RD Jan-Feb Letters 2019

Tomato bounty

RD: Regarding the Garden Gleanings column: “One of two things money can’t buy,” by Megan de Graaf (RD, December 2018, pg. 21) – that being decent tomatoes in winter.

I’ve attached a photo of my remaining tomato harvest as of December 16, 2018. After harvest, we spread all our unripe and/or green tomatoes out on newspaper on the cool basement floor. Every couple of days I check for ripe ones to process one way or another, and to toss any that have started to go bad. I have to admit that by November I am probably tossing as many as we are eating, but it’s still worth it! The Roma-style tomatoes seem to last the longest.

Oh, and we harvested the last of the lettuce from our cold frame today, so I guess salad is on the menu tonight!

Debbie McKeil

Burtts Corner, N.B.

RD “MapQuest” request

RD: There’s something about putting pen to paper that seems appropriate in writing you. Firstly, I love your work. Read it cover to cover, and always pass it on to others of like mind.

Second, a request. Not sure if you have ever considered this in the past, but I would love to see some maps of the towns, villages, and areas that some of your articles talk about. They don’t need to be elaborate, finely detailed maps – just something that gives us a general idea of the areas that are covered in the articles. We go back east every couple of years, and it would be nice to visit some of the farms, markets, restaurants, and countryside that’s off the main roads.

Mark Toffanello

Timmins, Ont.

(Thanks for putting pen to paper, Mark, and thanks for the suggestion. I have a vague memory that this idea has been kicked around before. You’re right that many of the places mentioned in RD are pretty small, and even references to a particular highway or county would not necessarily be helpful to out-of-province readers. A sketched map of local landmarks and landscape details might be fun, occasionally. Or maybe, like an epic historical novel, we should have a master map in the opening pages? We’ll revisit it – and we hope you continue to revisit us in the Maritimes! DL)

Left out in the cold

RD: I read your April 2018 article concerning the new community greenhouse in Bear River (“A hothouse of community spirit,” by Jane Fowler, pg. 24) with great interest. At one point the author states that no other enclosed public greenhouse existed in North America. This is actually incorrect. The town of Inuvik, N.W.T., has a large, thriving community greenhouse located on the site of an old hockey rink. Their website is inuvikgreenhouse.com.

Mike Bishop

Windsor, N.S.

Frozen ground yields sweet surprise

RD: For the last few years, I have been leaving my carrots and parsnips in the ground for the winter and digging them out as needed. My cousin was down from the Miramichi this weekend, and she wanted to bring some parsnips home, so I had her dig them up.   

They are so sweet from spending time in the frozen ground. I have attached a picture of her with her bounty. We live here in Eastern Passage, so usually the winters are a little warmer and not as much snow.

Happy New Year.

Sandy Hickey

Eastern Passage, N.S.