Lightening Our Footprint Blog Feed

Working daily to reduce our environmental footprint while striving for self sufficiency on our small-scale family farm in South Eastern Ontario, Canada.

  • Every day is a learning experience . . .

    October 20, 2019 by

    October 20, 2019 by Bea Heissler In 2006, I took early retirement from a position in outdoor education to start a native plant nursery in Frankford, Ontario. For those who recognize the importance of biodiversity and wanted to turn their yards into havens for wildlife, it was hard to find plants native to this general… Read more

  • In memory of my mother

    January 19, 2020 by

    January 19, 2020 We are strongly influenced by those who raised us.  Whether we take on different beliefs or not, what we learned in our early years set the foundation for our lives.  As unique entities, each of my parents’ children has taken a different perspective.  It just means the influence they had on their… Read more

  • Thoughts on food security and embracing challenges

    January 12, 2020 by

    January 12, 2020  Last summer and fall, when there was so much coming off the gardens, we would take the time to process tomatoes into juice, cucumbers into pickles, and peppers into hot sauces.  But much of the extra produce just went directly into the freezer for processing when we’d have the time during the winter. Beans, peas, eggplants, and zucchini are… Read more

  • Looking Ahead to 2020

    December 29, 2019 by

    December 29, 2019 With the holiday season almost behind us, we look to the new year to reach new goals or finally accomplish what we had planned to do in 2019. Ironically, we set these goals without any knowledge of the twists and turns that we will encounter through the next twelve months. It makes… Read more

  • The Winter Solstice

    December 21, 2019 by

    December 21, 2019 One of the advantages of retirement, apart from not having to rush off to work in the morning, is the opportunity to take the time to witness dawn each day from the same location. In the early morning hours one can feel like a conscious participant in the counterclockwise spin of the… Read more

  • Winter Down Time

    December 15, 2019 by

    December 15, 2019  In aboriginal cultures of the northern hemisphere, winter was traditionally the time for storytelling.  There was usually plenty of food stored from hunting and gathering throughout the summer and fall, ideally enough to see the community through the winter.   The closer you work with the Earth, the closer you continue this traditional life style.  With freezers full, herbs… Read more

  • Our Yards and Gardens in Late Fall and Winter

    December 8, 2019 by

    December 8, 2019 I’m a big fan of the scientific approach as it involves letting go of preconceived ideas and becoming fully aware of our surroundings or subject of study through unbiased observation. A scientific mind is less likely to say, “I love this and hate that.” Society has taught us the so-called good and… Read more

  • Our Venture into Raising Chickens

    December 1, 2019 by

    December 1,2019 For as many years as we’ve had the greenhouses, I have thought of options to throwing weeds and spent produce on the compost pile. I would imagine feeding these nutritious greens to hens we didn’t have and collecting eggs in return. We use a fair number of eggs and I could feed hens… Read more

  • There is so much and so many possibilities

    November 23, 2019 by

    November 24, 2019 Energy is all around us. Forests, meadows, and wetlands need only solar energy to drive their complex ecosystems. Energy from the sun drives the water cycle as well as air and water currents all over the world. Inside the earth is a cauldron of hot molten rock, so powerful that it spews… Read more

  • My Adventures with Trial and Error Greenhouse Gardening

    November 17, 2019 by

    November 17, 2019 One should never assume anything, especially when it comes to weather. Past weather patterns, at best, provide some predictability. More importantly than this, is to be prepared to readily adapt. Climate change is bringing us more blasts of extreme cold as the polar vortex extends further south. This past week has seen… Read more

  • Looking Ahead to Next Spring

    November 10, 2019 by

    November 10, 2019 My father would always remind us to make time work for us.  Applying that principle makes it possible to achieve a considerable amount with least effort.  Using least effort and avoiding mechanization is generally much better for the environment. Sometimes we find ourselves struggling to speed up a process.  If we want… Read more

  • Trees, Shrubs and Observations

    November 3, 2019 by

    November 3, 2019, by Bea Heissler Now that the market season is over, it’s time to put the potted trees and shrubs away for the winter. We set the trees tightly together into trenches that are about the depth of the pots. Then, use leaf litter to cover the edges of the trenches and around… Read more

  • Gardening in Fall

    October 27, 2019 by

    October 28, 2019 The northern hemisphere is now tilted away from the sun during this part of Earth’s annual journey around our star. All living things are tuned in to seasonal changes. Daylength sets biological clocks. Varying periods of light triggers changes in plants and animal behaviour. We are not as tuned in as other… Read more

  • Lightening our footprint while striving for self sufficiency.

    October 20, 2019 by

    October 20, 2019 by Bea Heissler Welcome to my blog where I share my insights, challenges and thoughts that come to me while gardening organically on our small market gardening farm and native plant nursery.  I am continually learning and welcome the insights and comments of others as we collectively work toward a brighter future for… Read more

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