Green beans fresh from the garden. (File photo)

Green beans fresh from the garden. (File photo)

Farewell to the Gardeners Corner

Erik has a few final tips as he packs in his column

For those of us who survived the cold spell over the Christmas season, congratulations.

Most nights, I had to get up three to four times to load more wood into the woodstove. So, I can feel a bit overwhelmed during the daytime hours.

One good thing has also happened, the days are getting longer.

Sadie, the dog, and I take our daily morning walk along the river, from the post office to the bridge. When it was freezing, we made the walk shorter for the sake of the one who was barefoot.

It amazes me how differently, and beautifully, the Bulkley River displays itself each day. It makes one feel blessed living in such a neighbourhood.

I have been given these topics to pass on for you to consider.

Cranberries. We are encouraged to be more self-sufficient, eat local food. What can we use instead of cranberries from the south? There are bog berries and high bush berries.

Indigenous people often cooked them and mixed them with ooligan grease. It is said that the word is connected to when the cranes come back. The early white pioneers had not acquired a taste for ooligan but dried the berries for storage. Then they would have to soak them in water again before making sauce or jellies.

Beans, beans, glorious beans. The dried brown bean was a staple as food for the miner, prospector, telegraph operator and pioneer. It would keep well and provide needed protein to the consumer and maybe some gas.

What type of beans can we grow here in the Bulkley Valley? The season may be too short for ripening beans on the vine, but in many summers, it is possible to grow bush beans and climbing beans, yellow, green, and purple and the scarlet runner.

Farmers are producing peas with other crops as fodder for their animals. The Bulkley Valley is famous for its Peavine, which provided nourishment for the early cows and horses and a name for an early character in the Driftwood Valley named Peavine Harvey.

But which types can we grow in our garden? They can be seeded early and grow well here. But do you like shelled peas or the lazy man’s type where you eat the pod also, like sugar snaps. Here are some of my ideas to think about.

It is-now been more than a year since I started The Gardener’s Corner. It has been an extraordinary joy to share with you my experiences from the gardening world. Therefore, with a heavy heart, I am announcing this one will be my last column for now.

I will leave you with the email address so if you down the road has a question or two, feel welcome to contact me.