Thursday, January 10, 2013


Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Resources for School Gardens

Healthy Eating Makes the Grade ~ a Thunder Bay initiative

"The Healthy Eating Makes the Grade project involves a variety of sectors interested in improving student nutrition, from youth themselves to school staff, food producers and suppliers, and community organizations concerned about healthy eating. These partners have joined forces to increase support for school gardens, more healthy choices within and close to schools, and youth-led initiatives to encourage healthy eating."

For more on this project: 
and HEMG on wiki

Three great teacher resources from Three Sisters Gardens, Victory Gardens, and Spaghetti Gardens

From everything from nutrition and germination to worm farming to seed saving and taking cuttings

Canadian Wildlife Foundation ~ Wild About Gardening

TD Friends of the Environment Foundation provides funding for environment and wildlife initiatives in schools across Canada such as compost programs, tree planting initiatives, school gardens, education programs for children, urban renewal projects, wildlife rehabilitation, and environmental clean-ups.

Wild Edible Plants of Northern Ontario

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

from the garden bookshelf

January is a good month to curl up in a sunbeam and read garden stories. This is also the month the gardening catalogues start filling up my mailbox. Filled with inspiration by the time March comes, I'll be ready with my early seeds.
Reading now: a little lore and history and the garden science of garlic  ..mmmmmmmmgarlic Not only is garlic my favourite fender of aphids, but I eat it daily. There's nothing like walking down Algoma Street when The Growing Season is cooking up something delightful - and the aroma of warm roasting garlic fills the street. 

Liz Primeau 
Greystone Books 2012

A couple of reference books arrived in my stocking this year. I can't say enough for illustrated garden reference books - everyone should have them. These two include interesting sidebars of lore and historical notes.. which I always enjoy.

National Geographic 2008

Jessica Houdret
Anness 2000

For the Culinary gardenerd: a Shakespearean cookery. I really love this one. I'll have a lot of fun with it over in my food blog (when I feel like eating again). :)

Andrew Dalby and Maureen Dalby 
British Museum Press 2012

first  arrivals 2013

Friday, January 4, 2013

Waverley Winter

Waverley Park
4 January 2013


Named Euglossa bazinga by biologist Andre Nemesio, it is a species of Brazilian orchid bee that has fooled scientists by it's similarity to other species. The recently discovered bee was named for everybody's favourite supernerd, Dr. Sheldon Cooper, and is in headlines everywhere

The Big Bang Theory has kept us laughing this past year - many, many afternoons spent at my mother's condo watching the dvds, getting our nerd on. (I wonder if this bee news will help my mother appreciate the Bazinga snuggie we gave her for Christmas? The only response I've had is an eye roll - even after I pointed out it could be worn like a cape..

A quick Google image search for the Bazinga bee brings up a page of Sheldon and bee appropriate photos (all but the horses in the snowy mountains?)..It's beautiful blue and green bee... I'm wishing I could be there to photograph it too.

published in
December 2012

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

A Bright New Year's Day

1 January 2013
10:58:03 AM
It's a new year, a new beautiful blue sky day in Thunder Bay. I should be outside soaking up the most of it, but my holiday hibernation switch hasn't yet been turned off. I see no reason to get dressed today. Flannels & slippers #ootd

Now is as good a time as any to update this blog.. I've been feeling a little embarrassed since the January 2013 issue of The Walleye was released and the reader survey gave it a number two 'Best Blog' mention ...knowing that I haven't even looked at it in months. So, being that resolution time of year I'm going to add 'update blog regularly' to the list. ...but really, I say that all the time. For years I've been putting off finishing my glossary here, and somewhere along the way I stopped listed my book wishlist, which I miss.. this passive aggressive blogging behaviour needs to change. Today feels like a good day.

In the last twelve months I've carefully watched #TBay Tweeters, images in Instagram, and followed the 'Thunder Bay' Facebook feed full of photos - all the historic print & postcards and countless current shots of sunrises over the Sleeping Giant- it never gets old -'s been fantastic to watch and read the pride. I've met some brilliant Thunder Bay people through Walleye assignments, everyone so humble, ready to share, grateful for the paper's nod. I can't tell you how much it means to be a part of something that spins such positivism.  
fruit & popcorn strings
hung for winter birds
at St Paul's on Waverley

I see good things ahead in 2013. Our neighbourhood is full of fun people, thriving local businesses - walking distance to everything we need, friends, food fine & diner, anything we want. I'm surrounded in parks, outdoor skating rinks, and some of the City's tallest trees. I've never been happier about where I live.

My camera and I have big plans for the year ahead; not sure exactly what, but we're pretty comfortable with each other now so it's time to take our relationship to the next level. I'm still constantly amazed with what the iPhone can produce, and the photo app experimentation is endless... makes it too easy sometimes. Instant sharing has sucked a little quality time away from this blog. 
Collecting photos of favourite trees has been an ongoing project that requires better organization - especially now that I see that so many of my photographed trees have been turned into stumps. (This should definitely be the year I join that citizen pruner program...) I never get tired of roaming the city with cameras; there's so much to see when travelling by foot (or bicycle), slowing it down, taking shortcuts through parks, recreational trails & downtown river walks. 

I am smitten with this new tree on St Paul Street at Red River. 
It is so full of potential - I can imagine it years from now, 
dressed up in lights with ornaments for the birds. 
What a nice addition to downtown. 
It makes me want to breathe a little deeper. 

As for a gardener's resolution or two (or many more)... the list is long, kind of like the gardener's to-do list. That's nothing new, not even in a new year. R commented (complained?) the other day about the tulips and daffodils suddenly available at Safeway, "It's still December!" he said with an eye-roll. I was preoccupied with photographing the spring blooms and checking out the new 2013 gardening magazines already on the racks to think there was anything wrong with daffodils in December. My Christmas loot included a few new titles for the garden book shelf, putting me in the mood for spring planting as of Christmas morning.

Here's to 2013 
to a healthier life, to family & friends and to the best of Thunder Bay, Cheers!

Cedar Grove Community Acupuncture

The community acupuncture model is such a perfect addition to Thunder Bay's medical system - in a city with so many without a family doctor, and a top cancer care program. This inexpensive accessible therapy is there for everybody, for countless reasons. Alternative effective treatment for ailments like chronic pain, auto-immune disorders, headaches, digestive disorders - complaints that congest our hospital's emergency room every day and feed the narcotic problems that plague so many.

The Walleye's January 2013 issue is available now in print and online. In it - an introduction to our new community acupuncture clinic.

The community acupuncture model was established on traditional principles, and allows practitioners to provide accessible and affordable treatment in an atmosphere of healing and collective positive energy. The movement to integrate acupuncture into the North American healthcare system began in Portland, Oregon in 2002 and has expanded with vigour with hundreds of clinics opening up across Canada and the United States, with Thunder Bay now demonstrating this progressive thinking toward control of one’s own health care.
“Imagine the impact of acupuncture seeping into every corner of our 
dysfunctional health care system: 
quietly relieving pain without pharmaceuticals, 
reducing stress without psychotherapy,
inexorably changing the way people think about health and illness 
by providing an ongoing testimonial to people’s ability to heal themselves.”
Lisa Rohleder, Acupuncture is Like Noodles

Cedar Grove Community Acupuncture is the result of four local practitioners passionate about patient care. Sarah Watts DTCM, Carrie Johnsen DAc., Tracy Cook ND and Jessica Carfagnini ND. have established this community clinic to provide the best possible care for patients, and reach more people by breaking the barriers to receiving treatment.

Acupuncture’s enormous potential is best realised through a series of treatments over time, but often treatment rates are expensive. Cedar Grove Community Acupuncture clinic operates on a sliding scale of $20-45 per visit, which is determined by the patient; and treatment is done in a group setting, using points from the elbows and knees down. Patients choose a comfortable chair in the treatment room and rest with needles in for as long as they feel is necessary. In this setting friends and family can receive treatment together.
“Acupuncture is understood 
and proven effective by Western medical standards, 
bridging the gap between Eastern and Western medicine.”
Dr. Jennifer Atwood, MD
Fort William Clinic

Complimentary to Western medicine, acupuncture is effective in relieving a myriad of disorders from chronic pain, digestive and hormonal imbalances, allergies and injuries, to easing the discomforts of chemotherapy. Individual protocols are determined by talking with patients in private consultation: understanding the history, current complaints, and long-term health goals of the patient. Open communication between patient and practitioner plays an important role in finding the right path to healing.

Cedar Grove Community Acupuncture 
is located at 219 Algoma Street South
next to the Thunder Bay Naturopathic Clinic.
Visit their website at

For more on the community acupuncture movement: 
POCA - People’s Organization of Community Acupuncture

I wandered home from my first acupuncture appointment 
unable to describe what I was feeling. 
I still can't find the right words. 
"An energy" sounds sort of corny, 
qi isn't widely understood - whatever it was it was different, 
familiar, something lost found again. 
Something was better than it was before, 
and with each appointment 
the feeling became more and more apparent. 
The unsettling feeling of needing to know why 
became less important than continuing to feel better, 
and with wellness came peace...