Harrowsmith Winter 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. MARIE EISENMANN lives off-grid in Quebec with her…

2 min
preserving a way of life

For as long as we can remember, fire has been a tool for humans. From clearing areas for living and growing to using firewood to cook food and keep homes warm throughout the colder months, fire is an integral part of our life, especially life on the farm, as Sarah Loten explores in “Forged by Fire” (page 28). While fire has been a way for us to control our surroundings, it’s interesting to note, and terrifying to see, how climate change may be turning our greatest ally against us in the form of uncontrollable wildfires. As Vanessa Farnsworth explains in her story (page 23), with back-to-back devastating wildfire seasons in 2017 and 2018, many Canadians have started to wonder if this is the beginning of a future filled with smoke and fire.…

2 min
all fired up

Baby, it’s cold outside, but this issue is sure to heat things up! Gardening editors Mark and Ben Cullen show us how to grow our own hot peppers and prepare them so we can enjoy them year-round (page 18). Then, home and property editor Steve Maxwell explains how to build your own smokehouse (page 36) and also breaks down what we need to know about in-floor heating (page 32). This season is all about getting warm and cozy with loved ones, and this issue offers plenty of ideas for entertaining during this festive time of year. Food editor Signe Langford shares some delicious recipes to nibble on with friends, preferably with a roaring fire in the background. From lamb sliders to mini vegetarian tourtières, prepare to be inspired with simple yet delectable…

6 min

BLAST FROM THE PAST This morning was special. I opened my gift of Harrowsmith from a very thoughtful son. During the 1970s, I would arise in the country south of Barrie and read Harrowsmith, in preparation for attending to my business on Bay Street. Even when I travelled throughout the U.S. on business, I tucked the magazine into my suitcase, to read whilst away. Opening up Harrowsmith down in the States calmed me and brought me great happiness. It was a wonderful balance to my Wall Street pressure. After all these years, to look at the cover and once again open up the magazine was quite the experience. And, holy cow, Batman, the content is as invigorating as it was in the 1970s. Keith K.B. Bullen, Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario TELL IT LIKE IT IS,…

5 min
how to attract the most desirable winter birds

One very important fact we have learned is that birds do not need us to feed them. Many well-intentioned feeders of birds (versus “bird feeders”) believe that wild birds become dependent on us for food. Other than, perhaps, the coldest days of the year and the ones with the deepest snowfall, birds are very capable of finding food from natural sources. They are much like us in that they will take the easiest path to a meal, and if it happens to be at your feeder, then that is where they will congregate. The good news is that you are free to go on vacation without having to worry about keeping the bird feeders full. There’s no need to feel guilty. Choosing the right birdseed When it comes to feeding birds, be…

3 min
same like it hot

Here’s our six-step recipe for the best possible pepper crop. HERE IN CANADA, THERE IS ENORMOUS INTEREST IN COOKING WITH PEPPERS. WE ARE NOT SURPRISED THAT THE INTEREST IN GROWING THEM IS ALSO EXPLODING. THEY LOVE FULL SUN AND HEAT, WHETHER IT IS A HOT PEPPER YOU WISH TO GROW OR NOT. 1 Remember that size matters. If you’re buying your plants from the garden centre, buy the shorter ones. The stockier the better, and look for dark green foliage. 2 Prepare the soil. Dig a hole, about three shovels wide and deep. Fill the hole with triple mix or vegetable soil. 3 Water with a compost-tea solution. This works well if you have a composter and a rain barrel. Simply take an old pillowcase and half-fill it with compost. Drop it into your rain…