Summer Fall 2021

It has been a quiet year with Covid making our regular gatherings ill-advised. While we have retained contact with a few close friends, we miss meeting new people and catching up with the broader community that has grown around this place.

Enough time has passed for new chicks to be laying eggs.

The fellow on the right might be their dad.

Holding him is Edward. Edward has been an enormous help for most of this year, having returned after a Workaway visit last year. He is also an awesome cook, keeping us fed and skilfully making the most of what our garden produces.

Sayaka was our only Workaway this year. She provided indispensable help in getting the gardens ready for next year.

One of the biggest tasks that she, Edward and Claire took on was to build raised beds so that we don't have to bend down as far to tend plants in the years to come.

Noticing watchful eyes, as she and Claire worked, Sayaka took this picture:

One of our biggest garden surprises started with what we thought was an apricot tree erupting this spring, with beautiful blooms, after only three years.

We had been gifted stones (seeds) from a tree in Ottawa by Sundura of the Land Care Collective, at an Open House. You may have seen those seeds with our Spring 2018 pictures. The metal mesh was to protect them from squirrels while they were buried for the winter.

In our amazement, we contacted Sundura again and learned that it was actually a peach tree and that we could expect to have ripe fruit around the end of September. So it was.

There were over 50 delicious peaches. We saved the stones from most of them. Next year, Gaia willing, we will have lots of peach seedlings to offer.


Presently, we have a number of two year old Catalpa seedlings, raised from seed, for anyone who would like to pick them up.

They bear spectacular blooms in the Spring.

Each blossom being nearly two inches across.

Fungus became a big interest this year. Research has found that they form bonds with plant roots and exchange sugars from the plants for nutrients that they collect with their extensive networks of mycelium (root like filiments). 80% of plants have been found to have fungus partners.

A couple LEV regulars, Tim and Kelvin set up a project to test and distribute fungus helpful for gardens.

One experiment, which has yet to yield results, was with fungus growing on old wood.

We blended it with water and poured it onto a pile of wood chips. Presumably, the fungus will digest the wood chips and move them along toward becoming garden food.

According to the expanding literature on fungus that aid growing plants, the mycelium do best over the winter if they are connected to live roots. With this in mind, we are planting perennial onions and garlic in many of our beds so that the fungus is already hardy in Spring, ready to assist our annual plantings.


Last year (2020) throughout the Summer and Fall, we waited for a local fellow to bring his back-hoe to do a few digging jobs. He never arrived. As circumstances unfolded this year, we applied some money from my recently deceased Mom to a small hoe of our own.

Though only 25 horse-power, it is proving very useful. Its first tasks were: removing a couple big stones that stuck up in a pathway, digging a ditch to end erosion along the driveway hill and loading wood-chips and topsoil into our trailer.

A key task that didn't get done last year, was a drainage ditch from the pond in the garden to the big pond, and from the other end of that pond to the back slope of this plateau. That has now been dug and the levels of both ponds will no longer overflow. During the two sessions, familiarity with using the back-hoe increased dramatically.

One project that we didn't get to was to dig a flat bottomed childrens area off the side of the swimming pond. It would (will) provide a place where little people can wade, as well as a sandy entrance for other swimmers.

Little ones fully enjoyed the water this Summer, both in the pond and in a bucket.

In preparation for the wading area, we had been pumping water out of the pond.

The level was down two feet. We were aiming for 3 feet when a big rain filled the pond to overflowing. Subsequent work making a path past the end of the pond proved that it would have been a very bad idea to try to do much work around the pond with muddy weather having arrived.


Late in the season indeed. The leaves turned bright and fell. There is nothing like the sound of rustling leaves when walking on a dry fall day!

The easy to rake ones from the driveway are now piled on the garden beds.

On the left, they are piled on dense weeds and under tarps. (One folded back for show.) In a year, all the weeds will be gone and we will be able to plant without digging.

Three pumpkin carvers: Sayaka, my wife Claire and I.