Last Weekend of the Spring Season

Red walnut flowers. Catkins hang below.

NURSERY:  May 18th and 19th are the last two NURSERY days of the SPRING SEASON…and what beautiful planting weather it is.  We have been doing happy dances out in the gentle rains.  However, the ground is still really dry as is evident when we dig holes to plant more trees.

Sea Kale shoots are starting. YUMMY raw, steamed or stir-fried

SPECIAL ITEMS we would like to sell this weekend:

  • Sweet potato plants:  perfect time to get into the ground.  Must grow in greenhouse or under a hoop cover to get big crops.  SALE: $3
  • SEA KALE:  we have begun to eat ours and will for the next month.  Tastes like a cross between broccoli and asparagus.  Takes 2-3 years to mature then eat for the rest of your life.  $3 each.
  • FREE TABLE:  Some items we just want to go to a good home…some unknown grapes, other unknowns and oddballs, and weird looking specimens.
  • OCA plants:  Our favourite tuber.  Beautiful vegetation looks like clover.  $3 each
  • LOTS of fruit trees and berry bushes with fruit already set on them…just saying.  FRUIT THIS YEAR

Name that chicken breed

NAME THAT CHICKEN BREED:  Our baby chickens are growing rapidly…but they are not Rhode Island Red as we were told.  Any ideas what kind of chicken they are other than cute chickens?

DUCK UPDATE:  For those that have been following along over the years you’ll remember quite a collection of duck stories over the years with MUD-PUDDLE and DUG a source of endless fun including countless people taking selfies with one of our special ducks.  The latest story is now about Cocoa-Pop who lost her partner last winter when he dove under the ice and didn’t resurface until spring thaw.  (we scooped him out, put him in a hole by the pond, and then topped him with an asian pear).  Pear is growing extremely well by the way.  Anyways, for months we had a very depressed duck with very little will to live, but now she is thriving and follows us everywhere. She’s our little helper for all things soil, mud, compost or mulch related.  Our evening walk is so much fun with dog and duck following along.

And if gardening does not intrigue and fill your vessel, perhaps the 30 second Bill Nye the pissed Off Science Guy video will do it.

Safety Glasses Off 2

Happy gardening!

Ann and Gord




Last two weekends in the Nursery

It is 30 C° out there folks, and there are two items that suffer at that temperature… Ann planting things, and things just planted.  We will keep the nursery open for two more weekends (May 11th & 12th;  May  18th & 19th).  We will NOT be open on the 25th or 26th.

Sat and Sun from 10am-2pm at Eco-Sense.  

3295 Compton Road.  For everyone that shows up and asks, “do you still have SEA KALE and Sweet potatoes?” The answer is YES.  We also have lots of great selection of berry bushes, nut trees, and fruit trees…even OLIVES and many others.  We have Blight resistant hazelnuts, so no need to go on to a two year wait list.

Unless you have a diligent water regime planting when it is over 30 can be a little troublesome.  That said, you know what we get to do when the nursery closes?  We get to plant!  We are planting out the pond area, where the old nursery used to be.  The irrigation system in.

The smells are incredible at the moment, with the lilacs, Ann’s Dad’s azalea, and Solara’s clematis.  The trees seemed to fill out instantly this year – so very strange.   Most of our persimmons are showing flower buds, so this year should actually be a big crop.  Maybe this is the year for the first walnuts?  Even more exciting, perhaps this is the last year for all the rotten nuts (be creative in your imagination).

Lunch with Nina. She’s 3.5 years old. Maybe 10 more years we will be blessed with her company… if we are lucky.

When you know your dog has only 10 +/-  years to live, does this mean you decide to not love your dog?   When your planet, your only home, is so close to collapse due to the pesky exponential trend lines (of pretty much everything that matters), do you consider giving up trying to do something about it?  What’s the difference?  Do we not love both the dog and the earth?  Do you give up on the dog because it’s going to die…one day?  Giving up 1 million species is the track we are on.  It is OK to be pissed, sad, and scared – it is also OK to speak up, and crack a few rotten and crazy nuts.

A few cheerful links:

Three day old chicks first look at the world…LOOK, kale! Life is good.

Short and sweet, have a great weekend.

Gord and Ann


The following is a blended blog post with both Gord and Ann writing and merging our words, thoughts and feelings of our multiple pathways.

Autumn olive in full bloom. This berry producing shrub is a nitrogen fixing shrub AND makes delicious small berries for fresh eating or processing with other berries. Anything we plant with this shrub THRIVES.

Perennial Sea Kale putting on it’s spring growth. Soon, we will be eating abundant and tasty broccoli like shoots and then eating fragrant white flowers. Our favourite perennial vegetable that can live decades. One tough plant.

BUT FIRST:  Nursery is open again this weekend, Sat and Sun from 10am-2pm.  We still have some bare root berries (see last weeks post), and also have a few sweet potato starts.  We only have unnamed variety (mix of Georgia Jet and Superior).  The SEA KALE seedlings have sold like hotcakes, but we still have more (I started over 200).  Perfect time to get your OCA plants in the ground (Andean potatoes that look like a clover ground cover – our favourite tuber.)  Still have a four olive trees in stock, but are sold out of lemons.  Good stock of fruit and nut trees still, but some varieties sold out.  We are getting towards the end of the spring season, so if you want to get your perennial trees and shrubs planted you better “Get-er-done”.

Winter purple sprouting broccoli seedlings in 1 gal pots. For sale in the nursery. $4. Keep in pot in partial shade and water and then plant out in July for late winter purple broccoli shoots. (This is what I do and it seems to work). It’s never too early to start planning your winter garden.

And now, on with the story…It was morning coffee and as usual we were deliberating on our footprints.  Not the usual footprints like that of our coffee (which we tried to give up, but failed) or our car, but other footprints that trail off behind us showing multiple pathways back in time.   These pathways show points of decisions, forks in the road, stumbles and trips, and pathways with others that cross and join our own.

In the foreground we have abundant perennial kale that lives for years and has beautiful leaves to eat all winter. We have been eating kale shoots for a couple months and now are eating sweet flower blooms. Beautiful plant. We have small plants for sale in the nursery. $4

We are absolutely loving our NEW nursery this year with being open the whole weekend and located in the lower garden.  The best part by far is the people that are coming.  Every weekend we are treated to a steady stream of people with new faces, old friends, new friends, neighbours, farmers, political colleagues, incredible conversations, fascinating people and personalities, and gratitude and connection in the celebration of life, activism, sharing of climate grief, and resilience planning for food, water, and community.  (sorry for the run on sentence!) Then there was the delivery of sheep manure from a grateful customer. Then there was a stinky dog that rolled in it.   Wow…just wow.  Our life is rich with connection to people, nature, and purpose.

My favourite black current. This is a clove current with clove smelling fragrant flowers and the berries…supper yummy. Also called a Crandal Black Current. Only 1 left in stock…we planted two more ourselves.

Thirteen 13 years ago I crossed paths with Ann and  have been fortunate enough to share many footprints, despite tripping on each other at times.  (a polite way to say heated arguments).  Lately I have been noticing a lot of other pathway with others, criss crossing and traveling along with us, even sometimes when we don’t even know about them.

Many years ago I committed to only trying to work for people who I could hug.   It certainly limits employability, and was definitely not taught in my various business classes at university.  As a matter of fact relationships were frowned upon as they could interfere with business decisions and only supported if they helped insure self gain.  That pathway certainly leads to depletion, scarcity, separation, and ultimately a shallow lonely existence.

I left the business department directly due to superficiality and shallowness of my fellow students and the teachings, only coming to learn many years later about multiple other capitals like human, social, and natural capital.  This should have been part of the curriculum.  I liken our mainstream business culture to industrial agriculture, which tills and destroys the soil leaving barren furrows all heading in one linear direction, never crossing, and none self sustaining thus requiring ever more outside inputs.  A recipe for destruction and failure.

Small starter plants: Oca and Sea Kale. $4 each

Leaving my past business in the auto body industry was a swerve in my pathway, choosing instead to sow seeds in a different direction.  This spring in particular, those seeds that sprouted over the years have grown due to being nurtured through social and human interactions of criss crossing pathways.

The first day of our nursery this year one of my early rainwater clients showed up.  I don’t recall the financial transaction on that day, but I do recall the hug, smiles, laughter and sharing of personal stories in our conversation.

A few weeks back I finally had Ann out to meet another client/friend, a rare occasion for both of us leaving the Highlands that was for lunch and a visit (and delivery of a few plants).   I remember the soup, the cookies, homemade grape juice, Coriander the pig, the hazelnuts along the fence line and which ones were early.  I also remember all the shared stories, laughs, and how excited I was that Ann and my “client” finally met.

With the climate and ecological crisis, we have enormous challenges NOW, and it certainly is within scientific possibility that many of our footsteps could end prematurely.  Our response is to plant more seeds with each footstep. We need to ensure that when we look back at our paths that our footsteps are green, lush, and full of connection.  And when we look back at our pathways, they have merged and connected with so many others that all we see is a diverse forest of life and relationships.

Interesting items from our week:

That’s all for now, looking forward to our weekend in the nursery.

Ann and Gord


PLANT, PICK, & PRUNE:  This week in the Eco-Sense nursery we are focussing on berries. Gord made a quick info page on raspberries and blackberries to help us learn.  We are planting more berries this year as we enjoyed eating them all winter…and didn’t have enough.  They are incredibly versatile and easy to process.  We freeze them whole to eat many ways throughout the winter…including smoothies, in our hot cereal, berry sauce, in clafoutis, and mixed with apples and baked into a crumble.  Not only are they super yummy, they are very nutritious.  Check out the information that Gord pulled together that also gives links to different trellis ideas.  We have many of these in stock at very affordable prices as they are mostly bare root. Take them home this weekend.  Here’s our plant list.  Lots of other berries are in stock too.  Come check out the berry patch.

Nursery is OPEN Sat & Sun from 10am-2pm.  3295 Compton Road in the East Highlands.

LINKS: Here’s a couple links that may be of interest to our readers.

  1. The text of the short speech just given by Greta Thunberg to the UK’s MP’s:
  2. One-hour BBC documentary with Sir David Attenborough.  Climate Change – The Facts.
  3. NATURE study on glyphosate.  YES, it’s toxic.

    Title: Assessment of Glyphosate Induced epigenetic transgenerational Inheritance of pathologies and sperm epimutations: Generational toxicology

    Abstract: Ancestral environmental exposures to a variety of factors and toxicants have been shown to promote the epigenetic transgenerational inheritance of adult onset disease. one of the most widely used agricultural pesticides worldwide is the herbicide glyphosate (N-(phosphonomethyl)glycine), commonly known as Roundup. There are an increasing number of conflicting reports regarding the direct exposure toxicity (risk) of glyphosate, but no rigorous investigations on the generational actions. the current study using a transient exposure of gestating F0 generation female rats found negligible impacts of glyphosate on the directly exposed F0 generation, or F1 generation offspring pathology. In contrast, dramatic increases in pathologies in the F2 generation grand-offspring, and F3 transgenerational great- grand-offspring were observed. The transgenerational pathologies observed include prostate disease, obesity, kidney disease, ovarian disease, and parturition (birth) abnormalities. epigenetic analysis of the F1, F2 and F3 generation sperm identified differential DNA methylation regions (DMRs). A number of DMR associated genes were identified and previously shown to be involved in pathologies. Therefore, we propose glyphosate can induce the transgenerational inheritance of disease and germline (e.g. sperm) epimutations. observations suggest the generational toxicology of glyphosate needs to be considered in the disease etiology of future generations.

Ann and Gord

Easter Weekend

Easter Weekend Hours:  Eco-Sense Nursery is OPEN Sat and Sun from 10am-2pm this .  Sales of perennial Edible plants.  Plant list here

Special this weekend…  a free table with items that have lost a tag and we don’t know exactly what there are.

We have a good supply of Sea Kale seedlings (I had started over 200), a few Perennial Kale seedlings, small Oca plants, and of course all the regular fruit trees, berry bushes, kiwi, NUTS, bare root raspberries, OLIVES, FIGS, etc.  Sorry, no sweet potatoes slips…yet.


The Municipal Survivor Climate Challenge has taken off.  Click on poster to see the details.  Over 20 local governments have accepted Highlands challenge.  Check out the facebook page for the challenge:    


Have a great weekend and happy gardening.

Ann and Gord