.Saanich Peninsula Pearson Hamper Drive
* 105 hampers were filled with staples & seasonal goodies for families
* 4 families were gifted with bi-weekly fresh produce from 'Gift of Good Food'
* Extra boxes of food, toys, hygiene products were donated
* more gift cards were donated too
* and hundreds of smiles were generated! :o)
To all of you THANK YOU !
Saanich Peninsula Lions Food Bank
Over the course of 2020 we were able to donate the amazing sum of $5159.50 to the food bank. Breaking the $5000 barrier was a secret goal of ours and we are delighted with this!
Of course the need has not stopped just because it is a new year, indeed it may have increased as Covid-19 becomes more invasive. Whilst we have decided to end our public donation program WillowTree Bread will be continuing to donate privately in support of our community Food bank as I'm sure many of you already do too
THANK YOU WILLOWTREE CUSTOMERS YOU ARE THE BEST !
North Saanich Councillor & customer Patricia Pearson, her husband Aaron & our neighbourhood have a Christmas tradition of getting together nutritious & festive food Hampers for those in our area who need a little help.
The usual format of a Hamper Party won't work this year so there's a new format.
Click the button below for Details - with volunteer opportunities & ideas for donations - - -
I really enjoyed making bread from your herb dough today! I don't know how to make yeast bread so I just mimicked my sourdough method, but with a little more of a carefree timetable, in other words I possibly couldn't recreate this.
Back to the lunch, tried your honey oatmeal bread, excellent with butter and cheese!
Thank you both for keeping the little bread shop open!!
Off to find a bread knife to carve the pumpkin .... :-D
.We seem to grow pretty good garlic here on WillowTree Farm! Every year we choose the biggest and best cloves to use as seed because those are the most successful in our soil. Most of our crop was Russian Porcelain but we had a few Spanish Roja too. This Fall we plan to add a newcomer Persian Star - a really beautiful purple stripe variety that we got from Tara at Villa Verde (the stall beside ours in the Garlic Fest photo above)
This year I'm also doing a small experiment. Some of our garlic grows with only 2 large cloves per head so I'm going to plant some of those cloves and see if they also grow into 2-clove garlic heads.
Continuing a look back at earlier this year. Here's a collection of photos showing what was going on in April.
I have wanted to have ducks for some time and finally in March we got a small group. Charles, my ever willing husband, made a beautiful duck house for the new arrivals who promptly refused to use it! We had some fun evenings rounding them up and getting them inside but eventually gave up and found them somewhere they preferred. Ducks don't roost like chickens. Wild ducks assure their safety by sleeping in a group with a lookout for threats and if one is detected they make a dash for the pond or take to the air. Most domestic ducks are too heavy to fly and we don't have a pond so we had to make other safety arrangements for our three. They now recognize their safe area in the storage shed with a safety run attached and happily go there at dusk - thank goodness. We will re-purpose the duck house for new chicken arrivals.
Dabbling ducks make a real mess of any water supply very quickly. They swish their beaks through the water to sort out all the food which leaves the mud and bits to get filtered out into the water creating a soupy morass! Just like chickens ducks are omnivores so they enjoy both plants and small creatures.
As the girls matured we had a good supply of eggs from them but they had a predator-scare one night and they stopped laying after that. I'm not sure if it was the scare or the time of year that put a stop to the laying. As with hens, eggs are a seasonal gift - who wants to raise ducklings or chicks in the winter?
The young, slender, pink stems have been growing quickly and trying to reach the light. They have a delicate texture and flavour and need less sugar than the more robust stems that grow later in the season. We do need to find taller pots to cover the crowns as these stems are still quite short. We cover the crowns for only a short while as the plants will become weak without the energy from the sun.
I guess we've been too busy to blog. Life happens, blogs don't always! Anyway, I'm going to gradually post a selection of photos from 2016 so far to try to get up-to-date!
Turning the very active compost ready to feed the soil!
We grew 6 heritage tomato varieties this year:
Striped Roman proved to be the most tricky variety to grow as it was prone to blossom end rot even though the plants directly around didn't suffer from it.
However, when the fruit grew well they grew really well. Just take a look at the pictures below!!
A quick note about newspaper pots. They are free, if requiring some effort, a lot stronger than I thought they would be and take longer to break down.. Also they have a tendency to stand up out of the soil as the surrounding soil settles. So - - - be sure to sink them well into the earth when you plant the seedlings out or build up the surrounding soil as the season progresses in order to help break the newspaper down. Luckily most of the growing onions, seen here in paper pots, were strong enough to burst the pots and there were just a few that needed a helping hand.
We had a great crop of 'Ailsa Craig' salad onions, 'Copra' storing onions and absolutely fabulous 'Ambition' shallots. I've haven't grown onions from seed before so this harvest was extra rewarding!