Tag Archives: Vegetables

Only Child on the disappearing chocolate and other foods

Only Child's raspberry bushes (in part over to the right

Only Child’s raspberry bushes (in part over to the right)

Chives in  my front garden - here for now

Chives in my front garden – here for now

When we think of crop, vegetable and fruit damage due to “weather” we think of drought, too much rain and insect infestations. But it wasn’t necessarily a regular occurrence and the following spring and summer season, we would get out vegetation back. Either the perennial would grow back or we would plant another crop of wheat or barley.

Today, many of our foods are heading for permanent extinction and some of them are not what you would normally place in this category.

Foods such as bananas, maple syrup, honey and chocolate.

Yes, chocolate. Attention all of us chocaholics.

What are the culprits?

Let’s take honey first, as you’ve probably heard about this one. Bees make honey and it is the bee population that is shrinking. The culprit: Colony Collapse Disorder. It’s killed over one-third of the bees in the United States alone. Bananas are being felled by Panama disease.

Okay, so that’s pests and the like. But much of the shrinking food is caused by – you guessed it – the extreme weather we’ve been having the last 10 to 15 years. Those of you who have read some of my previous blogs on weather know who/what I think is responsible here. Suffice to say, I will quote the lady I talked to on a bus the end of May. She said, “God controls the weather.”

Back to the food. Considering all that is disappearing, we might be able to forget about dieting. But we might also have to forego being healthy. Back to the bees. They don’t just make honey; they pollinate a lot of our vegetables and fruits. Think: pumpkin, sweet potatoes, apples, almonds, blueberries, peaches, avocados, cucumbers, cranberries, onions, blackberries, grapefruit, raspberries and oranges. The list goes on.

What is one to do? Extract the seeds from the fruit or vegetable and plant it the next year, then repeat the process? If the plant grows, that is. I purchase seeds from a Canadian seed company that does not treat its seeds. What if it and other seed companies no longer had seeds to sell?

Which doesn’t help me with my two favourites from the above list – chocolate and raspberries. As some of you know I have a huge black raspberry bush which provides me (and my son, his girlfriend and my friends) with delicious fruit. I freeze the extra for winter use on cereal, or as dessert. The bushes started as three small half metre plants I brought from my Aurora home to my Toronto home when I moved in October 1998. What happens if the number of bushes decrease instead of increase? Or worse still, suddenly die off?

As for chocolate, that is not grown in Canada or the US but in West Africa (Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire). Chocolate substitutes such as carob just don’t feed the taste buds or my very soul. In my hallway I have posted a sign given to me by another chocaholic. The sign reads “Who cares what the question is; chocolate is the answer.”

So, what is our answer? I only know that whenever I see a bee – honey or otherwise – busy in the flowers, in the blossoms, I say a “thank you” and give the bee its space to do its business.

What do you think? Are you a chocaholic?

You can read more about this at http://www.foxnews.com/leisure/2014/03/26/are-these-foods-doomed-to-disappear/ and scroll down to the links for other related stories.

Cheers.

Sharon A. Crawford

Only Child Writes

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Filed under black raspberries, Fresh produce, Fruit, Only child, Rain, Weather

Only Child finds solace in her garden

Part of Only Child's rose garden in front by the sidewalk

Part of Only Child’s rose garden in front by the sidewalk

I’ve been seeking solace in my garden to get away from all the crap that has been shoved my way the last month or so. That is when one of these stressors – weather, i.e., heavy rain and winds – hasn’t gotten in the way. And the crap keeps piling up. Now the CRA messed up my tax returns on the notice of assessment and when I called they admitted their mistake and it will be fixed. Meantime, “the system”  won’t know this and so unless it is fixed before early July, the amount the Notice of Assessment says I still owe (but don’t) will come off my GST rebate for July and I won’t get my provincial tax credits (also July) until the situation is fixed. All for some clerical error at CRA. Not fair. I need that little extra to survive, or once the property tax and utility bills are paid, I do without somewhere (read health expenses for one).

My garden is my lifeline to comfort and some food. When I walk out into my garden and see they symmetry of the perennials, the shrubs, the raspberries starting to form, the onions and other vegetables coming up – even the ground where recent seeds were planted – I get some solace. The blend of colours – some white, red, yellow, blue, greens, silvers, and lots of shades of purple – the only spiritual nourishment in my life as I get no spiritual nourishment and help elsewhere such as traditional or non-traditional religion and faith. Faith and trust don’t seem to be in my vocabulary these days and it’s not by choice but from what’s been happening.

So I go out into my garden and absorb – sight, sound (birds), fragrance. I literally smell the roses which are now just beginning to bloom.

But there is a dark side to when I’m in the garden. Pulling weeds and digging are good ways to vent your anger and frustration. Each weed I dig up or yank out symbolizes the people, etc. who make my world worse. The pulled weeds are placed in the yard waste bins for city “garbage” collection to be dumped somewhere to go back to the earth. Appropriate. When we die our bodies disintegrate (if not done for us with cremation) back into the earth. A fit place for my stressors.

Sitting out in the garden in the sun or shade, reading a book, eating meals on the patio, or just taking in all the garden or collecting flowers are (along with writing) how I cling to sanity. Whatever sanity means these days.

Cheers.

Sharon A. Crawford

Only Child Writes

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Filed under Gardening, Gardening health benefits, Healing through gardening, Income Taxes, Life demands, Only child, Rain and wind storm, Roses, Sharon A. Crawford