Dear Friends and Pantry Customers,

Hope you had a happy vernal equinox!

Spring seems to be taking its own sweet time this year. On my daily bicycle commute to the Pantry’s new headquarters, I celebrate every little thing — early white and pink plum tree blossoms, bright dots of daffodils and fragrant hyacinths, and joyous birdsong — under mostly cool and cloudy skies. At least the rain is getting warmer!

It’s “Lucky Year 13” for me at the Organic Gardener’s Pantry. In celebration, I’m once again offering monthly specials all year long.

Until March 31st, Root Rescue is on sale… and in April? Keep an eye on the banner atop each webpage.

Apparently, 2022 is also the Year of the Garden (duh — isn’t every year…?), or if you prefer, SOUL’s Year of the Ecological Garden. Check out the weekly free online sessions on various aspects of ecological land care.

Almost one year in, the Pantry’s new commercial location in Vic West is working out well. I honestly don’t know how I did it all from home for these many years! Now that I have so much more storage capacity, I have a treat for you: Insect frass fertilizer is back! I am proud to once again offer this unique product at a competitive price. Give it a try as you start your veggies and flowers this spring.

Btw, did you know that “residual streams from insect farming (frass and exuviae [=moulted exoskeletons]) contain chitin and other compounds that may stimulate beneficial soil microbes that have ISR [=induced systemic resistance] and biocontrol activity”? I found this and more cool info in a recent Trends in Plant Science article.

What else is new? Well… fuel prices are up, and with them, everything else. While some price increases will be inevitable (thank you for understanding), I am committed to keeping your shipping fees the same (even as Canada Post is adding a hefty fuel surcharge on my tab). Let’s hope and work for peace, and for an equal and just transition into a truly renewable and self-sustaining world. Growing our own organic food is an excellent start!

On the personal side, last year’s upheaval has changed to a relative calm. We had to move house and were lucky to find new “digs” nearby.

With the rental housing market being what it is, I had made peace with the idea of living in a garden suite, as long as there was an actual garden attached. And wouldn’t you know… that’s exactly what we got!

It was incredibly hard to leave “my” old garden — I miss it so much, I still dream about it. Since I moved away, it has sadly been degraded to a tidy, low-maintenance shadow of its former biodiverse glory. For a while, I was upset about that — but I’m slowly coming to realize that, at least, I built that soil for 15 years, and that’s a lasting legacy.

Now I’m happily implementing a brand new landscape design in a large backyard with space for beauty, food, ecology, and even the cat, to the delight of an equally happy new landlord. Win-win!

So here’s to Spring.