South Dogwood Street container garden has it made in the shade

Who Says You Can’t Grow Food on a north facing balcony?

Who Says You Can’t Grow Food on a north facing balcony?

City staffer, Diana Bell has defied the naysayers by producing a wonderful array of veggies grown in pots on her South Dogwood Street condo.

Her eclectic array of containers includes Tyee spinach, bright lights swiss chard, butter crunch lettuce, and red leaf romaine. Her herb pots produce spearmint and chives.  Cages are used to support zucchinis, cucumbers and Sweet 100 tomatoes.

At the peak of daylight hours her balcony only gets reflected light and direct sun around the side of the building from about 6 p.m. until sunset.

Diana says the tomatoes which normally ripen in 60 days ,take double that time before harvesting.

“The taste is incredible despite the long wait,” exclaims this enthusiastic gardener.

She also grows edible violas.

“They look so beautiful scattered amongst the greens and they really perk up a plain garden salad,” she adds.


Being Inspired By Directions On Cooking Dandelions in a local cookbook I headed out along a canyon trail in search of fresh leaves and buds.

They aren’t hard to find, just make sure they are growing well back from the trail or roadside to avoid contamination from vehicle fumes.

The directions for cooking these tasty leaves can be found on Page 31 of the Quadra Island Cookery ll book. The recipe is so basic, just a bit of oil or butter in the pan, grilled onions and a pinch of salt and a squirt of lemon juice.

Just a simple idea but this dish is brimming with nutritive value.


The Earth Day Film Presentation at the Tidemark Theatre was so inspiring that it has caused me to take revolutionary action regarding my reliance on my humble Honda CRV.

I won a  bus pass door prize to be used during the month of May. Someone nearby remarked, “You could give the pass away to someone who really needs it.”

“Well wait a moment,” I thought to myself, “maybe it’s really me who needs to change my driving habits.”

Well you can see where this discussion was headed.  Listening to the film presenters’ profound change of lifestyle as they reevaluated their wastefulness motivated me to take a personal “No Driving” pledge for the month of May.

As I have a midmonth appointment in Victoria I will exempt myself for that one trip but other than that I’ll be either cycling or taking the bus to town.

As two fill ups with gas in a month cost between $100 – $130, the earth will not only be benefiting by my lighter footprint but so will my wallet.