Thursday, March 5, 2015

Cherry Vanilla Quinoa attracted a crowd, Red Kitten Spinach saw its own super sized line-ups. Seedy Saturday in Hamilton has come and gone, sending happy customers home with pockets stuffed full of seeds.

  Hawthorn Farm Organic Seed of Palmertston had whole racks devoted to the cult of the heirloom tomato. The newly minted Hamilton Seed Library Network was there to spread the news about sharing seeds. They want to make it as easy as checking a book out of the library.

  At the Matchbox Garden & Seed Company display (, Hanna Jacobs fielded questions about everything from beans to watermelon. Matchbox is a nice little discovery, Jacobs and her husband Jason Inniss set up shop on Highway 54 near Caledonia last year.
  “We found our farm on Kijiji,” Jacobs says, still almost in awe of their good luck. “We looked east of Toronto, and towards Guelph, but the real estate agent was always steering us toward places we couldn’t afford.”
  Their compact two-acre spread has some of that famous Haldimand clay which Jacobs says she improves by adding composted horse manure and green cover crops such as clover. “We also heavily rotate our crops,” she says.

  The move to Caledonia from the Queen West area of Toronto has been a revelation, from meeting the helpful farmers next door, to seeing the growing support from the community. At the farm, Jacobs grows over 120 varieties of organic, open pollinated (pollinated by insects, birds and wind) heirloom vegetables, herbs and flowers.  She sells both seeds and seedlings. She also delivers seasonal produce to local restaurants, runs a Community Shared Agriculture (CSA) program, and sells produce from the farm. Inniss, a chef, teaches at George Brown College and runs James Inniss Catering. “The farm is my baby,” Jacobs says. “While I can get him to help me build things and sometimes harvest, it’s all mine.”

  In all Jacobs will take her seeds to 15 Seedy Saturdays. The Hamilton event was a good one. “It went well, Detroit Dark Red Beets and Gold Medal Tomato were very popular. I also sold a lot of bush beans and carrots. People are always asking about the different coloured varieties.”  For gardeners who prefer to start their herb and vegetable gardens with plants, Jacobs has a seedling sale at Matchbox Garden & Seed Company on May 23rd and 24th at the farm from 10 am to 4pm, at 1350 Highway 54, Caledonia.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Here's a quick snapshot of wonderful things to see in the San Antonio, and Hill Country area of Texas. I have a story in the Hamilton Spectator and a road trip story coming up in the Toronto Star Wheels section.

Kitchen garden sculpture at the J.W. Marriott in Hill Country Texas
Carol Hicks Bolton's fabulous store in Fredericksburg Texas. Mysterious, sensuous, raw style decor
Raw linen bedding from Belgium

Taxidermy for your home

Thousands of square feet of curated decor

From the working farm at the LBJ Ranch in Johnson City

The Hangar Diner at the Fredericksburg airport, there's a retro hotel there too

Take a tour boat along River Walk to see San Antonio from the water

Happy to be there for the Tamale Festival. With 35,000 other people

A quiet moment at the Alamo

The National Park Service tours of the missions in San Antonio are moving and inspiring

There was a wedding in Mission San Jose while we were there