Tag Archives: garden

From Love and Trash – Dumpster Find of the Week: (living) onions!

I love the idea of reclaiming trash, and this is from one of my favorite blogs, Love and Trash. While the writer found the “dead” onions at her food co-op, I can usually score some right at home.

I love onions. I love ‘em raw, and I love ‘em cooked, so much so that I have one tattooed on my leg. Mmmm. Full of vitamins and super powers, I say. And this e-mail was about dumpster diving some of that juicy yellow, white, and green gold.

This week’s dumpster find is from a reader from… well, she didn’t actually say. What she did have to say was this:

“The co-op is usually a bastion of reduce reuse recycle but I still occasionally, as a volunteer, find myself breaking down boxes for the recycle dumpster or throwing an odd bit of trash away. Possibly by accident it was that I found an unopened bag of what looked to be dead onions. They were the expensive organic kind.”

“Experiments I have done with scallions have shown that onions are very hardy. I have found that even the deadest-looking onions can revive when put back in dirt. It’s like they’re magical! See what I mean? The attached photo shows that all the onions in the bag came back to life within a week of planting. Hooray! ”

“Oh and if it’s not obvious what I will do with my find, I will harvest and eat them!”

Good call. Seems to me the only thing better than getting food out of the dumpster is getting a plant or a plant start that will continue to feed you long after the dumpsters have gone. I’ve never planted the onions I’ve dumpstered (need to get on that someday, then again it all depends on the time of year when you find ‘em), but I have found tulip bulbs and more spice and herb plants (usually basil) than I could carry home.


I have to admit that it never occurred to me to actually PLANT the onions that sprout in my cupboard. I’ll let you know how it goes, ‘cos with this hot weather, I’ll be getting some sprouts soon! Potatoes too… apparently one eye is all you need to start a plant.

No more trashing my old produce. At least, not during the growing season. Click on the link above for more.

Seven Quick Takes Friday


  1. The boys are both away from home this week and it’s been nice, in a wierd kind of way. Alex is up at the cottage witih his girlfriend and they’re due back sometime today. Michael is working at the Toronto District School Board’s Music by the Lake camp for elementary school students. He’s a junior staff assistant, asked to work sort of last-minute-ish as they needed a trombone player. From the few texts we’ve received, it sounds like he’s having a good time. We’ll pick him up tomorrow around noon and then he needs to study for his exams next week.
  2. Saw the absolutely thrilling production of Alice in Wonderland last night at the National Ballet of Canada. I’m not a big ballet afficianado…I’ve only ever been to The Nutcracker (multiple times, from childhood) but this got such raves that I thought it was worth checking out.  I’m a convert! Originally a production of the Royal Ballet, it’s full of surprises with stunning sets, props, and effects, and the score by Joby Talbot is terrific.

    <Image courtesy of National Ballet>

  3. Saw an old friend from high school on Wednesday evening. It’s been years, yet we fell into conversation as if it had been a few days. Isn’t it wonderful how that happens?  I’ll see her again tonight as we’re both attending Verdi’s Un Ballo in Maschera, courtesy of Opera By Request, in which a mutual friend (also from high school) is singing.
  4. The annual Luminato Festival starts this weekend and we’ve actually lined up tickets to some events this year! On our calendar:
    – One Thousand and One Nights, a new theatrical production of these Arabic folktales. It’s actually being staged in two three-hour segments, but we’ll see one of them.
    – We tried to get tickets to hear Lebanese author and creator of the script for 1001 Nights Hanan al-Shayk, but they were sold out. I’m hoping maybe they’ll repeat the event. 
    – Next weekend, we’ll see “a raw and shocking re-imagination of Racine’s classic play [Andromache] from provocative Scottish director Graham McLaren.” Z studied the play in school, but I am completely ignorant, so I should probably do a little reading about it … 
    – I’m keen to take in the free installation by architect Philip Beesley called Sargasso. It was at the Vienna Biennale. There’s a little promo video about it at the link that’s well worth a watch.
    – Next Friday is a free outdoor concert in David Pecaut square featuring kd lang. Yay! 
    Can you see why I love Toronto?! 
  5. Next Thursday, I’m heading to Stratford with two gal pals to see Seana McKenna in Richard III. As Richard III. The play did NOT get great reviews, but I’m looking forward to it nonetheless.

    <Image courtesy Stratford Shakespeare Festival>

  6.  Our garden is actually looking somewhat acceptable this summer. There is still a whole section to tidy up, but I’ve started putting mulch down after I pull weeds, and the grass seed I picked up at Costco on the spur of the moment is doing really well in filling in some of the patchiness of the lawn. Being on a corner lot, everuthing is basically exposed, so it’s been kind of embarrassing to have this wild and wooly thing happening on our property.  
  7. Just finished a terrific book, Brooklyn, by Colm Toibin. It’s the story of a young Irish woman in the 50s who emigrates to Brooklyn and finds herself stuck between her old and new lives.  It’s a compelling portrait of that time, relations between Irish, Italians, Jews, and African-Americans in this bustling city of immigrants. As a genealogist, it gave me some insight into what it must have been like for single women to come to the “new world” for a better life, without family, having to make new friends and find their way on their own (or, as in this case, with help from her parish priest.)  I highly recommend this quick read.
  8. Bonus: I am desperately trying to break my habit of putting two spaces after a period. There has been so much mockery of old-school people like me who were taught that in the last century, and it’s terribly ingrained. But I’m trying.

Visit Jennifer over at Conversion Diary for more Quick Takes!


Early results are in!

As soon as the new water service was installed, I rushed to the kitchen sink to check out the new pressure.  It showed no noticeable difference at individual taps/showerheads.  My heart sank at this.  Did we just blow over two grand for nuthin’?  I mean, it made sense to do it if the city is running a big fat pipe across the street to our house.  They were already in the ground, so it was the right time to extend the service to the house.

But this morning it became apparent that the big payoff is when multiple fixtures are working.  I ran the shower this morning, hopped out, flushed the toilet, and hopped back in.  No change in pressure!  Then I did the same thing, but ran the tap at the sink while running the shower.  No change!  Woohoo!

Next step will be to see if two people can take showers at the same time (in two separate bathrooms, I mean).  This could be the end of Michael’s plaintiff cries from the boys’ shower:  “Whoever is using the water, could you PLEASE STOP!” 

In a house with three full baths, it would be nice to be able to stop coordinating shower times, particularly during the morning rush, or when we have guests in the basement and need to tell them to ask before they have a shower!

Plus it just occurred to me this morning that our expenses quality for the new Canadian home renovation tax credit, so that’s a little bonus.

Oh, and our lawn has frozen solid into a gnarly wreck.  Very unsightly.  But they will resod, once sod is available.  And that will only draw attention to the rest of the lawn, which was pretty pathetic to start with.  I actually asked the city contractor if we could pay him extra to sod our whole lawn, but sadly, no.  He contracts for the city and while they can do the plumbing work to extend the service to our home privately, they’re not lawn contractors.  I’ll see who comes to do the sod and find out if they could do the rest of the lawn.  Unfortunately, we are a corner lot in a neighborhood with a ton of dogs, so it may never look great, unless we fence it all in.

Grape vines

When we first moved into the house back in July, we noticed some grape vines at the side of the house, over and around the porch. We both commented on how nice it would be to have a pergola over the deck covered in vines, blah, blah, blah.

We made a couple of half-hearted attempts to cut them back away from the maple tree at the edge of the property, but they have invaded the poor thing. I’ve called a couple of arborists to get estimates on removing the vines and disentangling them from the tree.

Here’s the “before” picture. I’ll post an “after” once the work is done.