The Canadian Edible Garden: Vegetables, Herbs, Fruits & Seeds
By Alison Beck

Herb Gardening for Canada
By Laura Peters

The first day of spring is finally here! At this time of year it is difficult for hard-core gardeners to refrain from planting until that all-important May 24th weekend. Luckily there is a plethora of new gardening books to help the planning stage and to sooth that itch – these two from Lone Pine Press are for the micro-farmers in the gardening crowd. In these times of rising costs, a home-grown produce aisle can be a real boon, and just think of the taste of sun-warmed grape tomatoes and basil leaves combined with that locally made mozzarella – a taste of Italy from your own back-yard or balcony! Both books explain which edibles will grow where (Southern Ontario is truly a blessed part of Canada), the best soils and levels of sunlight for each kind, how to grow edibles from seed or seedling, how to handle pests (keeping in mind Ontario’s new pesticide ban), and how and when to prune, harvest and store them. The most interesting part of each is discovering new varieties of edibles: for example, fiddleheads are popular in New Brunswick, but grow well in Ontario, as does perilla, a cinnamon-lemon flavoured herb, also known as shiso, or Japanese basil (it may help keep pests off of your heirloom tomatoes, too). Both books contain plenty of tips for planting and uses (although please use caution when using any herbs for medicinal use!), and while neither book contains many recipes, another new book from Lone Pine Press, the Canadian Harvest Cookbook (by Jennifer Sayer-Bajger) can help you out there. Happy planning!
Click here to find the Canadian Edible Garden in our on-line catalogue, and here to find Herb Gardening for Canada.


I never wait for anyone to tell me when to plant - just go by instinct and plant away. Seeds are a must before outdoor temperatures are high enough for planting out but the thirst for gardening action can be assuaged by sowing seeds on a windowsill if needs be.

March 21, 2009 at 5:21 PM  

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