Vegetable Therapy

Farewell tall Ash Tree.

Farewell! Our tall Ash Tree, which towered over the neighbour’s house and ours, is no more. It was attacked by the invasive Emerald Ash Borer, and died. We paid what was to us a small fortune to have the tree removed by an insured arborist. He took the tree down bit by bit, lowering each bit by rope to the two men below, who stacked the logs, or chipped the branches. It took five hours to complete. It was a very professional job. We are left with a very large pile of logs, excellent firewood. I admit to shedding a tear as our Ash tree came down.

Our move to Mist Cottage opened doors for us. One was the door to gardening. The Country House, where we lived before we moved to Mist Cottage, was surrounded by dense bush, that grew on rough land, strewn with boulders, with little to no topsoil. The light, the climate, the soil, all made for challenging gardening. I attempted to grow a garden on the large deck at the Country House, but the climate defeated the effort, harvesting only two tomatoes. Also, at the Country House we were kept busy trying to survive, spending copious amounts of time at low paying jobs, driving long distances to access supplies and health care, and maintaining all the systems on the property, the septic system, the drinking water system (well), and the heating system (masonry heater, firewood).

Ah, but Mist Cottage! Here we have a thermostat, an oil furnace, and a heat pump to heat our home. Water and sewer are handled by the municipality, billed monthly. I am retired, and Attila works one job only. The climate is wonderful for gardening, the soil is rich, and we have enough light to delight a garden.

What the garden means is that for the first time we can afford fresh vegetables all season long, and we can preserve our fresh vegetables to enhance our diet during the long winter months. The availability and quality of our vegetable supply has meant a big increase in the volume of vegetables consumed.

Vegetable therapy.

The “golden years” are years where one’s health slowly (or not so slowly) deteriorates. One becomes used to being told by health care professionals, “at your age”. So, when I had my eye exam last week, and was told there was no deterioration, AND that my peripheral vision had significantly improved, I felt euphoric! An improvement in general health isn’t something I’ve come to expect these days.

And I think this improvement can, at least in part, be attributed to vegetable therapy.

Our frozen garden vegetables, and some purchased frozen vegetables, constitute 90% of most meals we eat. Every casserole, soup, or stew made here is almost all vegetables. Our broth is homemade vegetable broth. We eat fruit daily as well, usually apples, locally grown and sold out of cold storage. Our highest form of celebration is to purchase “exotic” fruits, like imported grapes, citrus fruit, or dried dates. We do eat meat, but use it as a condiment, a little bit goes a very long way.

Although vegetables may be improving my vision, they have not yet alleviated my current health issue. The painkillers are still working for the most part, and whatever is bothering me clearly reminds me if I miss just one pill. More tests in the weeks to come, and hopefully a diagnosis. In the meantime, I am eating my vegetables, and inviting them to contend with the issue.

We had a snow storm on Friday, about six inches of the white stuff blanketed the outside world by the time we awoke on Saturday morning. Then the temperature began to fall, reaching -15C last night. This morning it is snowing off and on, and the temperature climbs. It looks like we won’t get cold like this again for the next two weeks. Perhaps the frigid temperatures are past us now!



Updated on Sun, Mar 13, 7:55 AM
-14 °C
Partly cloudy
Wind 6 SW km/h
Humidity 73 %
Visibility 20 km
Sunrise 7:24 AM
Wind gust 10 km/h
Pressure 101.6 kPa
Ceiling 10000 m
Sunset 7:11 PM


“Cabbage: A familiar kitchen-garden vegetable about as large and wise as a man’s head.”
Ambrose Bierce
1842 – 1914

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Eileen Barton

Maggie, hope your health issue gets resolved soon! How wonderful that your vision responded so favorably to your healthy diet. I read about a woman in England who was losing her memory and her son researched and changed her diet and the woman’s memory improved noticeably. So nice to be able to grow and preserve your own food since heaven knows what is sprayed on commercial veggies and fruits to preserve them during growing and shipping and storage. Take care!


I’m glad the vegetables are helping. I pray the doctors will find out what’s causing you grief and be able to restore you to good health. I cry, too, when trees are lost. Our orange tree, which had given us such good oranges, died of some fungus. We have just part of it there, even though dead, it’s still propping up our clothes lines.


Congratulations on your great eye exam! I’m glad you’re getting closer to tests and appointments were they can figure out what’s going on and give you a diagnosis and treatment plan. I hate to see a tree chopped down too and find it to be a sad and tearful occasion. There are studies that show that many trees are connected through a network of fungi attached to their roots.They communicate through the fungi. For example, older trees can ask other trees to redirect nutrient for younger trees. It’s amazing.


I was so glad when you moved to Mist Cottage, the Country House was a harsh life and I don’t think you and Attila would be doing nearly as well as you now are at Mist Cottage.

Glad to hear your eye sight is doing well.

We’re getting closer to planting time. Looks like our temps are starting to stabilize into a spring normal.