It’s raining nails right now – hard, slashing precipitation that makes the windows ping. Sounds like a mixture of water and ice. We’ve turned up the heat to fight the damp, but I’m aware that this is an FWP (First World Problem) so I’m going to stop kvetching.

milkweed-podsThe David Suzuki Foundation, (he’s the self-styled millionaire spokesperson for everything environment) says that we should plant milkweed in our yards, gardens and balconies to support the regeneration of the Monarch butterfly population. I try to nurture a few plants amongst the taller rudbeckias in the back garden, but I’ve never seen butterfly caterpillar pods locally. As much as I’d like to help Mother Nature (although she’s the sponsor of the gravity that’s pulling my body parts ever downwards), in our municipality milkweed is considered a…well, weed. If we don’t clear that and other noxious hugely reproductive plants, we could be fined because there is a by-law.

milkweed-friedWhat I found odd was that when I searched for photos to illustrate my blog, I stumbled across lots of recipes for soups and snacks assembled from ‘edible wild foods’. I’m not sure about you, but I tend to confine my wild foods to things like salmon and rice. Even though I don’t spray pesticides in our gardens, I have no interest in harvesting plants that I haven’t sown the seed for myself. Call me a First Worlder and I’d have to agree.

My definition of camping is the Holiday Inn. But I grew up on a farm and I still have a green thumb. This week, I’ll be starting my bedding plants and vegetables in the hydroponic mini-greenhouse Hub and I bought at Canada Blooms last month.

I’ve always found it easier to change my eating habits during the warm weather when I can live on salads and some grilled meat or fish. Arugula, tiny tomatoes bursting with the flavour of hot summer days, fingerling potatoes sauteed in butter and sprinkled with kosher salt, steamed fresh beets. I’ve tried growing lettuce and cabbage but the bloody hungry hares who’ve overrun the back yard eat them faster than I can replant. Then again, we have a great Farmer’s Market just up the street. I’d rather pay for someone else to grow the best fresh produce than waste money and effort feeding the greedy wildlife around here.

Eat fresh; buy local; support a farmer.