September 9, 2019

Year five for the avocado trees and this year is the best yet for avocado set. But over the last few weeks quite a few fruit have dropped, some 5 cm long!

This photo shows the 25 or so that dropped this week. It may not seem like a lot but with only 120 fruit on 7 trees...

September 8, 2019

The topsoil in the greenhouse was removed 25 years ago in preparation for the hydroponic system. Then the sub-soil floor was covered with 6 mil 'panda' poly film which is black on one side and white on the other. The black side cuts out light so weeds don't grow and th...

March 15, 2019

Have a listen at:

The winter edition of Harrowsmith Magazine featured an article about my work here on Salt Spring and just over a month ago they called up and asked if I would be interested in...

February 17, 2019

We've got a great workshop planned for March 8 to March 10. 

The next workshops will be offered in November.

From inspiring discussions accompanied by informative slide shows to hands-on greenhouse activities like learning about automated systems and scouting for bugs; t...

February 13, 2019

My small Bergamot tree had one fruit and today I found it on the ground. When I picked it up the fragrance was exquisite. This is the fruit that flavours Earl Gray tea and is a base for Eau de Cologne. I read that each fruit contains 0.85 grams of oil in its peel. 


February 13, 2019

Up until 2 weeks ago we were having a very mild winter, the crocuses and snowdrops were flowering and I, with many others, thought we were going to waltz into spring's abundance unhindered by the traditional Canadian freezes. Hah!

All of a sudden night temperatures...

December 1, 2018

This is the time of year the citrus starts ripening in earnest and each year the quality seems to improve, especially the Yuzu which is ripe now. It's juicier and the peel is intensely aromatic with complex notes. If that sounds pretentious it probably is. With only 4...

October 26, 2018

Over the years I've paid attention to incentives for utilizing the high nutrient content of urine.

I have a urine diversion toilet which at some point I hope to set up with the infrastructure to process the urine into struvite, a slow-release and bio-available fert...

September 23, 2018

Brian Smallshaw has been experimenting with charcoal and biochar since 2005, after visiting a traditional charcoal kiln in Iwate prefecture in Japan. On his property on Saltspring Island he has constructed several kilns based on the design of traditional Japanese kilns...

September 23, 2018

Sometimes the lettuce is perfect and this was one of those days. A mat of white roots glistened as the lettuce moved up the harvest machine. The leaves thick and the heads weighty. This was a summer of extreme heat, not ideal for lettuce, but given the right food at th...

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Salt Spring Island, BC, Canada

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