Nel giardino di dicembre / In the December garden
Kelowna Canadian Italian Club
by
4M ago
What a beautiful autumn we are enjoying.  The last of our cherry tomatoes are ripening and make a perfect addition to my endive salads.  I have one endive plant left to use… it was placed in the ground next to the house so is still looking very tasty. It has had its first touch of frost, which I believe leads to a sweeter taste. I will be taking a break from this column to allow me additional time to concentrate on my family tree and the many documents I found during our two visits to Italy this past year. But, before I take this break, let's talk about endives. The following comes ..read more
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Il giardino di novembre: Putting Your Garden to Bed
Kelowna Canadian Italian Club
by
6M ago
​Putting the garden to rest in Kelowna occupies much of my gardening time in late October and early November. It is a calm time at our home but in the Abruzzo region of Italy, it is also a time to celebrate the crocus, or saffron to be particular. Each crocus flower produces only three threads (stigmas) of saffron.  It blooms for only one week each year at the end of October. The saffron must be harvested by hand, in the mid morning, when the flowers are still closed.  This protects the delicate stigmas inside.  It takes about 1000 flowers to produce one ounce of saffron. Many ..read more
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October in the garden / Ottobre in giardino
Kelowna Canadian Italian Club
by
6M ago
In the late 1800s, planning was underway to build railways in the Okanagan. Engineers and geographers scouted out every part of our area, not only for routes, but also describing the land and its potential for agriculture.  They identified many types of plants and trees that would do well here.  While some of these crops are still widely grown here, two trees, the mulberry and the almond, are not. But examples of them can still be found growing well near our house. ​ I was surprised to hear of almond trees doing well here, but they do.  Recently I was alerted to one such specime ..read more
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Il Giardino D'Agosto
Kelowna Canadian Italian Club
by
6M ago
The garlic has been harvested, dried and now stored in the dark with plenty of circulating air. With our very warm days of July, the tomatoes are ripening quite quickly. And cherries, blueberries, peaches and corn… what a bounty. Its a great time for canning and freezing to preserve that Okanagan sunshine. ​ Summer heat is also the perfect time to delve into exotic salads combining peppers, cucumbers and some new greens with some old world ones.  Some greens that do well in late summer are: broccoli, cabbage, chard, kale, spinach, mustard greens, arugula, sorrel, bok choi, mescalin  ..read more
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My July Garden: Jardin de Juillet
Kelowna Canadian Italian Club
by
6M ago
What a fantastic June garden we have had… bundles of rhubarb that were picked and shared among the neighbours, followed by strawberries and then raspberries and blueberries.  But by far my favourite are the peas. I no longer grow rows and rows of peas, instead relying on local markets for any quantity.  But I do grow a few plants that gives me two weeks of fresh peas to eat as I traverse my garden every morning.  There is nothing quite like the fresh taste of peas right off the vine. Another early summer treat is adding nasturtium flowers to our salads. Garlic Scape Pesto was a ..read more
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The Double Tree of Casorzo
Kelowna Canadian Italian Club
by
6M ago
June is a gorgeous time in the garden… the planting is finished, the weather is warm, and wow… the irises, peonies, poppies, mock orange and roses are in full bloom. Lettuce, kale, choi, basilico, garlic scapes and rhubarb give us the first taste of the year. Soon strawberries, peas and onions will join in. This is a great time to sit back and enjoy! Today, we wanted to share an interesting little arboreal tidbit from Enrique Arayata at Russell Tree Experts: “Today, I share with you a rare and interesting sight: the Double Tree of Casorzo.  Between the towns of Casorzo and Grana, i ..read more
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Il Giardino Di Maggio: Soil Is Good for the Soul!
Kelowna Canadian Italian Club
by
6M ago
Even with our unusually cold April that is delaying our normal planting schedule, this is looking like a fantastic May. I can finally get my hands back in the soil. Soil is considered to be antidepressant.  The smell of mycobacterium vacii, a microorganism found in soil, compost and leaf mold, lights up neurotransmitters that release serotonin (a mood-lifting hormone). While the crocuses were the stars of the March garden and the hyacinths and primula dominated April, tulips are making their fantastic appearance in May and thankfully the deer that were visiting this winter have moved on ..read more
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Il Giardiniere Italiano di aprile
Kelowna Canadian Italian Club
by
6M ago
The arrival of April has the garden responding with buds bursting, new growth and early blossoms … a rebirth of life. I am always amazed when I seen the first large rhubarb shoots making their way out of the ground. Once grown, and harvested, it will give us the first fresh “fruit” harvest for the year. More on rhubarb later… Gardening chores, like pruning fruit trees, grapes, raspberries and the roses, that were not complete in March are on the top of the list for April. Onions and potatoes benefit from early April plantings. Greens such as lettuce, choi, spinach and kale are cold weather cr ..read more
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Mese di marzo con il giardiniere italiano
Kelowna Canadian Italian Club
by
6M ago
As we enter March my hands begin to itch… they want to get a hold of some seeds and get them into the ground… a new season begins. The earliest seeds needing my attention are onions and they are followed by peppers.  Any new perennial flowers I may be trying out are also seeded in March.  My main crop of basilico will not be seeded until April but I dis seed a few plants in February to replace last year’s plants which were beginning to look a little worn out. This week I will take those new seedlings and transplant them into individual pots.  The bottom heat mats gave these seed ..read more
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Il giardino di Febbraio
Kelowna Canadian Italian Club
by
6M ago
A February garden in Kelowna can see the first primula blooms popping up one moment, and covered with snow the next. A clear spot on the edge of a pathway will have crocus shoots giving a promise of spring only to be hit by a cold snap and stopped in their tracks. One moment we have hopes for spring, and then we are shaken to a cold reality.  That is Febbraio in the Okanagan Valley. ​ Thank goodness for inside plant rooms and greenhouses. Here, I can sit with my morning tea and crossword puzzle listening to the sounds of the birds at our feeder and the gentle sound of my waterfall. During ..read more
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