Kitchen herbs

Grow your own herbs and inspire your next culinary creation

Is there a shortage of basil at the store? No problem. Frost in the garden? No worries. Basil and other herbs are always in season and at your fingertips when you grow them right in your own kitchen.

A herb garden in the kitchen is amazing. And if you’re the family cook or aspiring chef, you already know that fresh herbs bring meals to life. With a little space and the right kit, herbs practically grow themselves. Or, if you prefer a low-tech approach, even a modest a windowsill can suffice.

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A place for plants

By following three simple rules, you can keep your apartment plants happy and healthy

They say you should raise a plant before you raise a pet – it’s a warm-up activity. At the very least, tropical plants are easier to take care of, and cheaper too.

Apartment-ready plants, typically in four inch (9 cm) pots, are available at most grocery stores. At that size they’re not a big financial or emotional investment. Plus, tiny tropical varieties are just so cute. Before bringing home a baby houseplant, however, it’s important to think of the light and space you have available in your apartment.

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Potatoes for every appetite

Simple to grow, potatoes are a good starting point for people interested in growing their own produce

Like blaming the dog for eating your homework, John Mills was blaming his tractor for missing my interview call.

“I had to duct-tape my tractor radiator back together to get it working,” he said.

Mills, a fourth-generation farmer from Bowden, Alberta, is still using the same tractor his father bought second hand when John was a boy. His father started growing potatoes commercially in 1987 for the french fry market. Mills now grows 45 different kinds of potatoes, including the traditional Russet Burbank french fry potato.

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From oil to soil

Boost your soil, save your back and protect the environment this spring with biochar

Al Chomica, formerly from Calgary, is explaining to me over the phone how biochar, a new garden product he is testing, holds both minerals and soil life firmly. He has been making biochar for years, but this spring he is excited to try a new commercial source.

Biochar, a natural long-lasting form of soil humus, is created from burning organic matter in a low-oxygen environment. It is not wood ash. It is the hard part left over after the fire. Chomica says it stockpiles food in the soil, saves your back and will improve the world.

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Grass for Roscoe

Even our feline friends enjoy the taste of freshly grown greens

“Hey guess what Anne? I grew some cat grass for Roscoe!”

I was calling my friend ahead of my flight to Calgary and was just so excited. In just five days the cat grass seeds I’d planted had sprouted in their little four-inch pot and were now ready to eat. It was a special treat I was hoping my friend’s cat would enjoy.

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