Please Melt, Please Melt, Please Melt!

It is absolutely gorgeous here in High Park right now. Everything is glittery and sparkly and bright. The Black Oak Savannah is absolutely breathtaking! The problem is … this breathtaking sight could also do plenty of damage to such an important and rare habitat!

Sparkly Tree

The ice still weighs heavy on the old oaks and a good gust of wind could still send large branches flying. Dangerous to park users and harmful to our lovely trees. While they’re strong and have survived a couple hundred years now, urban trees have it tougher than those in the wild. Pollution, soil compaction, drought and vandalism (surprisingly not those little squirrel ruffians 😉 ) have more of a detrimental effect on trees in the City than those in the country.

So while you’re sending warm thoughts to those still without power please spare a moment to think melty thoughts for our trees 😀

Quick note – As of this moment the entrance to High Park from Parkside Dr. is still closed due to a downed hydro wire.

Garden Clean-Up Day Sunday Nov. 24th

It’s that time of year folks! The leaves have fallen (mostly) from the trees, the plants have given us their last fruits to harvest and our garlic is (almost) all planted. It’s time to put the Garden to bed. It needs to sleep and rejuvenate for another fruitful season next year.

Please join us from 10 am to 1 pm at the Children’s Garden in High Park on Sunday, November 24th and help us wrap up another successful season at the Children’s Garden. We’ll keep you warm with tea made with plants from the Garden and some mulching of the Garden beds!

Vegan Double Chocolate Zucchini Cake Recipe

Here’s a confession … I’m actually writing this post because my next post needs to link to this … plus it’s Vegan Double Chocolate Zucchini Cake! It’s practically our duty to make sure the world knows of this wondrous treat 😉 Sarah, our amazing Cooking Program Instructor, came up with this variation on our traditional recipe. So without further ado …

VDCZC

Note that this recipe has been thoroughly tested by our camp groups and comes out pretty great every time. Even when the Sprouts are making it 😉 Click here for a printable .pdf version.

Continue reading “Vegan Double Chocolate Zucchini Cake Recipe”

Little Green Sprouts to Brighten the Dark Winter Months

It’s that time of year, things are a bit dark and dreary and thoughts of spring gardens are popping into everyone’s minds. Most of the locally grown fruits and veggies we eat now are roots, squash, carrots and cabbage. These are the veggies that store well through the winter months and while they keep you full and warm, it’s nice to have something a little fresher to liven up your meals. There is something fun and tasty you and your kids can do to revive your taste buds and even add a little zing to your meals 😉

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How many folks have hit the farmers market and eaten half a bag of sprouts on the way home? I know I can’t be the only one! Sprouts are a great way to enjoy fresh local food in a short period of time. Children love to help grow them and many will eat them straight from the sprouter (which can be as simple as an old spaghetti sauce jar!), the larger seeds and beans make a great snack. Most folks know the two most famous sprouts found in oriental dishes and salad bars around the world. Tiny little alfalfa sprouts can be added to salads, sandwiches and top many a casserole. Good old mung bean sprouts are the ones found in chow mien and egg rolls and a variety of stir fries.

While the traditional stuff is all fun and tasty there are hundreds of seeds out there you can sprout. Radish and mustard can add a little heat to your salad or sandwich. Sprouted chick peas can make a great hummus (check out the chocolate avocado mousse while you’re there!). Barely sprouted raw nuts like almonds taste heavenly and are even more nutritious than their dormant cousins. Sprouting beans before cooking can make them tasty and easier to digest. Continue reading “Little Green Sprouts to Brighten the Dark Winter Months”

It’s a Party! A Water Work Party! Apr. 21, Noon – 3

Want to do something fun and educational this Earth Week weekend?  This Saturday come out and join us for a little irrigation and recreation!  We are hosting a Volunteer Work Party to help get the garden get ready for spring and to give folks an opportunity to learn more about volunteering for the Children’s Garden and Exploring Toronto Programs.

Learn about sub-irrigation systems and how to save water in your own garden.  Find out more about our amazing programs and how you can get involved.  We’ll have crafts for the kids (young and old 🙂 ) and a chance for a sneak peak at our beautiful new Children’s Teaching Kitchen.

When:  Saturday, Apr. 21, 2012 from Noon to 3 pm
Where:  The Children’s Garden in High Park (see map)
Directions:  Click here for walking, biking, TTCing and driving directions

We hope to see you this Saturday!  Happy Earth Week!

High Park Cherry Blossom – Update

Again a brief reminder to please take the TTC to the Park if you’re joining us this weekend! 

A final Cherry Blossom Update before we head out for the weekend.  It’s getting very close out there!  Many of the Park and Nature Centre Staff have picked their dates for the blossoms to open … Jorge the Park Supervisor says Saturday … Nature Centre Staff are thinking Sunday (I think) … I’m liking Monday myself.  I might be a little late with that prediction but I’m thinking the Cherry Blossoms will be at their peak by then.

Continue reading “High Park Cherry Blossom – Update”

High Park Cherry Blossoms

Just a reminder parking in High Park is limited, please take the TTC!

It’s that time of year again … really it’s a tad early this year … Cherry Blossom season!  If you’ve never seen the cherry trees bloom in High Park you’re missing out.  It’s a beautiful site that draws people from around the world.

If you’re wondering why cherry trees in bloom are so special it’s because of their history.  These cherry trees have a special story to tell!

Continue reading “High Park Cherry Blossoms”

Seedy Saturdays (and a Sunday!)

It’s that time of year once again!  Seedy Saturdays (and a Sunday) are just around the corner.  Perfect timing for starting your seeds indoors.  

There’s nothing like watching seeds grow to get you through the tail-end of winter.  Watching tiny little leaves unfold and slowly but surely turn into the plants we all know and love provides us with that little taste of spring.  Here are a few great resources for starting seeds …

Lets Start Seeds – You Grow Girl (very comprehensive list of resources)

Gayla Trail’s (You Grow Girl) Awesome Seed Starting Chart

Seed Starting 101 – Canadian Gardening

Seed Starting Basics – Mother Earth News

Our best seed sources will be at these great Seedy Saturday (and one Sunday!) events:

Scadding Court – Sat., Mar. 3
Evergreen Brickworks – Sat., Mar. 10
Heron Park Community Centre – Sat., Mar. 17
West End – Sat., Mar. 24
Lawrence Heights Community Centre – Sun., Mar. 25 

Check out one of these great events in your area.  The closest one to High Park will be the West End Seedy Saturday at Masaryk-Cowan Community Centre on Mar. 24.  We hope to see you there!