Harrowsmith Spring 2019

Harrowsmith is still the reliable go-to for gardeners, weekend carpenters, homesteaders, hobby farmers and urban dwellers with romantic fantasies of country life. Harrowsmith publishes four issues a year in conjunction with the seasons.

Moongate Publishing Inc.
4 Issues

in this issue

6 min
our contributors

CATHERINE AGAR grew up on a dairy farm and is passionate about agriculture and food. She has a degree in agriculture economics from the University of Guelph and is currently taking professional writing classes at Western University in London, Ontario. After almost 19 years of doing double time, with an off-farm job as an agriculture lender and raising her family on a dairy farm, she recently hung up her banker’s hat for good. She is enjoying days on the farm with her four young children and tall Dutch husband, along with her Holstein cows and brown chickens. SHANNON COURTNEY is the former editor-in-chief and co-founder of Salty, Prince Edward Island’s comprehensive food and farm digest. Shannon completed her master of environmental studies at Queen’s University, focusing her thesis research on how…

2 min

There’s something that is always marvellous and reassuring about a full moon. It’s a reminder of renewal, hanging right above our heads. Spring also delivers this same reminder—in the form of resilient snowdrops, fairy-tale-like fiddleheads and muddy dog paws across the kitchen floor (and back). In this issue, Danielle French of South Pond Farms celebrates the magic of the flower moon by sharing her seasonal secrets (page 63). Her menu spotlights some of my spring favourites: sweet Johnny-jump-ups, wild leeks and rhubarb. You can recreate this full-moon feast in your home, too. Danielle’s full-moon feast is versatile, and with a little tweaking, it can even unfold on a condo balcony. It doesn’t matter where you are in Canada—we share the same moon. I love this connection and how Harrowsmith is squeezing our…

1 min
what on earth?

Move aside, March lions and lambs. It’s the Chinese Year of the Pig! The pig is the 12th of the zodiac animals, and according to one myth, the Jade Emperor dictated the 12-year zodiac order according to the order in which the animals arrived to his party. Rumour has it that the pig was late because he overslept, while another version says that a wolf destroyed the pig’s house and the pig had to rebuild his home before he could set off. When the pig arrived, he was the last one and could only take 12th place. If you studied those ubiquitous zodiac animal paper placemats in Chinese restaurants as a kid, you might also know that each zodiac sign is connected to an element, and that there are five elements…

2 min

MESSAGE IN A BOTTLE About 25 years ago, Harrowsmith published a recipe for homemade blackberry wine. It did make the most marvellous wine, which we made every year until moving back to the city. Now we have moved back to an island off the B.C. coast and our property has numerous blackberry bushes, but we don’t have the recipe anymore. Is there anyway you can check the Harrowsmith archives to see if the recipe still exists? Daniel Lay, Gabriola Island, British Columbia Editor’s note: My great-grandmother used to make elderberry wine. I was too young to drink it. Shame! I do remember those West Coast blackberries. I moved there when I was 18 (bohemia!) and marvelled at the giant size of them growing free and wild all along the alleys of my neighbourhood…

4 min
a perogy drive-thru, first-date hacks and oprah

Allyson Reigh has lived in Saskatoon since 2005. Originally from Prince Albert, Saskatchewan, Reigh moved to Saskatoon to attend university and never left. She’s a full-time musician and band member of Rosie & the Riveters (rosieandtheriveters.com). This is how she rocks and rolls in her adopted hometown. Harrowsmith: So, where is the best place to sit down and have a coffee in your town? Allyson Reigh: This is a hard question! I really love City Perks for the outdoor patio, or Museo Coffee for the intimate vibe. Both have super-friendly staff and a great atmosphere. When our band was writing our latest record, we would go to Museo for writing and creative exercises and City Perks for band meetings. HS When you go to the local farmers’ market, which vendor do you visit…

5 min
getting down to earth

Gardeners have a bias toward green as the symbol of life and vitality in the garden. Fact is, life in the garden starts and ends with dark, black soil: in one teaspoon of soil, there are billions of living organisms. None of the green life above ground could happen if not for the little organisms teeming under the surface, and when the green life above the earth has run its course, that is exactly where it goes—back to the little organisms in the soil. Soil as a living thing has its own requirements: food, water and oxygen. We are most interested in the food aspect, because well-fed soil tends to take care of itself in terms of building both a healthy soil structure to promote aeration and a healthy relationship with water…