A Gardener’s Diary: Students feast on fresh veggies

Gardening program at St. James School is a wonderful way for youngsters to learn where their food comes from, and then to enjoy it

Last week for Thanksgiving weekend, I went in the garden and had enough flowers to make a large bouquet. The California poppies lasted almost four days and after one week the white cosmos were still looking fresh. At the moment, the best show is from the dahlias. I didn’t have to go earwig hunting this year and they didn’t touch the dahlias. I only put them in the garden at the end of June. Five of them were in shade with less than three hours of sun a day and they grew very tall and strong just the same, with good stems. I will start them earlier next year and give them the spot they deserve.

I finally harvested all the eggplants and peppers. With the colder nights, it was time for them to come in. Peppers don’t need to be blanched before freezing so I just wash them, cut them and lay them on a cookie sheet. After a few hours in the freezer, they are firm enough to go in freezer bags.

I got the greenhouse ready for winter. I laid down a tarp on the floor and covered it with grass clippings. Some of the large pots are already in and for the first time, I can walk between plants. I even have enough room for a chair which I plan to use this winter when the sun shines and warms it up. When I get enough leaves later on, I will shred them and put them around the plants for insulation. Most of the time, it is not the cold that kills the plants but the wind, and it is why plants in pots should be protected and buried in the garden and covered with a mulch. I have lost only a few plants over the years and they were the very small ones, with a small root system.

We had the harvest feast Oct. 14 at St. James School. This is the end of the program for this year. After the summer heat and all the days of watering, we had a good harvest of potatoes, kale, squash, beets, carrots and a few bits and pieces. All the food we grow at the school is organic. On the menu was a coconut curry squash soup and a borscht served with fresh baked bread. Colourful kale was very appetizing with corn kernels and sweet red peppers, Swiss chard with raisins and sunflower seeds and baked squash with a touch of maple syrup. For dessert, apple crisp with organic ice cream. All this food was cooked under the supervision of Jan Hillis, retired dietitian. What we did not have in the garden was from Nature’s Fare Markets, a regular sponsor of this program.

I have peas growing in the garden and still blooming. I had seeded a whole bunch earlier when I found some of them damaged by pea weevils in my dried peas. They came up just the same and I have been harvesting and eating pea shoots. I went looking for recipes on the internet and people growing them use them in replacement of greens. Every time I go by, I take a few as a snack. They are just delicious. I had planned to grow them as green manure but I will eat more of them before turning them under when my lettuce is soon ready in the cold frame.

For more information: 250-558-4556 or plantlady1@shaw.ca


Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The organizer of a Kelowna protest against COVID-19 restrictions was fined by the RCMP for the third time Saturday, Jan. 16, 2021. (File photo)
COVID-19: Organizer of Kelowna anti-restriction protest ticketed for third time

The individual’s latest ticket for $2,300 was handed out by RCMP at an anti-lockdown rally Saturday

Mount Boucherie Secondary School is one of three Kelowna schools with confirmed cases of COVID-19, according to an update from the school district Saturday, Jan. 16, 2021. (File photo)
COVID-19 confirmed at 3 Kelowna schools

Interior Health has confirmed exposures at Mount Boucherie, Springvalley and South Rutland schools

City of Vernon crews are responding to a small sinkhole on Lakeshore Road in Vernon Saturday, Jan. 16, 2021. (Contributed)
Sinkhole slows Vernon traffic

Lakeshore Road has been reduced to single-lane alternating traffic Saturday

A map released by the BCCDC on Jan. 15 shows the number of new COVID-19 cases reported for each local health area between Jan. 3 and 9. (BCCDC Image)
Salmon Arm and Vernon see increase in new COVID cases, curve flattening elsewhere

The rate of new cases is levelling off in Kelowna, Penticton and Revelstoke.

The Okanagan Boys and Girls Clubs is inviting everyone to join them in celebrating Pink Shirt Day safely at home. (Okanagan Boys and Girls Clubs)
Pink Shirt Day re-imagined as COVID-19 pandemic continues

The Boys and Girls Clubs are introducing Breakfast in a Box

Keith the curious kitten is seen on Nov. 4, 2020 at the Chilliwack SPCA. Friday, Jan. 22, 2021 is Answer Your Cat’s Questions Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of Jan. 17 to 23

Answer Your Cat’s Questions Day, Pie Day and International Sweatpants Day are all coming up this week

(Phil McLachlan - Capital News)
‘Targeted’ shooting in Coquitlam leaves woman in hospital

The woman suffered non-life threatening injuries in what police believe to be a targeted shooting Saturday morning

Half of the most expensive homes are on 2080 Mackenzie Crt, which is across the street from Revelstoke Mountain Resort. (Liam Harrap/Revelstoke Review)
The 10 most valuable homes in Revelstoke for 2020

Combined, the properties are worth more than $35M

Lake Country native Evan-Riley Brown is in the cast for the new film Journey To Royal: A WW II Rescue Mission to be released on video on demand and streaming services on Feb. 2. (Contributed)
Okanagan actor lands role in WW II movie

Evan-Riley Brown, from Lake Country, cast in production labelled as hybrid of a feature film and documentary called Journey To Royal: a WW II Rescue Mission.

JaHyung Lee, “Canada’s oldest senior” at 110 years old, received his first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine on Thursday, Jan. 14, 2021. He lives at Amenida Seniors Community in Newton. (Submitted photo: Amenida Seniors Community)
More than 20 days have passed since the last case of COVID-19 was confirmed at Lakeside Manor. (File photo)
Salmon Arm retirement facility reopens social areas after COVID-19

More than 20 days have passed since last confirmed case at Lakeside Manor

A unique-looking deer has been visiting a Nanoose Bay property with its mother. (Frieda Van der Ree photo)
A deer with 3 ears? Unique animal routinely visits B.C. property

Experts say interesting look may be result of an injury rather than an odd birth defect

Standardized foundation skills assessment tests in B.C. schools will be going ahead later than usual, from Feb. 16 to March 12 for students in Grades 4 and 7. (Black Press Media file photo)
B.C. teachers say COVID-affected school year perfect time to end standardized tests

Foundational skills testing of Grade 4 and 7 students planned for February ad March

Sooke’s Jim Bottomley is among a handful of futurists based in Canada. “I want to help people understand the future of humanity.” (Aaron Guillen - Sooke News Mirror)
No crystal ball: B.C. man reveals how he makes his living predicting the future

63-year-old has worked analytical magic for politicians, car brands, and cosmetic companies

Most Read