Gardening? In N.W. Ontario….Canada. Land of SNOW?!

Siding Done 049I’ll admit.  When one thinks of NorthWestern Ontario gardens are NOT one of the first things that come to mind.  Snow, fishing, fall colors, amazing scenic lakes – yes.  Gardens – no.

So why on earth would I be starting a blog about gardens and growing in the North?

Self-sufficiency, sustainability, and health for starters.

It’s true, we don’t have a very long growing season, nor do we have the best soils.   But we DO have an amazing amount of sunshine throughout the year, and are fairly isolated from many crop pests or diseases.  And seriously, the pioneers did just fine so what is our problem in this modern age of information?!  Surely we can do better, not worse.

Being in the north, we have an unfortunate reliance on what gets shipped in for fresh vegetables and greens for the majority of the year.  And if there are supply problems, those supplies go down in volume and quality and the price shoots straight up.  Now, I’m not sure if you have tried canned green beans (Read: soggy, colorless, mushy, tasteless, stringy-things), but if you have you have … my condolences.  And if that is what you had as a child, I can’t fault you for not liking your greens.  That is not how vegetables should be.  They should be bursting with flavor, color and texture, and be a joy to eat or cook with.  Even the preserved ones.

I often hear folks lamenting that they would love to grow a garden and their own fresh foods, but they don’t know how, or they have a “black thumb”.  Most of the gardening information available is for a warmer climate and does not translate well for those wanting to try their first northern vegetable gardens.  And over the last two generations, most of the knowledge that used to be second nature has been lost.  So it’s is easy to become discouraged and stop trying.

Me, I just don’t get discouraged easily.  I started trying to grow my own foods with the idea that “the seed knows what it needs to do.  They are programmed to grow, how hard can this be?”.  To a degree it’s true.  Of course, my first year I did not do so well…  And I’m continuing to learn the special quirks of growing food in the north.

So to answer the question; Why a blog about growing in the north?  It’s simple – To share my learning process, my excitement, my mistakes, my failures and my wins.  And I hope if you are reading this, we can share what we know and what we have learned.

10 thoughts on “Gardening? In N.W. Ontario….Canada. Land of SNOW?!

  1. Looking forward to reading your blog

    1. Thanks Karen! I’m looking forward to writing it, fingers crossed I continue to have the time 🙂

  2. Well I’m hooked already!! 🙂 I’m excited to read your upcoming blog, you seem to really understand the unique challenges we face while gardening here in the North ~ And I am always open to good advice!! I’m definitely looking forward to this one – Best of luck to you Pam!!

    1. Thanks Danielle! I’m not sure I can live up to the expectations, but I’ll write what I learn 😀 Far from an expert, just a stubborn enthusiast. And I like GOOD veggies!!! ^_^

  3. Pam, you have already taught me a lot about gardening in the north. I am looking forward to reading your blog! There is no end to what one can learn about gardening! Thanks for starting this 🙂

    1. Ditto goes to you JoAnne. Marigolds in the greenhouse – never would have thought of it, but it sure does bring in the pollinators! Open to guest posts, so if you have good info/stories to write let me know!

  4. I hope to pick up some simple tricks for my new garden from your experiences. Thanks for posting and welcome back to the blog-sphere!

    1. I’m excited to be back in blogoland! SOO much to write and no clue where to start, so hope it works out 😀

  5. Pam, I generally avoid blogs–but this is just a great idea all around. Be sure to share what you can about your greenhouse design and build! If any region needs a greater measure of food independence, it’s Thunder Bay.

    1. I tried to photo doc the entire build, and planning to write out as much as I can. Stay tuned!! 😀

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