Harvesting Black Walnuts

We are learning much about this land.  Philip and I are harvesting black walnuts from walnuttwo of our biggest trees near our house.   They fell early- it is suggested


that we harvest them only after the frost- so these might not be the best nuts!  We have a maple syrup bucket full of nuts that have fallen from the tree, so we decided to harvest them before they start to mould.   Note: if you are harvesting these walnuts, you need really good gloves!  They stain your hands.  The dye from the husks is very strong.  I am in the process of trying to use the dye.

If you have these trees close to you, or on your land, if you husk them, you can keep the exterior pulp as a dye . Make sure you don’t throw away any of the husks close to a garden, the husks inhibit growth and should be treated like a plant killer.   You can’t grow many plants under a walnut tree.  That being said, walnut trees are an investment in the future- they make beautiful wood, and can live up to two hundred years.philip and walnut

Mother’s Day Rhubarb Pie

IMG_8710Happy Mother’s Day!  

Today was a relaxed day (to be honest, the whole weekend has been a step back from a demanding routine).   While I was told that it was my day off, I really wanted to make use of the free time.  We have an amazing patch of rhubarb that I wanted to explore, and today was the day.

I even had help in the kitchen!




Pie Crust:

2 cups of regular flourIMG_8699

2/3 cup butter

1 tsp of sea salt

5 tbsp of cold water


4 medium rhubarb stalks chopped

2 cups of strawberries sliced

1 cup of vanilla sugar (a Mason jar of sugar that has a vanilla bean immersed in it to flavour the sugar)

1/2 cup of  flour

*** toss filling ingredients together, then let this sit for 30-45 minutes before cooking***

IMG_8705Place the filling in the pastry pan (pricked). We cut out some lattice pieces (with a Ravioli cutter) .  The lattice design helps the rhubarb and strawberry to steam, and therefore lose some of the moisture.  I also whisked the lattice pastry with an egg yolk for a beautiful glazed presentation. Let it cook in the oven for 35 min at 350 degrees .

Let it sit in the oven after the temperature is turned off for 20 minutes.

Serve and enjoy! xx





A beginning..

IMG_8349Welcome!  Let us tell you a little about ourselves!  Five years ago, both of us were on a new direction in our life.   We connected on a Jean Houston course: Passion for the Possible.

I don’t think either of us was looking for as much as we received- but we are lucky. My husband is from  England and I am from Ontario.  In a wonderful act of trust, Philip moved to Canada. We have decided to commit to a piece of land between Kingston and Brockville.  When I say a piece, I really mean a 110 acre property!  Crazy choice for a small-space loving Brit and a city dwelling Ontario lass, but hey- we are obviously up for a challenge!IMG_1975.JPG

We are moving into the most rewarding and challenging part of our year- the spring.   Yesterday we marked out the land for the garden.

For the record: I believe in: GO BIG OR GO HOME!   Philip, on the other hand, believes in small rational steps.  So, when I marked a 20 meter square piece of land for our garden in contrast to the sensible 8  meters suggested  by our neighbour, my wonderful husband  sighed and agreed. Time will tell what will happen!

In a few weeks we will be developing three bee hives from the queen to the hive.  We are supported by a wonderful mentor.

This blog is our opportunity to share our discoveries and challenges- to grow with you.

My husband is a lover of the natural world.  A son of professional photographers in England, he connects with spirit and nature through photography.  I love gardening, teaching , painting and writing, and share his passion in the  love of our land.