I used to think I couldn’t be bothered with bokashi. After all, between my six chickens, a worm bin on the deck, and a two-bin garden compost out back, there really wasn’t any kitchen scraps left to dispose of. Well… the chickens have all gone to chicken heaven; the worms died after I mistakenly put…

Read More

In the third part of my chat with Jack Etkin of Shaw TV’s Citizens’ Forum here in Victoria, BC, we are looking at organic gardening practices. Nature always puts the right plant into the right place. So what is the ecological role of those plants we call weeds? And how can we get away from…

Read More

Here is the second part of my chat with Jack Etkin of Shaw TV’s Citizens’ Forum here in Victoria, BC, about the science and practice of organic gardening. Having explored the connection between nutrition and health in soil and plants, we are now taking the idea one step further by looking at the ecological role…

Read More

The Pantry is on TV! In the summer of 2013, I had the opportunity to chat with Jack Etkin of Shaw TV’s Citizens’ Forum here in Victoria, BC, about organic gardening. We ended up filming three installments, actually, because there was so much to talk about! Have fun watching the first episode today. We’re looking…

Read More

Whether a tree falls in the forest… or your wooden compost bin falls apart: To Nature, it’s the same thing. The body of a tree, cut up or intact, is a valuable source of carbon and other nutrients, and a whole crew of decomposers large and microscopically small are ready to transform this bounty into…

Read More

To All Customers, Supporters, and Friends of the Pantry in 2012: Thank you, thank you so much for this fabulous past year! Granted, you saw the last newsletter in February, and here we are on New Year’s Eve – time sure flies… So what on earth have I been up to? Well, here’s a long…

Read More

The chickens experienced their first snow last month. It was very amusing to watch them traipsing through the white stuff and trying to eat some. I made sure that they had warm water to drink, plenty to eat, and extra thick bedding during the cold weather, and amazingly they are continuing to lay eggs too!…

Read More

Ten days away from the winter solstice – the garden is fast asleep, resting under a thick blanket of leaves and replenishing its strength. At this time I imagine a great pendulum slowing down as it reaches its highest point, and pausing there for a moment, before starting to swing the other way on the…

Read More

What’s the difference between EM and Activated EM? Can I keep re-activating my Activated EM? I wish! Sadly EM is a bit different from yogurt or sourdough making. The first activation will turn out very closely similar to the mother culture, but with subsequent activations the intricate balance of microbe species and numbers will start…

Read More

When making aerated compost tea, you can of course simply extract the microbes that are present in the compost. But, as you probably know, if you add certain foods to the brew, you can also multiply them. The foods also add plant nutrients and minerals. Multiplying aerobic microbes means they need to breathe oxygen, so…

Read More