February 2016 garden update and advice on drip irrigation

Just a quick garden update for this above normal temperature day in February 2016. What a contrast from -30 and -40 C temps and snow piles of 2015 and the big ice storm of 2014. I begin with a brief tour around the beds and outside gardens, ending by showing the progress of my Kelsa onions as grown by Dan on the Allottment Diary. My little specimens are by no means the ones Dan has now. I started mine on Dec 15 2015 and I think they should have been even earlier started when compared to Dan’s onions at this stage.

Last Saturday I started my peppers for 2016.  I am growing Jimmy Nardello and Lipstick, from seeds given to me by Kevin Bradley and some Sweet Banana from seeds from Hawthorn Farms near Palmerston Ontario. I also planted the remaining 2014 New Ace and Purple Star seeds that I got from Veseys. So 36 seeds planted and I will have to see what comes up.

We are in the design stages of putting on a drip irrigation system, which thus far we have decided to use a combination of soaker and drip fixtures for the raised beds and containers. If you have any experience or advice for us in making choices etc, please leave a comment below. We appreciate your input

Oak and glass platter part 2

Time to finish up the build for the Oak and glass platter. I am using a 3 x 3″ block of Red Oak as the material for the top plug and a piece of ebony 1″ square blank for the knob.

I will be doing a follow-up to show what techniques I used to finish the project.

That’s it for now, see in the Workshop!


Oak and Glass platter part 1

This week I am starting a two part series on making an Oak and Glass platter.  The Oak is a piece of Red Oak, 9″ square by  1 1/2″ thick, and the glass is a shade from an old dining room hanging fixture. The making of the top, i.e. the glass top section, will be my second video hopefully next week or when the weather here lets me get back into the workshop.



To begin with, I tried as best I could, to make an evenly cut 8 sided wood blank with the intention of being able to keep the straight edges in the platter section. This seemed to work out well. I am will be figuring out what method of finishing the oak platter.  I may use a combination of dye and gilt cream that I had purchased to do the outside and rim of the platter and use a wipe on poly for the bowl inside itself. I will try and figure that out this week.

So stay tuned for part 2 of the Oak and Glass platter.

Experiment in design Emerging wine goblet

First let me wish you all a very Happy and Prosperous New Years. It’s been a return to winter weather finally after a very mild December. Huge change from last years extreme cold temperatures and wind chills and tons of snow.

This being my first video for the 2016 season, I have decided this year to try new things and not just same old bowls. This week I have a part of a branch of Maple that fell from a tree at my son’s house. The idea or inspiration for the project came from a book I bought called “The Creative Woodturner” written by Terry Martin. A great book with lots of ideas.

The Maple is quite spalted and to proceed with the project, I first took a  branch that was the approximately 3″ round and approximately 12″ long and put tenons on each end for remounting. Then I cut the branch in half. One section of the branch was then  turned for the cup and small stem of the goblet and the other section was the goblet base and bottom section of the stem. Quite an experience with my first real spalted wood project and lots of sanding due to the punky wood resulting from spalting. The finish I put on was Minwax Wipe On Poly.

Until next time, take care in your shop, stay safe, and bye for now.

2015 garden recap and answering The Allotment Challenge

Well it’s that time of the year, time to recap the garden events of 2015 and to look forward to and plan the new garden of 2016. It’s also time for something new to me, and although it does not really apply to Canadian gardeners, it is to answer the “The Allotment Challenge”. The Allotment Challenge, as far as I know, was started in the UK and gives a chance for gardeners to tell their gardening adventures with allotments and gardening in general. Well a week ago Rob, “The OldGardenGuy” from Finland challenged me to speak on the gardening topic. This video, in part, is a response to his challenge.



Also in this video, I take you around our flower beds at home and the three decks which we resurfaced and put new railings around this year and recap the use of the various containers in my garden.

Here is my list, thus far, including the names of the suppliers that I buy my seeds from,

Arugula Grazia – West Coast Seeds
Arugula Dragon’s Tongue – West Coast Seeds
Lettuce Buttercrunch  – West Coast Seeds
Lettuce Darkness – West Coast Seeds
Lettuce Little Gem – West Coast Seeds
Lettuce Amish Deer Tongue  – West Coast Seeds
Beans Scarlet Emperor runner beans – West Coast Seeds
Beans Kentucky blue – pole beans – West Coast Seeds
Beans Kentucky Wonder – pole beans – West Coast Seeds
Peas Oregon Sugar II, Snow Pea – Veseys
Peas Sabre – Veseys
Peas Super Sugar Snap – Veseys
Peas Little Marvel – West Coast Seeds
Celeriac Brilliant Celeriac – West Coast Seeds
Celery Victoria – West Coast Seeds
Celery Cutting Leaf – Amsterdamn – William Damn
Cucumber Salad Bush – West Coast Seeds
Fennel Finale – West Coast Seeds
Squash Sunburst Scallopini patty  – West Coast Seeds
Zucchini Patio Star – West Coast Seeds
Tomato Indigo Rose – West Coast Seeds
Tomato Yellow Pear – West Coast Seeds
Tomato Jaune Flamme – West Coast Seeds
Tomato La Roma – Hawthorne Farms
Tomato Black Cherry – West Coast Seeds
Tomato Old German Organic – West Coast Seeds
Tomato Esterina Hybrid Organic – William Damn
Pepper Jimmy Nardello – Hawthorne Farms
Pepper Redskin F1 – Halifax seed
Pepper Yum Yum mix  – Halifax seed
Pepper Lipstick – Hawthorne Farms
Beet Kestrel – West Coast Seeds
Beet Chiggia – West Coast Seeds
Beet Touch stone Gold – West Coast Seeds
Leek Atal – baby type – Halifax seed
Leek Lancia – West Coast Seeds
Parsnip Gladiator parsnips – West Coast Seeds
Carrot Cosmic Purple Organic – West Coast Seeds
Carrot Nutir Red – West Coast Seeds
Carrot White Satin – West Coast Seeds
Carrot Yellowstone Organic – West Coast Seeds
Melon Sugar baby – West Coast Seeds
Onion Kelsae – West Coast Seeds
Onion  Apache salad – Halifax seed
Onion  Shimonita – Halifax seed
Shallot Zebrune banana – Halifax seed
Flowers Fiesta Gitana calendula – West Coast Seeds
Flowers Pacific Beauty Mix Organic Calendula  – West Coast Seeds
Flowers Salad Blend Naturtiums – West Coast Seeds
Flowers Naturtium Collection – Halifax seed
Flowers Teddy Bear Sunflower – West Coast Seeds
Flowers Signet Golden Gem – West Coast Seeds
Potato Linzer Delikatess – Eagle Creek Farms
Potato Roko – Eagle Creek Farms
Potato Agria  – Eagle Creek Farms
Potato Russian Blue  – Eagle Creek Farms
Potato German Butterball – Eagle Creek Farms
Potato All Blue – Eagle Creek Farms
Potato Nicola – Eagle Creek Farms
Herbs Chef’s Salad Bouquet Edible Flower Garden  – Richters
Herbs Windowsill Garden  – Richters
Herbs Humburg – Berliner root parsley – William Damn
Herbs Shady Refuse Shade herb plants – Richters
Herbs Save the bees garden – Richters
Garlic Music – West Coast Seeds
Garlic Italian Hardneck – West Coast Seeds

I am trying a unique experiment in gardening next season, growing veg in a 10″ plastic pot. This was inspired by “HomeGrownVeg” in the UK who gets amazing results from growing his veg in 10″ plastic pots on his patio. Subscribe to his Youtube channel and give the past years’ videos a look. https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCPrZIwOWNvem_IAuGgmIWlg

So now to carry on The Allotment Challenge, I wish to nominate the following 5 great gardeners:

Kevin Bradley
Ian Knockton
Woody at Woody’s Allotment
Stephen at Alberta Urban Garden
Paul Clement

I hope they take up the challenge.

The Allotment Challenge questions:
1 How long have you had your Allotment for?
2 How long did you have to wait for your Allotment?
3 Where did you learn about Gardening?
4 Do you plant a Winter Garden?
5 What has been your biggest success this year/ever?
6 What’s been your biggest Gardening disaster?
7 Do you have a tried and true crop variety that you always grow?
8 Are you planning on trying anything new next year?
9 How do you preserve your crops?
10 What’s your favorite meal to cook with veg from the Plot?

To end this video, I wish to extend my wish that all of my subscribers and all those that watch any of my videos, a very Merry Christmas and a Happy and Prosperous New Years. Until later, please take care and I will see you in the garden!!