Feels like summer…Tastes Like Kale.


Apple tree in full bloom

THE WEATHER has certainly been unseasonably warm (record breaking actually)…especially up here at the top of the hill at the Eco-Sense homestead.  We have been busy watering newly planted trees and shrubs and all the plants in the nursery.  Everyday we see more leaves, but with this heat it certainly feels like the grapes should be full out and Ann is feeling like all of her vegetable starts are way behind…but we have to remember, it’s only the middle of April.  Our garden is somewhat overgrown with all the weeds (many edible ones), and the brassicas have gone to full flower, much to the delight of the bees.  Olive our chicken, has been sitting on eggs and was due yesterday, but so far nothing…not a peep…and the duck Bitty-Boo is sitting on four eggs with another 21 days to go.


Apricot tree is loaded this year – 3 types for sale in our nursery.

ECO- SENSE NURSERY is open every Saturday this spring from 10am – 2pm.  We continue to be busy with the nursery and lots of people are putting in their orders and setting up private appointments.  If you can’t make the Saturday time, just send Gord an email (gord@eco-sense.ca)… (or if your Gord editing this update… send it to ann@eco-sense.ca) to set up a private time (and best to ask Gord  to put your appointment time on our calendar – ha), thus the best reason to send your request to ann@eco-sense.ca).   3295 Compton Road, East Highlands, Victoria. Updated plant list:

TO DO LIST:  Our to do list is getting longer than there are hours in the day…and the tour requests are coming in more than ever before.  And on top of all of that, council duties are taking a great deal of time.   So for the first time, we are considering getting a woofer or two…we definitely need some help around here.  Stay tuned.

IMGP1403Eco-Sense photo from the past:  This shot was taken while building the cob house.  Gord is putting in one of our time capsules containing a print out of all of our blog posts from the early days.

Eco-Sense Video of the Week:  Here is a short 3 min video filmed while we were building the cob workshop: https://www.youtube.com/watchv=Ul05AzCkfrk&feature=mfu_in_order&list=UL   Boy do Gord and I look young in this video…and our dog Boo was a puppy.

Food: Enjoying lots of kale these days…especially all the kale chips from our solar dryer.  (Kale, garlic, leeks, parsley, soy, lemon, ground sesame seeds, and apple cider vinegar).  We don’t by processed foods but are certainly not missing out on the yummy snack foods.  And speaking of kale…my potato patch sprouted kale grass so I took the scissors to it and gave it a haircut filling up 2 large bins of beautiful baby leaves.  I think I will let it grow and give it one more haircut before hilling up those spuds.

Gord’s lunch:  Gord has been testing the health of his gut microbiome…here is his lunch complete with two boiled eggs, pizza sauce fruit leather, feta cheese, raw Jerusalem artichokes, and fermented veggies (cucumber, kohlrabi, and pickled Jerusalem artichokes).  He survived just fine, must have been the wine.DSC02317

Rant of the week:  Well it turns out that fast food has been found contaminated with phthalates.  Here’s the article.  My guess is that the food picks up the phthalates from the air…air that is saturated with phthalates from scented laundry products and scented personal care products from the people working around the food. YUK. The majority of people use fragranced products every day (we know who you are because we can smell you)…I imagine that their food at home, even if cooked from whole food ingredients, also contains phthalates. It would be interesting to have some samples analyzed in a lab.
When we were going door to door campaigning for office during the municipal elections, we could tell just going into peoples yards that they used fragrances (phthlates), …and then when the doors opened, the smell would sometimes almost knock us down. Wow…so I can only imagine that those fragrances and all the associated chemicals permeate their food, and their lungs, and their skin. The data shows that most people have phthalates in their body fluids. Why do people use these products when the science indicates that they are endocrine disrupters (think thyroid, cancer, sleep disorders, stress regulation, reproductive disorders/infertility, etc, etc). Rant, rant, rant
Even people who do not use fragrances still carry clouds of fragrances around with them (secondary contamination)…simply going out in public we all pick up the chemicals and they permeate our skin, our hair, and our clothes.

Council Initiative of the week:  Not so much Gord’s council initiative, but one that he was involved in.  One of the topics on the CRD Regional Water Supply Commission is water conservation.  Some folks at the table are not at all in favour of it… the more you conserve, the less you can sell, and hell if we have it in the reservoir why not use it… and how dare we restrict people’s access to water.  This past week after several months of working towards it, the new Water Conservation Bylaw was up for final discussion and approval.    In good fashion, Gord walk’s into the room, and thumbs his nose at water conservation by pouring a glass of water… and water on the table… and computer and chair full of water.  This would be classified as a wasteful use and would be classified as a bylaw infraction.  My words to the councillor beside me… as I wear my Eco-Sense shirt and sandals.. “Ahh… fuck water conservation… this is my last chance to waste it”.

Obviously for those who know me… this was rather funny, almost causing the councillor from Colwood to spit out his own water.  The Bylaw passed, with the inclusion to references to Climate Change and the need to develop a culture of conservation in light of it.  Thanks Zeb and Ben.

Council Failure of the week:  Sit down for this one… there wasn’t one.   Guess it means we were not trying hard enough.  Better luck next time.

Rainwater and Filtration:  Hopefully in July we’ll be able to begin focusing on rainwater systems… as our spring has been crazy.   We are very happy with our new ceramic filters too (for the house and the Eco-Hut).  If you are trying to wrap your head around water filtration, trying to minimize waste, not use electricity, and avoid BPA found in some nanofiber filters, ceramic filters are a great option.  Gord is now a local dealer for Doulton (Berkey) ceramic filters.  (Ann’s note:  This is news to me…it’s a good thing I read your edit of my update…I guess this means I’ll be doing the paperwork?  Disclosure…I did know that Gord had been asked to be a dealer…I just didn’t know he accepted.  Maybe we should write more updates together…it could help our communication.)

In light of this, we may need to invite Highlands Mayor over so that we can carry on this discussion with proper Roberts Rules.

Dysfunctionally yours,

Ann and Gord






4 responses to “Feels like summer…Tastes Like Kale.

  1. Excellent posting!!! Yup, spring and summer all mashed into 2 weeks.

  2. Dear Ann & Gord,

    I have to tell you… I just love reading your newsletters. 🙂

    All the best, Stuart

  3. We too love your postings! Am curious to ask if you are having problems with your well water as you say you now use ceramic filters? Can you give more details as to what you are finding these filters are removing from your water ?

    • Thanks Wendy, Glad you enjoy our postings.
      We use our well water about half the year and the rain water the other half. The well water is awesome in the summer…but not so good in the winter with the rains (higher in lead and in nitrates). In winter we switch to our abundant rain water where it comes filtered though a living roof…this is what the ceramic filter is for…filtering out the life.

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