Saturday, December 13, 2014

December Seed Haul

Woohoo!  It was a good mail day yesterday.  

In October, I submitted my contribution to the 4th Annual  Canadian Autumn Seed Exchange and have been eagerly awaiting my return package since.  I think I might even look forward to receiving this package more than I look forward to Christmas. 

Like last year, I submitted the maximum number of seed packets (40) along with some bonus packets. I received 56 packets in return, including many varieties of vegetables and flowers that are new to me.  Nicky, the exchange organizer, even included a small bag of seed garlic!  I wasn't expecting that, and look forward to planting them next year.

The exchange package I received included:

Herbs - basil (Dark Opal & Violette Aromatico), chives (garlic), dill (Frank's Extra Large), lemon balm, and thyme.

Magnus Echinacea (
Flowers - Baby's Breath (white and pink), Centaurea Montana (Blue Cornflower, I think), Yellow Columbine, Cosmos (Sonata White), Dianthus (Sweet William Mix), Echinacea (Magnus), hops, English Sweet Pea, Marigold (Cracker Jack), Zinnia (Persian Carpet, Whirly Gig), and Poppy (Bread-Seed Double Red, Double Shirley, Fringed Pink, Mixed Peony).

Beans (dry bush) - Dapple Grey, Hutterite, Ireland Creek Annie, Mrocumiere, and Jacob's Cattle
Beans (pole) - Speckled Cranberry
Beans (snap) - Top Crop
Greens - Lacinato Kale

Jaune Flamme (

Tomatoes - Black Plum, Casino, Chocolate Cherry, Copper River, Costoluto Genovese, Eva Purple Ball, Yellow Taxi, Garden Peach, Jaune Flamme, Pink Berkeley Tie Dye, Romeo, and Work Release Paste.

Peppers (sweet) - Bull Nose, Green Bell, NuMex, and Sweet Cherry.

Miniature White (

Cucumber -  Miniature White and Straight 8.
Leek - American Flag
Onion - Green from Shandong
Garlic - assortment of varieties
Eggplant - Apple Green

Musquee de Provence (

Squash - Butternut, Musquee de Provence, Table King Acorn
Melon - Noire des Carmes
Miscellaneous - Lamb's Ear

Looking forward to next year's exchange already!

Friday, December 12, 2014

Nocturnal Visitors

For the last two weeks, we have been visited by weasels and deer.  I haven't caught sight of either yet, as they traipse through the property at night and we find their fresh tracks the next morning. 

Several nights ago, two deer slept in a nook against the back gate, off the alley.  This morning, we found new tracks coming up the driveway, going right across our front doorstep, and around the side of the house. I am tempted to leave apples or a little bowl of dry oats out for their next visit.

I wish I had taken pictures of the weasel tracks when they were fresh.  They aren't coming through as often as the deer seem to be.  Below are pictures of deer tracks trailing across the front lawn towards the neighbour's fence and around the side of the house.  (Click on them to enlarge).  The snow-covered rock in the foreground of the first picture has crow and magpie tracks on it.  We sometimes put out bread scraps and old, dried up cat food that Karl is finished with for the birds!