Thursday, December 31, 2009

Year End Wrap Up

Well here it is Dec 31 and I have a total of 10 posts for the year. Not very prolific, although in my defense I didn't set out to be blogger, rather just needed a place to keep a record of my gardens. But along the way I discovered a number of blogs that appealed to a wide variety of my interests and frankly I'm a much better reader than writer. So here's a list of my latest addiction

Well Preserved ( and Dana set out to blog about a year's worth of preserving food and other food related issues. They are based here in Toronto and I found out about them through my work with Not Far From The Tree- more on NFFTT later.

Tigressinapickle/ Tigress is another blogger who is passionate about preserving food. She has created a CanJam contest that starts tomorrow and Colette and I are signed up! The goal is to do one canning project a month using a designated ingredient and then blog about it. So I am mandated to post at least once a month for the next year.
Click for tigress can jam food blog challenge

From the CanJam sign up I discovered Ashley lives in a remote area in North Carolina and writes about things I aspire to do, like raising chickens and bees. Jealous!

Not really a blog but I find many kindred spirits at Gayla Trail, another Toronto native, has turned a love of gardening into online world where anyone who grows anything ( or dreams of growing anything) is welcome. There's even a fairly active forum where there's no such thing as a dumb question.

Not everything can be about food and gardening so here's my favourite unrelated blogs.

God Stole My Boyfriend ( written by my dear friend as she continues her spiritual journey and obtains her Masters of Divinity. Sometimes hilarious and sometimes heartbreaking but always honest and intense.

The Daily Asker ( In which La Roxy blogs about her goal to ask for at least one thing everyday. Not nearly as selfish as it could be and full of sound advice and thoughtful insight.

My latest passion, at least while the weather is cold, has been genealogy. I stumbled onto Brenda Merriman's blog recently ( while researching a family name we have in common. The advantage is she's a paid professional and a damn good writer.

Lastly, the aforementioned Not Far From the Tree ( Of all the things I was involved with this year I am most proud of this one. Created by Laura Reinsborough to make use of fruit that grows unharvested in the city, NFFTT picked over 8000 pounds of fruit this year that was going to waste and diverted to homeless shelters and soup kitchens. I was one of the volunteers this year and had a great time picking apples, pears and whatever else we could. It was nice to find another activity that got my away from the computer for a change!

So my resolution for 2010, if I believe in such things, is to be a more frequent poster. Not because I think what I write will be all that exciting but in hopes that things I discover along the way will be useful to someone else. And in the words of Ashley, maybe we can all "attempt to craft a good life"

Happy 2010! Now bring on the CanJam!


  1. It's not about how frequently you post - it's about how you've changed over the year. Kudos to you for sticking with it! I'm looking forward to seeing what Tigress throws at us tomorrow. :p

  2. How lovely that you are my first ever comment! I just discovered your blog from the CanJam list as well and really like it- wish I'd known of it in time to include on my list!

    I was excited to see the announcement of citrus fruit as our first challenge for the CanJam- now to pick a recipe!

  3. Callie,

    Thanks so much for the shoutout (Joel here from WellPreserved) and the comments today. I, like you, am most excited to be starting the can jam!

    Dana and I really wanted to start a garden last year - perhaps the year ahead though time becomes shorter and shorter. We have relied on a stellar group of farmers to help us with ingredients but I see your tomatoes and get all inspired (there is NOTHING in the world like a tomatoe fresh from a garden).

    Look forward to swapping some stories - and some preserves - in months to come!


  4. Joel- I know it's a challenge to commit to a garden but you are so right about tomatoes! If you and Dana want to start small I can help you set up some tomatoes in containers. I had a fantastic year with the ones I grew on the roof this summer - all you need are good size buckets, good quality soil and a nice sunny spot. I plant basil in my tomato pots to help ward off insects and it's lovely to walk out on the deck and pick the freshest ingredients on the spot!

  5. Be sure to let us know how CanJam goes!