Monthly Book Giveaway - February 2023

2023 Garden #4: What I’ve learned this week


This is part 4 in a 5 part series: 2023 Garden

Yesterday, the temperature outside was a high of 6C and a low of 3c. That’s chilly.

Cold weather is a great time for researching!


This winter, with my very cold kitchen and my new stoneground (and organic) flour, I have struggled to make a good loaf of sourdough bread.

I recently watched a video about making a good whole wheat loaf and my life has changed! Well, my bread has changed - I am now baking a beautiful loaf that has a good rise!

Unfortunately, even though I saved it, I can’t find that video again. But, from memory, this is what I’m doing - and it works!

The Recipe
50 grams active, happy starter
450 grams water
550 grams flour
1 tsp salt

For the flour, I’m using 100 grams of buckwheat and 450 grams of my stoneground “all purpose” flour plus a scoop of “super greens”, a scoop of super fibre, and a handful of crumbled, freeze-dried spinach (or kale).

I mix it together in the stand mixer just until it pulls away from the sides.
I form it into a ball and place it in my bowl for rising.
I, then, do three “stretch and folds”, about 15 minutes apart, and then just let it sit in the bowl til doubled. This has been taking about 15 hours for me.
Note: the stretch and folds were not included in the video but I choose to do them.

Next, on a lightly floured surface, I very gently shape it and place it directly into a lined bread pan. I cover it and place it in the fridge until morning.

In the morning, I score it and bake it. For my oven, I have been placing it into a cold oven (which I love, love, love) and then baking it at 440F for 70 minutes. 

This recipe is working for me and is a very simple process.

There are so many options to sourdough making - the key is to find the one that works best for you and that you enjoy doing. 


Another memorable video that I watched this week was by a couple who had burned out as they tried to do it all for their family and their homestead. At the point of giving up their ranch, they stepped back and took a good luck at goals, dreams, resources, and options.

It was fascinating to see them light up with excitement as they found their path again!

Sometimes, we get stuck in ruts, in habits, routines, shoulds and have-to’s, and lose our sense of empowerment and the freedom of choice.

I took that message and looked at my gardens - what do I really want to do and how can I make that happen?

I was going to type “what do I want to achieve” but that really isn’t the best question for me. Rather, it is “how do I want to live my life”?  That feels so much better and I can feel the freedom and the empowerment rather than the pressure of having to achieve something.

Finding your question, one that will empower you, is the first step to making the best garden - for you and your family!

Hummingbird Moth
I also discovered that the tomato hornworm is NOT the beautiful hummingbird moth!

The spotted caterpillar version is beneficial .. the one with the V is not!! 

I can, now, enjoy my hummingbird moths without the conflicting emotions about its caterpillar stage! 

And, now, it’s time to plant those spinach seeds that I just purchased at our local nursery… 
- Debbie

a simpler life