Gardening or do it yourself food


Grapevines, tidied, tied up and all ready to explode with grapey goodness.   Seriously, it’s still May and they have clusters of flower buds.


Strawberries thinned and in bloom.  And thinning was spreading them out,  not getting rid of any.


Perennial onions happy and ready to eat by May 15th.  They’ll be good until frost kills them.


Tomato and other veggies in pots waiting to be planted outside.
So what is this all about?
A little bit of self sufficiency.   I always make jars and jars of stewed tomatoes,  jams, relish, mincemeat, and more. But lately I’ve been too sick to grow my own.  It’s expensive to buy 50 lbs of tomatoes.
But my gall bladder is gone, and although my back still gets worse every year, I can think again.  So I’m back to gardening.  An hour or 2 every couple days, a lot of help from friends, and soon there will be food.
Tomatoes,  hot peppers, sweet peppers, ground cherries, cauliflower, broccoli, peas,  herbs, rhubarb, blueberry bushes, sunchokes . .

So what is this all about?
Food security.   With all of the weird additives and recalls, I like to make everything possible from scratch.   And growing my own veggies is an extension of that.  No pesticides, no GMO, no high fructose corn syrup.
Good healthy food for my love and my friends
Next property gets an orchard. Hazeluts, apples, cherries, pears, plums, sumac, walnuts, a veritable paradise.
Now if only I could grow avocado, bananas and mango trees here.


Dragon Boat Festival means good prices on Asian ingredients

It’s been awhile since anybody had a decent sale, but No Frills has some interesting tidbits this week (until May 28th)
fresh whole chicken $1.97/lb
Rooster Brand jasmine rice $10.88/ 8kg (17.5lb)
Rooster Brand coconut milk $.88/ 398ml
FOCO coconut juice $.98/ 520ml
Rooster Brand sweetened condensed milk $1.88/300ml
Huy Fung Sriracha sauce $2.88/ 740ml
Colossal raw shrimp 16-20 count, frozen $7.88/300g
Seaquest seafood medley $3.97/ 340g
fresh asparagus $1.97/lb
russet potatoes or cooking onions $1.97/ 10lb
Gold Seal pink salmon $2.47/ 418g

Now, most of this will need putting up before long term storage is possible, but the possibilities for home-made heat-and-serve soup is mindboggling.

No Frills storage sales

For the first time in ages, there’s a sale worth going to.
No frills has their $1, $2, $3 sale on.

18 bottles Real Canadian  water
340g bag of baby cut carrots 
640g catelli pasta sauce
375g healthy harvest, smart, or bistro pasta
Cafe Cino espresso 250g
455g kraft bbq sauce
No Name pickle 1 liter
225g French’s mustard
3lbs yellow onions
Duncan Heinz cake mix or frosting (good for emergencies )
25′ aluminum foil  Alcan
30m Glad cling wrap
5lb russet potatoes
1kg no name apples

Cheemo perogies  (frozen ) 815-907g
Nestle chocolate bars 3/$2
295ml Minute Maid fruit punch  4/$2
Boneless pork loin $2/lb
Chicken wings  $2/lb

Most of this needs freezing, but at these prices it’s worth looking into freezer meals.  Where you spend one afternoon filling baggies with meat, veggies, and sauce, then freeze them.  You get healthy crockpot meals for a few weeks for a days work.


And don’t forget to save the chicken bones for broth.

To publish or not to publish

A cookbook, that is….

As most of you know, I spent years learning to make most things from scratch due to a collapsed immune system and wheat allergies.  You would not believe what has wheat in it, that has absolutely no need for it!

So I make my own spice mixes, because I was not giving up my Asian food.  Or Indian food.  Or Mexican food.  Or…. well, you get the idea.

A lot of my friends and family were asking for bottles of my spices as presents, so I figured… why not sell them?  Not sell them their own birthday present, of course, but at flea markets, craft fairs, etc.

I found out why not; no-one wants to pay a premium for something hand-made, clean, pure, etc… when they can get the No-Name shit from China for 1/3 the price.  Except at festivals, I sell best at pagany events, where clean eating, no fillers/ preservatives, and knowing what’s in your food is considering a priority.

I currently have about $2000 in raw materials upstairs, or about $6000 in finished goods.  I’ve eaten some, gave some to my niece, and am probably giving more in gift baskets to charities to auction off.

I will likely still sell at festivals and stuff, but only the ones I’m going to anyway.  I lost too much money this year.  So… what to do, since I’ve been denied disability, even though the government agrees I’m disabled.  I can’t work, one day on my feet knocks me out for 3 days.


When I asked the question “What do I do now?” of the Facebook hivemind, one answer was to write a cookbook, sell my recipes, not the spices.

So, I’m curious; is anyone interested in a cookbook with recipes for the spices, and recipes for each spice for the slow-cooker? (which is how I usually use it, I love my slow-cooker); would you rather I find a way to sell through this blog? (I tried Etsy, but 2 sales in 2 years is not encouraging).

How about Email only? Facebook store?

What about instant meals in jars?  (lentils, rice, dried veggies, spices)  I would buy either fresh veggies in season, or fresh-frozen ones where the only ingredient is the veggie.  And my own spices, of course.


Tell me what you think, please.