Harrowsmith Summer 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

4 min
our contributors

MARK AND BEN CULLEN Mark is an expert gardener, author, broadcaster and tree advocate and holds the Order of Canada. His son, Ben, is a fourth-generation urban gardener and a graduate of the University of Guelph and Dalhousie University in Halifax. Follow them at markcullen.com, @MarkCullen4 and facebook.com/markcullengardening and look for their new book, Escape to Reality. CLAIRE DAM specializes in food and lifestyle photography. Her work has been featured in a variety of publications, most recently in the cookbook Debauch for the Other Bird group of restaurants. Claire and her husband live on a 17-acre, multi-generational, permaculture farm in southern Ontario, where they raise a variety of animals and also work to nurture the connection between their land, their food and their community. KEN DAM lives with his wife, Claire, and…

1 min
wild about water

Summer conjures up visions of sparkling lakes and refreshing dips in the pool. Here in Canada, with our abundant freshwater lakes and rivers, water doesn’t seem a top concern. And yet it is under threat. As Phil Norton explores in this issue (page 27), land development and industry are threatening water quality and quantity. There is good news on the horizon, however, with entrepreneurs like chef Jay Barnard and companies like Aqua Greens and Back40growers finding innovative ways to optimize our resources and reduce waste and water consumption. Barnard, of Freshwater Cuisine in Kenora, Ontario, is helping Canadians get wise to the delicious species our lakes have to offer and is also exploring new ways to reduce waste by finding uses for what would otherwise become discarded fish remains. Turn to page…

2 min
walk on the wild side

Some months ago, I had the pleasure of speaking with two fascinating people who brought me to tears with their inspiring stories. Joe Wilkins is a former mathematics professor who volunteers with the U.S. National Park Service, an experience he chronicles in his new book, Gates of the Arctic National Park: Twelve Years of Wilderness Exploration. Wilkins spoke with me about his love of the park, which protects portions of the Brooks Range in northern Alaska and is situated entirely north of the Arctic Circle. But it was his passion for nature and the wild that truly captured my heart, and that I’m certain will light up yours as well. (Turn to page 87 for his story.) Laura Zerra is another “wild child,” who is so enamoured with nature that it’s her…

2 min

FEELIN’ THE LOVE I’ve been reading Harrowsmith for 40 years! And I still make bread from a recipe in an issue, I think perhaps from 1976. Steve O’Collin, Peachland, British Columbia WE STAND CORRECTED We received a copy of your 2019 Harrowsmith’s Almanac in our Christmas “stocking.” Interesting reading. I was very surprised, however, to read an editor’s note under the tip “Come on baby, light my fire,” regarding the repurposing of dryer lint (of all things!). Your editor suggests that it can be put out in the spring for the birds to use to build a nest. It may be super-soft for insulating, but I have read in a similar magazine (it may have been a Harrowsmith magazine, which we used to purchase regularly) that lint should not be put out for lining…

4 min
musical origins, fish and chips, and coming home

Award-winning Nova Scotia producer and artist Erin Costelo launched her new album, Sweet Marie (Venue Records/Pheromone), last fall. Recorded in 10 days in a timber-frame home on the ocean in Little Harbour, Nova Scotia, the album features some of the best musicians in the country, including Glenn Milchem of Blue Rodeo on drums, Anna Ruddick on bass (Randy Bachman, Ben Caplan) and Leith Fleming-Smith on organ (Matt Mays, Hawksley Workman), as well as Erin’s longtime guitarist and partner, Clive MacNutt. Harrowsmith had the chance to catch up with Costelo, who has been compared to Carole King and Nina Simone. Here, she shares her favourite Nova Scotia haunts. Harrowsmith: You were born in Nova Scotia and then left and returned—what drew you back? Erin Costelo: That is a funny story. Let me preface this…

4 min
water world

If one of your goals in designing your garden is to attract desirable wildlife that is environmentally beneficial to your yard and neighbourhood, this should interest you: a water feature is the most beneficial addition to your yard and garden that you can possibly make. A full-blown pond or a half-barrel-size container full of water and plants will do more to create biodiversity than a swath of petunias or a row of gorgeous cedars, neatly trimmed and manicured. Think of it this way: How long can you survive without water? Ditto the wildlife that would love to live at your place. Sure, the songbirds love your bird feeder and may occasionally splash in your bird bath, but there is more to attracting good things to your garden. Many species make use of…