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Hi.

Welcome to our blog. We're twelve girls documenting our adventures in #yxe. Hope you have a nice stay!

Straight Outta the Garden

Joanne's beets make for delicious borscht that will last throughout the long, cold Saskatchewan winter. 

Joanne's beets make for delicious borscht that will last throughout the long, cold Saskatchewan winter. 

You are now about to witness the strength of real food. Organic gardener Joanne Rhode is my family friend and neighbour at our cabin at Turtle Lake. She and her husband Sam live there and have both a lakefront cabin (sigh...so lovely) and a farm. They recently retired from certified organic cattle farming and operating an organic market garden. For 'retirees' they still accomplish more in a day than I, though! Come along with me, my friend Alexis and my mom Teri, to walk through Joanne's massive garden at the farm to learn about how to grow real, healthy food. 

"Welcome to my little paradise!"

"Welcome to my little paradise!"

Compared to the days when Joanne ran a full-time market garden store, her needs are only a fraction so she's invited her daughter to plant a section of the garden and much of it is unplanted, too. 

Compared to the days when Joanne ran a full-time market garden store, her needs are only a fraction so she's invited her daughter to plant a section of the garden and much of it is unplanted, too. 

The perfect little space to eat lunch and relax whilst enjoying the garden and the surrounding forest. 

The perfect little space to eat lunch and relax whilst enjoying the garden and the surrounding forest. 

An outhouse...of course!

An outhouse...of course!

There are lots of tips and tricks for planting an organic garden. For example: plant the garlic next to the lettuce to keep bugs away; weed every day or other day to keep weeds at bay; earthworms are your friend; and save your seeds from year to year. 

There are lots of tips and tricks for planting an organic garden. For example: plant the garlic next to the lettuce to keep bugs away; weed every day or other day to keep weeds at bay; earthworms are your friend; and save your seeds from year to year. 

Nutrient-rich soil is the key to success according to Joanne. Every two years she and her husband bring in and spread out a load of organic cattle manure. 

Nutrient-rich soil is the key to success according to Joanne. Every two years she and her husband bring in and spread out a load of organic cattle manure. 

Green tomatoes...not quite ready. Everything matures at different times which makes it manageable. 

Green tomatoes...not quite ready. Everything matures at different times which makes it manageable. 

Joanne harvests her entire garden, prepares some dishes fresh and otherwise processes, freezes, pickles, stews, blanches and more with the extra food. She and her husband pack it up into the back of their pickup truck  when they leave in early winter and transport it down to Phoenix for the winter to enjoy "straight outta the garden" organic produce year-round. Where there's a will, there's a way!

Joanne harvests her entire garden, prepares some dishes fresh and otherwise processes, freezes, pickles, stews, blanches and more with the extra food. She and her husband pack it up into the back of their pickup truck  when they leave in early winter and transport it down to Phoenix for the winter to enjoy "straight outta the garden" organic produce year-round. Where there's a will, there's a way!

Now that's a zucchini! Alexis took this home and made this meat, rice and herb-stuffed zucchini recipe for dinner: http://www.rachaelrayshow.com/food/recipes/20442_meat_and_herb_stuffed_zucchini/.

Now that's a zucchini! Alexis took this home and made this meat, rice and herb-stuffed zucchini recipe for dinner: http://www.rachaelrayshow.com/food/recipes/20442_meat_and_herb_stuffed_zucchini/.

Beets: both the root vegetable and the greens are delicious and nutritious. 

Beets: both the root vegetable and the greens are delicious and nutritious. 

Fresh new potatoes. 

Fresh new potatoes. 

"It’s argued that organic gardens are impractical, expensive, and somewhat strange. Nothing could be further from the truth. It’s the way our great grandparents gardened, the way food was raised for thousands of years before the invention, wide-spread use, and deceptive advertising of chemical pesticides and synthetic fertilizers. True, it may cost a bit more as you wean your lawns and gardens from their harmful chemical addictions. But in the long run, as you upgrade your soil quality, apply compost you’ve made yourself, and utilize practical, sustainable gardening practices, your costs will go down. Going organic is not a compromise. Done right, it yields healthy, more vigorous growth and more bountiful harvests compared to commercially-centered growing. And the peace of mind you’ll gain as you remove known carcinogens, endocrine disrupters, petroleum byproducts, and mysterious and often dangerous inert ingredients from your lawns and landscapes? Priceless." -  from http://www.planetnatural.com/organic-gardening-guru/

Joanne's husband, Sam, built an elk fence around the perimeter of the garden to keep out all manner of critters who might eat the garden...including bears and deer. We were in the middle of the bush and felt quite safe and peaceful in Joanne's little piece of paradise. Comment below if you have any questions about how to convert your gardening practices to organic. She'd love to help. 

Finding Beauty In Everything

Li'l Local

Li'l Local