A seasonal update with timely articles from the Harrowsmith team.
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Summer at Last!

It is indeed the sweetest season. We’re stoked to try all the barbecue recipes we’ve been saving up over the winter, and visit our local farmers’ markets for the freshest farm-to-table fare.
Summer is also the ideal time for a staycation. We’ve got our Parks Canada Discovery Pass—free (order yours here)—and are ready to explore our gorgeous green spaces over those delicious long weekends. We can’t think of a better way to celebrate Canada’s 150th anniversary than to grab some friends and family and enjoy our great outdoors. Be sure to check out the submissions from our Parks Canada–inspired contest in our new Summer issue of Harrowsmith. We asked readers to share their favourite outdoor shots of Canada, and you might even recognize some of the places!
Also celebrating Canada’s 150th anniversary is the Royal Botanical Gardens in Burlington, Ontario. Visit to learn more about the various events taking place this summer, including everything from edible weekends and musical events to children’s gardens and sculptural exhibits. To learn about more events across the country, click here.
While our gardens are overflowing, it’s worth reminding ourselves about the tremendous amount of food waste taking place. Kate Parizeau of the University of Guelph’s department of geography spoke about this at the Arrell Food Institute at the University of Guelph’s Guelph Talks Food event last June. According to Parizeau, it’s estimated that about 30% of all food produced in Canada goes to waste, with environmental, economic and social implications. Catch the rest of her talk
here, and before your next outing, take a moment to think about your own food practices and how you can do your part to help reduce waste at home.
Our Summer Issue Is Here!
To kick-start the season, our latest issue of Harrowsmith is now out! In it you’ll find plenty of gardening and DIY ideas, as well as great recipes. For those dreading another weekend of picking out weeds, check out our story on how to identify these common lawn culprits and weed them out.
It’s not too late to introduce plants to your property that can deliver beautiful indoor blooms all season long—and at no extra cost. We’ve got the scoop from the gardening guru himself, gardening editor Mark Cullen. Food editor Joanna Notkin also serves up foodie inspiration with her jams that will wow a crowd.

Ever wondered what it would be like to run a lighthouse? Caroline Woodward gives us a behind-the-scenes glimpse. We’ve also got tips for building your very own Canadian candle, and delicious s’mores updates.
A Muskoka, Ontario, cottage reno offers green building ideas and advice for the country. We also had a chance to talk to former Harrowsmith columnist Dan Needles about his new book and living the country life.

Although farming still seems to be a country dream, The Mississauga Food Bank is showing us how we can pull it off in urban centres, and even without soil, thanks to their aquaponics system, which uses fish farming combined with growing plants in water to bring fresh food to those in need.
This issue also features two equine therapists who are helping people heal by bringing them closer to horses.
It’s an inspirational issue, to say the least!
Over the winter, we fell into a rabbit hole of cool documentaries exploring the meaning of life, happiness and sustainability. They inspired our “Get Happy!” feature in our new Summer issue. Though summer is the time to enjoy being outside, these movies make for great, thought-provoking watches while you’re savouring some downtime.
Minimalism: A Documentary About the Important Things
This doc features conversations with minimalists from all walks of life who share how they are creating meaningful lives with less.
The film sets out to discover what makes us truly happy. Journeying from the bayous of Louisiana to the villages of Okinawa, Japan, Happy tries to parse the secret to this sought-after emotion.
Valley Uprising
Less existential but equally life affirming, this documentary follows the men and women who pushed the limits of rock climbing, one-upping one another in California’s breathtaking Yosemite National Park.

Survey says! 

 Thank you to the hundreds of Harrowsmith readers who participated in our reader survey. And congratulations to the winner, Denise Laflame, from Elgin, Quebec.
We heard you and are making our title better as a result. Here’s what we learned about our amazing, dedicated readers.

• Almost half of you read or reference the same issue four or more times (46% of respondents).

• More than half of you (54%) keep each and every issue for reference.

• And lastly, you LOVE reading about gardening most of all in Harrowsmith (94%), followed by food and recipes (63%).
You can continue to talk to us about your likes or dislikes on our various social channels. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram for the latest news and updates, and more great tips and ideas, as well as to connect with like-minded folk. We want to hear from you!


The 21st annual Canada Blooms Flower and Garden Festival took place from March 10 to 19, 2017, at the Enercare Centre in Toronto. Canada Blooms, which co-locates with the National Home Show, was a huge success, welcoming over 174,000 enthusiastic visitors who were looking to get a jump on the garden season. This year’s festival celebrated Canada’s sesquicentennial with the theme “Oh! Canada” and promoted the Canadian Shield™ rose from the Vineland Innovation and Research Centre’s 49th Parallel Collection as its Flower of the Year. Harrowsmith was one of the great partners who helped Canada Blooms achieve a great festival.

You can
subscribe to the Canada Blooms e-newsletter for gardening and floral tips from experts like Frankie Flowers, Mark Cullen, Denis Flanagan, Jennifer Harvey and more, and to enter contests and stay up to date on the latest festival happenings. Also visit the Canada Blooms website,, regularly for updates, and check out the Canada Blooms 2017 festival pictures on Facebook.

Green Onion and Red Wine Jam

Great served with cheese platters or a side of pretzels, this jam can also be spread in a sandwich in place of a honey-Dijon mustard.

Makes 1 cup


5 small shallots, sliced

4 cups finely sliced green onions (about 18 to 20), white and light green parts separated from dark green parts

1/2 tsp kosher salt

1/4 tsp pepper

1 1/4 cup deep red wine

1/3 cup quality red wine vinegar

1/2 cup honey

1/2 cup orange juice

Zest from half an orange (optional)



In a medium saucepan, sauté shallots and the white and light green parts of the onions with salt and pepper until softened but not browned. Add wine and continue cooking until it has almost completely reduced, about a few minutes. Add in vinegar and reduce again until the onion mixture looks slightly thick and shiny. Add more salt and pepper to taste, if desired. 

Add honey and orange juice and continue cooking until the mixture becomes thick and jammy. Stir in orange zest, if desired. Some liquid will still remain, but once cooled, the mixture will turn into a more jam-like consistency. Jam can be stored in the fridge for up to 3 weeks.

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Grow a Smoothie Garden

By Albert Mondor
Do you like smoothies? You want to know how to grow some of the plants you use to make them? It couldn’t be more simple! Plant them in containers on your patio, near the kitchen. Below is a description of some plants that are easy to grow in containers and that will be perfect in your smoothies!

Kale ‘Darkibor’
(Brassica oleracea var. acephala ‘Darkibor’)
This kale is precocious and easy to grow. Its leaves can be harvested over several months, starting in August. In addition to being edible, this plant has multiple properties and is highly decorative with its very crispate bluish green foliage. It is also very hardy, as it can easily tolerate temperatures as low as –10°C (14°F). Its leaves can be harvested through December, and even in January if the winter is mild. It’s assuredly one of the most popular plants when it comes to making smoothies.

Kale seed can be started outdoors, in pots, toward the end of May or in June. It is preferable, however, to start them indoors, in April; that is, about six weeks before the last expected frost. The seed must be seeded in a rich soil containing compost, peat moss and perlite, such as PRO-MIX® 
Organic Vegetable and Herb Mix, at a depth of 13 mm (1/2 inch). It is highly recommended to transplant kale seedlings outside once the cabbage maggot is finished laying its eggs (usually in early June), as its larvae feed on cabbage and kale roots. You can also find nice potted kale plants in some garden centres and nurseries.

Pineberry Natural Albino®
(Fragaria × ananassa Natural Albino®)
Now, here’s a highly original strawberry cultivar producing white fruits covered with small red seed early in the summer. Some say its taste is similar to pineapple. Pineberry Natural Albino® isn’t self-fertile; therefore, it must be planted with one or two other pineberry plants to ensure pollination. In full sun, this plant will quite easily resist southern Ontario’s and southern Quebec’s winters, especially if it is grown in a fabric pot such as a Smart Pot. Pineberry Natural Albino® is sold as a potted plant in some Canadian garden centres.

Malabar nightshade
(Basella alba)
This climbing plant was named after the region of Malabar, India, where it comes from. In a tropical environment, it will reach up to six metres (20 feet) in height, but under our climate, it will grow about two metres (6 1/2 feet) high during a warm, humid summer. That is why, ideally, an obelisk or stake should be installed in the pot in which it is grown. Its young oval, fleshy leaves can be eaten raw or cooked, just like spinach. They can also be used to prepare smoothies. The Malabar nightshade must be grown in full sun, in a compost-rich soil. Keep the soil wet at all times. It must be started indoors in April, six to eight weeks before transplanting outside, which should be done at the same time as basil; that is, toward the end of May or in early June. Soak the seed in water overnight before seeding.

Blueberry Jelly Bean™
(Vaccinium corymbosum Jelly Bean™)
If you could only grow one fruit shrub to make smoothies this summer, I highly recommend that you choose Blueberry Jelly Bean™. This small shrub, specifically developed for container production, produces an abundance of fruits with numerous properties. Being among the richest in antioxidants, blueberries are known to reduce abdominal fat and prevent hypertension. Toward the end of spring, Blueberry Jelly Bean™ produces small white droopy flowers, and then, in July and August, dark blue fleshy fruits that are slightly acidulous. In the fall, its foliage turns bright red. Resembling a box tree, with its very dense, round-shaped foliage, Blueberry Jelly Bean™ will reach a maximum of 60 cm (two feet) in height. Its flower buds can resist temperatures as low as –32°C (–26°F).

It is preferable to install this shrub in full sun or partial shade, well protected from prevailing winds. Furthermore, it prefers acidic soils that are moist, light and well drained. A peat-based potting soil, such as PRO-MIX® Premium Potting Mix, will work just fine, provided a little powdered sulphur is added to slightly acidify it.
Made possible with the support of the Ontario Media Development Corporation 
This project has been made possible in part by the Government of Canada.
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