My blooming, growing world

Chives 600

It has been a while since I’ve posted an update to Fingering Zen. The main reason being – I birthed a baby. Since that makes three, it’s quite lively here over the past couple of months. And now that summer finally appears to have graced us with its warmth, there are lots of things happening outdoors, which means I’m rarely at the keyboard. My garden is in bloom, and lots of veggies and herbs have been planted. Having a little one attached to me pretty much around the clock means that I have to find 15 minute windows of time here and there to take care of the garden.

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Raspberry Tart

Raspberry tart, med

Bright and uplifting, this puzzle is an eye candy. Some challenging areas where similar colours are blended in slightly different ways. Easiest places to start are the green leaves, the pink tin, the bright red berries, the white plate and the chocolate tart. Large areas of uniform pattern and colour would benefit from good lighting.

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Movement ecology


It’s been a while since I’ve written in the blog. Life has engulfed my family with many changes and challenges: we are expecting an addition this spring, my oldest has started school, my youngest has gotten really involved in dance and painting. I’ve gone through an emergency surgery during the first trimester. The garden beckoned with its bounty to be harvested and structures being prepared for winter. Two children’s birthdays and Halloween have been celebrated, and now I have a craft fair to prepare for. Boredom does not get a foothold.

I’ve just listened to a thought-provoking podcast by Katy Bowman, and realized I have to write about it. Katy takes the discussion on nutritious movement further to the concept of movement ecology. The core idea is that if you don’t have to move to achieve something, someone else does/did/will have to.

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Harvest frequently


With a bountiful garden, comes a need to harvest. It takes planning and time to start plants (especially from seed), harden them off, transplant them into the garden, weed, water, feed the soil, trellis. When things are finally lush and green, we tend to sigh with relief and let the garden grow. Soon however, we need to consider harvesting. After all, that’s the primary reason for growing edibles. This year, I’m determined to harvest frequently and in small quantities.

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How to host a successful garage sale


Once a year, our neighbourhood hosts a garage sale. This year we decided to participate. We had a few things to sell, and kids just got a toy cash register for a gift, so this was a perfect opportunity to teach them about counting money, offering items for sale, and bargaining. It takes more than laying things out on the driveway to create a good experience for everyone involved, maximize your sales, and, most importantly, have fun. Here is how to host a successful garage sale.

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Back yard edible landscaping – raised beds, herb spiral, trellises, ponds

Back yard, trellises 1200

We spend lots of time in the kitchen, which has a splendid view of our back yard. This year, as part of my edible landscaping project, I’ve decided to shape the back garden to maximize planting spaces, make the best use of the sunny areas and have an easier time during harvest. I’ve incorporated raised beds, trellises, herb spiral and ponds, and I love the resulting oasis beyond my kitchen window.

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How to build a river bed on your lawn

River bed in the rain, water 1200

One day, I was looking for instructions on building raised garden beds with river rock borders, when I stumbled upon an image of a front yard river bed. It caught my breath, so beautiful was seeing a flowing river in the middle of an ordinary city lawn, with plants growing among the rocks. It’s almost as if a rift opened in the lawn with a glimpse of a forest spring. From that point on, I was inspired to implement this idea. Here’s how to build a river bed on your lawn.

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Front yard edible landscaping and dry river bed


Last week, we went for a walk in an affluent neighbourhood nearby, to explore. After our own edible landscaping project completion, I was curious to see what people do with their front yards, especially those people who have more land to sculpt. To my disappointment, most front yards were lawns, with barely even a flower to be seen. Some even had fake grass (this one is beyond me). This year, when I finally had a chance to shape my own space, I’ve decided to not only create spaces to grow food, but make the entire front yard into a flowing garden around a river bed.

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Convert small lawn strips into berry bushes with edible landscaping

Bushes planted 1200

It’s wonderful to be able to stroll along a row of bushes, plucking a ripe berry from a branch and popping it in your mouth. When I was a child, I would raid our cottage raspberry patch, collect gooseberries and currants, and roam the strawberry ground. As part of our edible landscaping project, I have incorporated blueberries, currants, strawberries and raspberries where only grass used to be.

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Reclaim small spaces – edible landscaping between houses

Side bed 1 1200

Often, we have quite a bit of space available on the sides of houses – space occupied by unsightly bulging appliances, window wells, utility meters, and seeded with dying grass. I see a great opportunity to convert these unused areas into bountiful growing space. Reclaim this land to grow your own food.

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