Thursday, March 24, 2011

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Soil Sampling Demonstration

"Joel from the Lakehead University Forest Laboratory demonstrates how to properly collect soil and get it ready for submission."

To have your soil tested by the LU soils lab for $35.00 (+taxes),
call (807) 343-8639 or email
For more information:

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Roasted Red Pepper Soup

Roasted Red Pepper Soup


          FOR SOUP
          3 TABLESPOONS shallots, finely chopped
          1 TABLESPOON freshly chopped thyme 
             (or 1/2 TSP dried)
          1 TABLESPOON butter or olive oil  
                 (or a combination of both)
          12 red bell peppers (capsicum), 
              roasted and chopped
          3 CUPS broth (chicken, 
             or for vegan: vegetable)
          1/2 CUP heavy cream (optional)
          fresh lemon juice to taste
          salt and pepper to taste

Rohan discovered this recipe in the griller's manual that came with his barbecue. More than a manual, this glorified pamphlet has proved itself invaluable in our home. Simple, well thought recipes make up more of it's content than cook settings. It's brilliant. We were immediately drawn to this red capsicum soup recipe, and have been known to make a few substitutions along the way. The recipe posted above is my edited version.

We've often included a variety of hot peppers from our garden.

Preheat barbecue on HIGH heat.

Place capsicum on grill and char on all sides, turning as needed.

Remove from barbecue and cool.
When cool enough to handle, peel off the blackened skin, remove stem and seeds, and chop the flesh of the pepper.

Using the side burner (or in our case, directly on the grill), melt butter in a large pan over low heat. Add the shallots and thyme, and stir until softened. 

Add the bell peppers and broth, and simmer the mixture, covered, until the peppers are very soft (about 15 minutes).
enjoy a glass of Sauvignon Blanc while you wait
Using an immersion blender (or food processor) puree the mixture until smooth. Return the mixture to a clean pot and (if desired) whisk in the cream. 
Season with salt, pepper, and lemon juice to taste.

The recipe also suggests a butternut squash and grilled leek version of this soup, opening up he garden gate to endless combinations of grilled vegetable soups. 


Thursday, March 3, 2011

Good in Everything ~ A Photo Tour of the Tree Farm

"And this, our life, exempt from public haunt, finds tongues in trees, books in the running brooks, sermons in stones, and good in everything."
As You Like It
Act II. Scene I.
~ William Shakespeare

Take a walk with me, where my plantation is, back to the same old place we long to be. Poplar, cedar, and spruce lined avenues tie together Pine plantations and Black Sturgeon projects where we stroll while dogs leap in jubilation around us. The best trails for tails around, hands down. A delight for the camera as well.

Our tree farm is a Plantation Demonstration and Assessment project, and is part of the Government of Canada's response to "climate change". I believe it's greater response is to beauty. 

The forest floor, a world within a world at our feet. The fungi is fodder for the camera ~ a late summer quest to find them popping up through mulched layers under the trees. I could search the Tree Farm endlessly collecting snapshots for my collection and never run out of unique specimen.

Through fields we roam.

Science and the Forest side by side for miles.
"I frequently tramped eight or ten miles 
through the deepest snow 
to keep an appointment with a beech-tree, 
or a yellow birch, 
or an old acquaintance among the pines."
~ Henry David Thoreau  

Forest regeneration.

Blue Spruce
Norway Spruce
Forest generation.

 Wildflowers for me.
Common Blue -eyed Grass, Sisyrinchium montanum
Orange Hawkweed, Hieracium aurantiacum
Red Clover, Trifolium pratense
Meadow Buttercup, Ranunculus acris
Wildflowers for her.
Claire in a field of Oxeye Daisies Leucanthemum vulgare
Summer Bird Vetch (Vicia cracca) for butterflies,
rose hips in autumn,
 and wild strawberries (Fragaria spp.) for a trailside snack.

The trees reach the heavens,

And provide a haven on earth.

With tree tag addresses
 on rose lined streets.
Rosa canina and Claire
Twenty minutes from home, from the Great Lake
we breathe deep in the conifers.
unquestionable serenity
A murder on a row.
Captivating year round, 
captured by my camera.
Common Fireweed, Chamerion angustifolium
new Tamaracks <3
 ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

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