Harrowsmith Fall 2021

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

5 min

MARIE-FRANCE BOISSONEAULT’S childhood exposure to the works of Eloise Margaret Wilkin, E.B. White, Richard Adams and Helen Beatrix Potter seeded her dedication to anthrozoological foci. Her expansive interdisciplinary background has led her to teach in the Departments of Education (Simon Fraser University) and Animal Behaviour, Ecology and Conservation (Canisius College). She is the author of two books related to the interactions between humans and other animals. Currently, she spends her time teaching online from her home in British Columbia’s Gulf Islands. Marie-France is also working on her first novel and a series for young readers. Follow Marie-France at beastlyvirtues.weebly.com. ODELIA CHAN is a Christian, singer, teacher, writer and avid reader. She holds a BA in communications and is also a certified holistic nutritionist. She enjoys making music, homesteading, practising martial arts…

1 min
due south

Just as the butterflies and birds turn due south, I feel the same pull for the humidity, vibrant colour and clarity that the equator brings. This year, Harrowsmith decided to dedicate its four issues to the cardinal signs. Our Fall issue is naturally synonymous with “south.” From late August to early November, the birds and butterflies that graced our summer days follow intuition, historical flight patterns, twinkly constellations and magnetic fields. More than 350 North American bird species move en masse to wintering grounds in Central and South America. Millions of monarchs follow suit, leaving their summer breeding grounds in a blur of orange for southwestern Mexico, a staggering 5,000 km journey. My wife and I have a similar migration plan and are thinking of wintering in Thailand, pandemic permitting. It’s time for…

2 min

RADIO GARDEN & VIRTUAL ITALY When our premier told us to “Stay the blazes home,” we had no idea how long that requirement would last. We are fortunate that our COVID numbers have been low. However, we do miss visiting with family members and friends in Canada and Maine. Thank goodness for FaceTime and Canada Post. If the travel bug bites us, we have many options to ease the itch. A friend shared an app that she uses to listen to programs from her childhood home in Tokyo. The app is called Radio Garden, and it allows me to access radio stations from anywhere in the world. There is a map that circles the city within the country I tune in to, and the app gives the station call letters and genre…

5 min
things we love

Brewers Blackbird Brewery and Kitchen In Ancaster Village, Ontario, Andrew Kershaw owned the iconic Rousseau House for 20 years. Brewers Blackbird took flight with a serious rebranding and a flock of ambitious co-owners and industry colleagues: executive chef Dan Burcher, Mark Gibson, and master brewer Ken Wood, who trained at the University of California, Davis. The heritage home was previously owned by painter Frank Panabaker and has operated as a restaurant since 1999. The menu has flipped from Rousseau’s upscale to casual and cool, with a steady feed of European lagers and West Coast IPAs to the tap lines. The brewhouse has taken every measure to be ecologically savvy, with systems that reduce and clean waste water and repurpose spent grains. Brewers Blackbird is also home to a clever “community-supported brewing” (CSB) program.…

9 min

Field Notes from an Unintentional Birder by Julia Zarankin (Douglas & McIntyre, 2020) Julia Zarankin’s life has not had a predictable flight path. Her journey comes with scraped knees, defeat, tears and a few swear words as she tries to keep pace with the experienced. She’s auditioning a hobby mid-life with jangled confidence and the associated unsurety of it all. Enter birding. How hard could it be? Zarankin is a “serial enthusiast,” which I can wholly appreciate. She taste-tests one hobby after another, hoping one will snag. She moves from yoga to Pilates, the Slow Food movement, cycling, bookmaking and pottery. She has an epiphany somewhere in the muddled mix: How does one find a way to exercise patience without having to do yoga? Raise your hand if you seek the same magic. Throughout…

5 min
a cup of coffee with a local

Tim Bedford and Stephanie Heins, the mindful founders of Ginger Jars, redirect dumpster-bound bruised and oddly shaped fruit and vegetables from local grocers, turning them into a feel-good line of soups, sauces and dressings. In Canada, 30 percent of food that is created returns to compost bins and landfills. That was enough to leave a sour taste in the mouths of the Ginger Jars duo, who made it their mission to give ripe produce a second life. They also use reusable glass jars, making the product waste-free. The Ginger Jars mantra is “Waste not. Want not.” Simple, right? The B.C. couple add a lot of glow to their Sunshine Coast surrounds: They know how to keep things local and meaningful. Tim is currently a culinary professor at Vancouver Community College, sharing…