Family Garden

My daughter always tells me that the sun is God.  “The rain is God too,” she’ll say… “and so is the moon.”  It is difficult to disagree with her, no matter what your beliefs are — it is pretty unbelievable, the delicate balance that makes up our universe.  Whatever force that is, is something to behold.  Just the right amount of sunshine and rain has provided us with vegetables all summer.  What was buried under 3 feet of snow just 6 months ago, is now filled with fruit bearing plants as tall as I am.

This is only our second garden, and who knows whether we will get any yield next season, although each day we marvel at what the universe has the ability to create.  It also helps to have family and friends who can provide you with some wisdom as well.  Knowledge far more valuable than what Google can provide.  Real stuff – tried, tested and true… we’ve managed to learn a lot.

More than anything, this garden has been a family exercise, with lessons about cycles, sharing and care built right in  — one tills the soil, the other plants the seeds, the little one brings out the watering can…



…and we all can enjoy eating it together.

Soon, I know that lush fruit-bearing patch will once again be covered with snow.  We’ll just have to be patient… until we do it all again next spring.

Gifts of Summer

Wow, summer is something to behold in the deep south of Southern Ontario. To begin with, things grow like the dickens, and this year in particular there’s been an abundance of rain. You’ll sometimes hear folks complaining, (those who had their heart set on working on their bronze tan) but let me tell you, the produce yield we’ve had this year as a result of the extra precipitation has been unreal.

If you venture down the Chrysler Greenway, which runs 42 km from Oldcastle to Leamington, there are many sections lined with lush trees, bushes and flowers; there are even little ravines – rare for the characteristically flat Essex County.  If you look carefully you’ll find a number of wild berry bushes that are chock full with fresh fruits; mostly wild raspberries and mulberries. Bring a basket, or fill your boots – it’s free.  It’s amazing how us Canadians take for granted these kinds of freedoms when right this minute on the other side of the planet there are 10 million people that couldn’t grow one berry if they used all their power and will.  I suppose it is easy to forget when they are on sale at Costco for a 3 bucks a pound.

Happy Chicken Eggs

Just in time for easter.

Farm fresh free range eggs; 3 bucks per dozen, and these chickens get to run around as they please, just like in Mexico.  You’ll really notice the difference when you crack one open – the yolks are orange rather than the pale yellow we have been accustomed to with the mass produced, ‘depressed’ chicken eggs.

Happy chickens make happy eggs.

736 Seacliff Drive, Kingsville.

Lake Fish

On Halloween afternoon I was doing my last minute snack shopping at Foodland on Main St, and I decided I wanted to get some popcorn to go along with my afternoon matinee of The Shining.  I noticed it was a peculiar dark colored strain when gentleman spoke over my shoulder,  “That’s a good one.  The kernels stay dark and it pops up real nice and fluffy.”  I was happy to get his input, and he seemed pretty confident about his food knowledge. So I went ahead and bought them… and he was right.  They were delicious.

Later that evening, we were out with my daughter ‘Trick or Treating’, and we walked up a set of stone steps to a beautiful porch only to find the good gentlemen who recommended the popcorn.  Turns out he knew even more about fresh fish; lake fish to be specific.  He spent a good part of his life on a commercial fishing boat in Lake Erie, pulling in perch, pickerel and whitefish.  He even had a couple Sturgeon stories to tell.


The man’s name was Garry Penner, he now works as a real estate agent for Sun County real estate here in Kingsville.  When I asked him where to get fresh lake fish in town, he told me about his little spot, down by the ferry dock;  it is called ‘La Nassa‘.  They have a wonderful selection of local lake fish; including perch, pickerel & white fish; they also carry rainbow trout and east coast salmon.  It is very nondescript, but it is marked with a white flag.


Their prices are quite reasonable (9/lb for perch fillets, $2/lb for dressed whitefish) and their service is friendly.  I was also pleased to find out that La Nassa is currently the only Lake Erie processor to actively participate in the Ministry of Natural Resource’s “Tote Program”. This program constitutes full third party assessment of all lake Erie quota fish assuring our customers the highest quality fish.

Do go for a visit soon; and tell ’em Garry sent ya.

Ice Cream

This kid is happy.  And can you blame him? He’s got a soft ice cream cone in his hands.  This stand is on Division road, a few blocks from Main.  It is a staple summer stop, and my only complaint is that I’ve had to wait 5 people deep each time I’ve gone.  No matter;  it is worth waiting in line for – I prefer mine chocolate dipped, or in a coke float – if you are lucky you’ll burn a few calories while standing there, since you’ll put on a few once you eat one of these guys. One way or the other, the stuff is delicious.

The Main

The Main Grill & Ale is about to open in the building Jack’s used to occupy. The eats are similar, although the decor is a touch more formal. As the name suggests, you will get a nice list of beers to choose from. Overall this is a nice casual dining spot, where you can get a hearty dish for a reasonable buck.

24 Main Street West

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