Monthly Archives: October 2013

Nourish – Nov ’13 Real Dirt

Everything you ever wanted to know about apples…. And then some! Great article, but grab a cup of tea first!

Helping People Grow


Food of the Month – Apples
A Children’s Garden, a Gift For All Ages

Food of the Month – Apples

Michele Worden

Latin Name: Malus domestica (wild apple is Malus sieversii)

Botanical Family: Rosaceae (the rose family, which contains garden roses, and other fruits such as apricots, plums, cherries, peaches, pears, raspberries, and strawberries, almonds)

Description: The apple is the pomaceous fruit of the apple tree, It is one of the most widely cultivated tree fruits, and the most widely known of the many members of genus Malus that are used by humans. Apples grow on small, deciduous trees. The apple forms a tree that is 10 to 40 ft tall, with a broad, often densely twiggy crown. The leaves are alternately-arranged simple 1-3 inches broad on a 1- 2 inch petiole with a serrated margin and a slightly downy underside. Blossoms are produced in spring simultaneously with the budding of the leaves. The flowers have five petals…

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Wimpy’s Big Day

Wimpy (so named because of an unfortunate incident in which he was picked on by bantam chickens one tenth his size) is my gorgeous, mild-mannered Black Orpington rooster. His gentle nature might not do much good in the barnyard, but it makes him the perfect bird for public appearances.

Cover Down to Earth

Today, in honour of National School Library Day, Prospect Lake Elementary School invited me to give a couple of farming-themed talks relating to my most recent book, Down to earth: How Kids Help Feed the World.

Wimpy the Black Orpington rooster steals the show...

Wimpy the Black Orpington rooster steals the show…

I may have had a few things to say, but the star of the show was definitely Wimpy, who happily snacked away on his grain for the entire presentation and never crowed once (though he did, occasionally, mutter something to himself).

Many thanks to the staff, students, and parents at Prospect Lake School for inviting me to come and speak and a huge shout out to the wonderful teacher-librarian, Pat Miller who did such a fabulous job of organizing today’s activities, which included an amazing session of ‘Drop Everything and Read’ during which students, parents, teachers, and administrators all stopped what they were doing and grabbed a book to read and share. What better way to celebrate School Library Day?

Seen at the Pumpkin Patch

I love how this young man is providing plenty of moral support and full body encouragement but is letting the young woman carry the pumpkin!


Ok, Pumpkins it is!

There seems to be a definite pumpkin theme going in these days! Yesterday when I stopped by Michell’s Farm Market to pick up a bag of feed carrots it was pumpkin madness! All kinds of kids and families and old people and cute couples were out scouring the field in search of the perfect pumpkin! Even though they were just manhandling squash into wheelbarrows, there was a definite festive air about the place! I wish I could see all the cool carvings that that happened after everyone got their orange babies home…


(Note the complete lack of a shred of fog anywhere!)

Greedy babies!

Cora took full advantage of the mild weather this afternoon to lounge around outside and nurse her little ones under the trees. They are five weeks old and a pretty boisterous bunch! Poor Cora has another three weeks of this to put up with before we wean them!

Then, there was Sun

Overnight, the wind rose and by early morning the clouds were scudding across the sky.


Standing at the edge of the sheep field it all felt rather apocalyptic! Leaves blew in all directions, pattering down out of the trees before forming great matted swathes of colour that carpeted every inch of ground under the trees.


Over the course of my two-hour morning feed rounds, the wind gradually abated and the sun came out. Everything that had been soggy, damp and limp during the fog of the past week was suddenly crisp and vivid.


And the feeling of that sun on my back – not possible to photograph, but man, did that feel good!


Autumn Leaves

Autumn Leaves

Perhaps the strangest thing about the fog situation is that the lack of light actually seems to make certain things glow from within – like these wet leaves, soaked not by rain but by hanging out in a grounded cloud for too long. Some of them still seem so alive and somehow radiant. The colours would have been brilliant under a warm fall sun, but even in this soft light, there is an intensity that catches the breath and makes me stop between the hog pen and the duck house just to look.