Floral notes: June.

And without further ado…wait, there was ado?

Harvest time is now virtually over for this early season crop, but a few weeks ago, my hubby and I headed out to Edgar Farms (near the town of Innisfail in central Alberta) for their annual Asparagus Festival.  The celebration is held over three weekends in May and June, and features a farm tour, lots of yummy food, and artisans selling their locally-made wares.  The star of the show is, of course, asparagus, which isn’t cultivated very much as a commercial crop here in the province – the family-run Edgar Farms is one of the only producers that I am aware of.  Interpretive signs near the asparagus fields offer fun facts about this fascinating perennial veggie,  tips to successfully grow it, and a history of the farm and its owners. (You can also take a guided wagon tour if you’d rather not walk the property; we chose to walk because I always find you see more if you’re on foot).  One of the highlights of the festival is the opportunity to go out into the asparagus fields to break a spear fresh out of the soil and pop it in your mouth.  And, of  course, all the freshly-harvested asparagus you can bring home from the marketplace…YUM! It’s going to be difficult to wait another whole year for such a delicacy!

FPAFNormandeau

Purple cultivars of asparagus taste a bit sweeter than green ones, and wow! that colour!  Spectacular! (Just like many purple bean cultivars, purple asparagus spears turn green when you cook them, and actually, if you slice open a raw spear, the interior is green).

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A man with more literary awards than you can shake a stick at (as well as a little bauble called the Order of Canada!), renowned Canadian science fiction writer Robert J. Sawyer was recently in Calgary acting as the visiting writer-in-residence at the Calgary Public Library.  My hubby and I managed to squish in Mr. Sawyer’s highly entertaining lecture “Why Everyone Should Read Science Fiction” on June 2.  In addition to defending his position on Star Trek’s superiority over Star Wars (I’d say the room was divided on that one!), we were treated to an educational and fascinating discussion of the history of science fiction writing  and its focus on social issues.

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Speaking of science fiction, I’ve published writer Geoff Hart’s flash fiction work “Fly Fishing” over at Paper Butterfly.  It’s a story you’ll fall for hook, line, and sinker…guaranteed. Head over there and enjoy!♥

 

 

 

 

Book review: Rah, rah, radishes.

Rah, Rah, Radishes!  A Vegetable Chant by April Pully Sayre – (2011 Beach Lane Books, New York)

I’m keeping my fingers crossed that I will get a share in a new CSA (Community Shared Agriculture) program getting underway this coming season – my mouth is watering just thinking of all the fresh, LOCAL produce that I will get every week (and my head is spinning trying to imagine how I will prepare them all in meals, especially given my meatatarian hubby’s “allergy” to veggies!).    I’m thrilled that more and more of these CSA programs are becoming available for Albertans – especially for those of us who do not have the space to grow a significant amount of our own produce!

While I anticipate the CSA share and look forward to the opening dates of the local (seasonal) farmers’ markets and U-Pick farms, I simply have to share an adorable picture book I found at the library the other day:  April Pulley Sayre’s Rah, Rah, Radishes!  A Vegetable Chant.  A celebration of farmers’ markets and all of the good, fresh food harvested and sold by local growers, Rah, Rah, Radishes!  is a total gem, with punchy, fun, rhymes:

Root for rutabagas.

Bounce for beets!

Pile up parsnips.

Turnip treats!

Snag some sweet corn!

Shuck an ear.

Celebrate celery.

Give a cheer!

Accompanied by absolutely STELLAR photography of all of the vegetables in their full, colourful glory, the book looks good enough to eat.  It’s like a seed catalogue with a boppin’ soundtrack (and no confusing cultivar names).  If you’ve got a little one in your life, introduce him or her to this book – and the exciting world of vegetables.

Now, ‘scuse me, I’m off to make a recording of this book to play back while my hubby is sleeping…I’ll get him to eat kohlrabi somehow!

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Check out April Sayre’s veggie photos and more info at AprilSayre.com.  (And watch for her fruit-themed picture book Go, Go, Grapes! in May of this year).

Related posts:  Book review:  Water, Weed, and Wait.