, and Painted Mountain & Pickaniny corn.




Saturday, February 25, 2012

Veggies Owned by Monsanto {!!!}

I got a link from a Near North Locavore member to a blog post entitled Forewarned is Forearmed: Veggies Owned by Monsanto. The post lists all of the vegetable varieties that are apparently owned by Seminis, a company purchased by Monsanto a few years back. I had a look and my jaw dropped. Get a load of this:

Beans: Aliconte, Brio, Bronco, Cadillac, Ebro, Etna, Eureka, Festina, Gina, Goldmine, Goldenchild, Labrador, Lynx, Magnum, Matador, Spartacus, Storm, Strike, Stringless Blue Lake 7, Tapia, Tema

Broccoli: Coronado Crown, Major, Packman

Cabbage: Atlantis, Golden Acre, Headstart, Platinum Dynasty, Red Dynasty

Carrot: Bilbo, Envy, Forto, Juliana, Karina, Koroda PS, Royal Chantenay, Sweetness III

Cauliflower: Cheddar, Minuteman

Cucumber: Babylon, Cool Breeze Imp., Dasher II, Emporator, Eureka, Fanfare HG, Marketmore 76*, Mathilde, Moctezuma, Orient Express II, Peal, Poinsett 76, Salad Bush, Sweet Slice, Sweet Success PS, Talladega

Eggplant: Black Beauty, Fairytale, Gretel, Hansel, Lavender Touch, Twinkle, White Lightening

Hot Pepper: Anaheim TMR 23, Ancho Saint Martin, Big Bomb, Big Chile brand of Sahuaro, Caribbean Red, Cayenne Large Red Thick, Chichen Itza, Chichimeca, Corcel, Garden Salsa SG, Habanero, Holy Mole brand of Salvatierro, Hungarian Yellow Wax Hot, Ixtapa X3R, Lapid, Mariachi brand of Rio de Oro, Mesilla, Milta, Mucho Nacho brand of Grande, Nainari, Serrano del Sol brand of Tuxtlas, Super Chile, Tam Vera Cruz

Lettuce: Braveheart, Conquistador

Melon: Early Dew, Sante Fe, Saturno

Onion: Candy, Cannonball, Century, Red Zeppelin, Savannah Sweet, Sierra Blanca, Sterling, Vision

Pumpkin: Applachian, Harvest Moon, Jamboree HG, Orange Smoothie, Phantom, Prize Winner, Rumbo, Snackface, Spirit, Spooktacular, Trickster

Spinach: Hellcat

Squash: Ambassador, Canesi, Clarita, Commander, Dixie, Early Butternut, Gold Rush, Grey Zucchini, Greyzini, Lolita, Papaya Pear, Peter Pan, Portofino, President, Richgreen Hybrid Zucchini, Storr’s Green, Sungreen, Sunny Delight, Taybelle PM

Sweet Corn: Devotion, Fantasia, Merit, Obession, Passion, Temptation

Sweet Pepper: Baron, Bell Boy, Big Bertha PS, Biscayne, Blushing Beauty, Bounty, California Wonder 300, Camelot, Capistrano, Cherry Pick, Chocolate Beauty, Corno Verde, Cubanelle W, Dumpling brand of Pritavit, Early Sunsation, Flexum, Fooled You brand of Dulce, Giant Marconi, Gypsy, Jumper, Key West, King Arthur, North Star, Orange Blaze, Pimiento Elite, Red Knight, Satsuma, Socrates, Super Heavyweight, Sweet Spot

Tomato: Amsterdam, Beefmaster, Betterboy, Big Beef, Burpee’s Big Boy, Caramba, Celebrity, Cupid, Early Girl, Granny Smith, Health Kick, Husky Cherry Red, Jetsetter brand of Jack, Lemon Boy, Margharita, Margo, Marmande VF PS, Marmara, Patio, Phoenix, Poseidon 43, Roma VF, Royesta, Sun Sugar, Super Marzano, Sweet Baby Girl, Tiffany, Tye-Dye, Viva Italia, Yaqui

Watermelon: Apollo, Charleston Grey, Crimson Glory, Crimson Sweet, Eureka, Jade Star, Mickylee, Olympia

* Marketmore 76 is a very old cucumber-variety. If you are ordering it from a seller of heirloom veggies, check with the dealer to make sure the seeds were not purchased from Seminis/Monsanto. If you buy the seeds from a big-box garden center, odds are they were purchased from the evil empire.
{list thanks to Kevin Lee Jacobs}

Well shit, I have purchased more than one off that list. Fuckers will definitely not be getting my money again. And to be clear, no one is claiming {from what I have seen anyway} that these varieties are GMOs, however they are owned by a company who creates other GMOs. That and Monsanto is in the business of suing farmers for having their patented crops in their fields due to cross-pollination, contaminating organic crops for the same reason, threatening biodiversity of crops, and a whole host of other evil shit.

*rant done*

Kevin Lee Jacobs is right: Forewarned is forearmed. Help spread the word folks! You can double check the list right from the company website.



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Friday, February 24, 2012

Favourite Ontario Seed & Plant Suppliers

{royalty free photo}

With tomorrow's local seed exchange coming up, I have been taking stock of what we have for our own garden and figuring out what we want to add to our wish list. I am sure that we will be able to find some of what we are looking for, and there will probably be some surprise additions too. What we can't find at the seed exchange will be purchased from our favourite seed and plant suppliers.

I thought that I would share some of them with our readers and recommend you check them out too.


Commanda Country Gardens is located in Powassan Ontario, and customers can either go to their beautiful farm or to the North Bay Farmers' Market to purchase the hardy perennials that Jim & Judy Merrick sell. At least half of our perennials are from them, and the owners are very helpful to answer questions and make suggestions. When it came to our first garden in North Bay, their advice was especially helpful. Coming to a colder climate and only having a balcony, it was largely thanks to their great tips on how to over-winter our container garden that it had survived {!!!}.

If I can't get what I am looking for from Commanda Country Gardens, then I will likely purchase them from Richters located in Goodwood Ontario. The drive would be a tad far for me, so I get them online and have them mailed. You can find just about anything your little heart desires there, along with dried herbs and seeds too.


The seed company that I have been buying from the longest is Urban Harvest, since I had my first personal garden in Toronto. They have an excellent selection of organic & heirloom seeds, from edibles to useful ornamentals.

Also in Toronto is Cubit's; they have an Etsy shop where you can purchase rare, heirloom and organic seeds.

I have mentioned local Soggy Creek Seed Co. a few times, but the goodness that they grow is worth mentioning time and time again. They still have the prettiest seed packages out there and just about every type of seed they sell is now a staple in our garden.

The Cottage Gardener has a slew of different organic and heirloom vegetable seeds, along with historic herbs and flowers.

And then there is Terra Edibles that has one of the best selections of heirloom tomato seeds that I have personally witnessed. They also carry other great veggie and flower seeds.



Monday, February 20, 2012

Introducing Unfettered Wood & Some Updates

In a somewhat plodding fashion I have been working on a project that I have been planning for a long time now. Finally after smoothing out some final details I am now offering my folk magic services to the wider public.

If you are interested in finding out more, please feel free to check out the Unfettered Wood website. I have also created a blog for Unfettered Wood, which people might be interested in reading, even if only for the information about Paganism and witchcraft {content coming soon!}.

Between that, preparing for the upcoming growing season and Imbolc, I have had little time to get into too much trouble!

We still have what has seem to become our "central" altar set up for Imbolc, leaving Brigid her daily offerings there instead of in kitchen, which is the usual station for her wee shrine.

On the Eve of Imbolc I left out a some offerings along with some items in the hopes that Brigid would stop by and bless them on the balcony that is just off of our bedroom.

There were some "signs" that she may have visited, and one admittedly unnerved me a bit. Perhaps it is a bit typical of me to wish for something like that and once I get what appears to be a tangible sign I start shitting bricks! ;)

{some of the items that were left out on the balcony to be blessed}

My sweetie got me a nice little Brigid's cross from Laura Travis' Etsy shop, which arrived right on Imbolc. It was nice that I didn't have to struggle to make one this year, because rush weaving skills I have not.

I will be starting some seeds very soon, after the local seed exchange this upcoming Saturday {stop by if you are in the area!}. :D Which reminds me, and I found a nifty seed starting guide over at the Little City Farm blog.



Saturday, February 18, 2012

{d is for...} does every goddess need to be homogenized?


Da Fuq?!?

{This is a mini installment for the Pagan Blog Project}

There is an excellent rant over at Three Shouts on a Hilltop about "Celtic" imagery sold in a Pagan shop that I found myself furiously nodding my head in agreement to {although as an aside, I was under a similar impression as a commenter over there in regards to The Morrígan}. One subject briefly touched on in the post was about Goddesses being portrayed as "sexy" when it is probably inappropriate.

I mean Brigid bare breasted and in a suggestive pose? Really? If it were Flidais I would get it; when it comes to Brigid, I think that this sculpture by Eric Klinert is more fitting.

Perhaps it is just me, but there seems to be a growing trend where Goddesses are being sexualized just to make them marketable. It seems like more and more they are either a pretty young thing, or a not-so-frumpy older lass donning some killer curves.

Or companies are trying to shoehorn every Goddess into the neo-Pagan concept of the "maiden, mother, crone". Take this statue for instance, which is being marketed as a "Native American Triple Goddess statue". Ummm. Hmmmm. That is almost as bad as a print I saw being sold in Toronto entitled Native American Chakra Yoni Goddess a few years back. And that was just plain messed up.

What I suppose pisses me off the most about this shit is that people actual endorse it with their money. In droves. It's no wonder that there are folks who are trying to distance themselves from the larger neo-Pagan movement.



Thursday, February 16, 2012

Yet More News About Monsanto

{image originally posted on Fuck Yeah Permaculture!}

Well it looks like France is definitely no friend to Monsanto. I caught wind of the latest news from Organic Authority

Guilty As Charged! French Court Finds Monsanto Responsible for Chemical Poisoning

On February 13th, a French court ruled in favor of farmer Paul Francois who reportedly developed three separate neurological disorders as a result of inhaling Monsanto’s alachlor-based weed killer called Lasso.

The court declared the St. Louis, MO-based seed and chemical company guilty of chemical poisoning and the cause of Francois’ memory loss, headaches and stammering in the first-ever case of its kind heard against a pesticide manufacturer in French courts.

You can read the rest of the article here.



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Monday, February 13, 2012

2012 North Bay Seed Exchange & Eco Fair

With all this snow and cold it is hard to believe that gardening season is not too far off!

North Bay Heritage Gardeners, St Andrew’s United Church, North Bay Horticultural Society, The North Bay Master Gardeners, & Near North Locavores presents:


Come join us on Saturday February 25th, 2012 from 1 pm to 4pm at 366 Cassells Street/St Andrew’s United Church for North Bay’s third annual Seed Exchange & Eco Fair! This is a free event that has parking and public transit near by.

Gardening is a very rewarding pastime! It is a great way to be physically active while providing affordable fresh produce in your diet, creating habitat for wildlife, or simply beautifying your surroundings. We will have materials and information available for all types of growing situations and experience levels.

Get a head start on the 2012 gardening season at the Seed Exchange. You can trade seeds that you have saved (please make sure that you label each seed package with as much info as possible, including the variety name and how many seeds are in each package) or purchase seeds for 25 cents each package in the seed exchange room only. Ornamentals and edibles are welcome. If you can’t find what you are looking for at the seed exchange, do not worry, as there will be commercial seeds to purchase from some of the vendors and several community groups will be selling seeds at various prices as fundraisers for their organizations.

Expand your knowledge at our free workshops for gardeners of all ages and skill-sets and there will be plenty of fun for children too with parental-supervised activities and crafts. Workshops start at 1:15 and continue every ½ hour with the last one to start at 3:15. The Kids-Zone crafts will run continuously during the event.

Stop by and visit the vendors at the Eco Fair to learn more about local organizations or get some shopping done at the various environmentally-conscious businesses that will be attending: Field Good Farms, Dalew Farms, Wearable Treasures, Harvest Moon Farm, Reiki with Vi, White Sun Hoops, Little Workshop, Gramma’s Crafts ‘N’ Things, Boards Honey, Hibou Boutique, Pie Bird Bed & Breakfast, Delaney Bay Cheese Market, Heritage Gardeners, City of North Bay, North Bay Horticultural Society and Children’s Gardening program, Greening Nipissing, Community Waterfront Friends, Blue Sky Sailing Club, North Bay Farmers Market Information Booth, North Bay Master Gardeners, Transition Town North Bay, Nipissing Naturalists, St. Andrews United Church Fundraisers, North Bay Mattawa Conservation Authority, and the Near North Locavores.

For more info you can contact Monica of North Bay Heritage Gardeners at (705) 472- 4006 or heritage.gardeners(at)



Friday, February 10, 2012

{C is for...} Creating an Ancestor Garden

{This is my second installment for the Pagan Blog Project}

{photo by Mike Reid}

I've been thinking about ways we can utilize our new patch of dirt, and one of the ideas I had was creating allocating a part of yard for an ancestor garden. Of course I am not the first person to think of this and there are plenty of wonderful resources out there, some of which I will share in this post.

For whatever reason, I have never created one before, and I figure it would be a good spot for me to do outdoor ancestral workings and devotionals when I can't make it to the cemetery.

Obviously a good place to start is figuring out where to put the garden. Personally I think it is nice to give over some prime real estate for devotional gardens, whether it be for land spirits, ancestors, or gods {and of course keeping a piece for wildlife too!}.

As far as what to plant, one could choose plants associated with those who have passed or plants that your ancestors were fond of. The spot we are using already has a little cedar bush, which was my Grandfather's favourite plant. We plan to add bleeding hearts and wild roses for my Grandmother and tiger lillies and sweetfern for my Great Grandmother. We have also chosen poppies, monkshood, and mullein so far.

Adding cherished or associated items, a memorial plaque, and perhaps an offering bowl and candles are also nice touches.

Here are some other places online that might spark inspiration:

The Chart Chick
The Green Mountain Gardener
Just a Cloud Away
Diana Digs Dirt

If you have any ideas to add or if you have created one yourself, please feel free to share! :)



Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Luverly of the Week: Stile & Rowan Tree by erwlas

The Curse of Macha

I came across this trailer for The Curse of Macha on the Mo Shaol Págánachta blog. This is the first I have heard of this movie, and is supposed to be released next year.

Here is a small bit about the film from a promotional website:

Awakened by the onslaught of an invasion, Emer is forced to succumb to the horror of her children missing and the burning flames of her dying village. Rather than accept her fate, she breaks free of the carnage to find another village and a group of warriors willing to take up her cause and find out the truth of this nightmare.

The Curse of Macha also has a Facebook page.

Looks like it could be pretty good {!!!}.



Friday, February 3, 2012

Canadian Film Festival

North Bay has its very own film festival. It might not be the TIFF, but I think it is pretty impressive that such a wee city has one to begin with. This is the festival's 9th year running and there are a few nifty titles for this year including Surviving Progress, A Dangerous Method, & Monsieur Lazhar.

The movie I am wanting to see the most though is Cloudburst. It is about a lesbian couple in their 70s who bust out of a nursing home and run of to Canada to get married. :D

If you're in the area, you should check it out!



Thursday, February 2, 2012

The Milk Stone ;)

Some More News About Monsanto...

Monsanto gives up on French GM maize

Biotech giant Monsanto has announced it is giving up on plans to sell genetically modified (GM) maize in France, despite winning a key court ruling last year.

In November, France’s highest court overturned the 2008 ban on cultivating Monsanto’s MON810, an insect-resistant strain of maize which is grown in several European countries. The court ruled that the Government had not produced enough evidence to back its claims that the GM crop posed a significant risk to health or the environment.

That ruling was prompted by a European Court of Justice (ECJ) ruling in September, in a case brought by Monsanto.

But earlier this month French environment and agriculture ministers revealed that, despite the ruling, they were planning to reintroduce the moratorium on MON810 maize before spring sowings start.

This has proved to be the final straw for Monsanto, which said this week that it had no longer had any plans to market its GM maize in France.

Read the rest of the article here. :D

Now if only the fuckers would go belly up!