Mathom Exchange

Did you know that Bilbo Baggins’ birthday is coming? September 21!

It’s a Hobbit tradition to give away “mathoms” on your own birthday so I’m planning some “mathom mashup” parties. Bring what you no longer need and take what you like – maybe return next year!

In Kits if you just put something out with the label “FREE” your mathom will be gone in short order. So if you can’t find a mathom party, just try that!

I’ve also recently discovered – started by Nic who lives in Vancouver’s West Side – designed to help us share more.  I’ve posted some of my mathoms there.



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The garden changes daily…

The garden at 5th & Trafalgar seems to change daily. Yesterday I noticed some California poppies come into bloom. Some of the large irises have bloomed and for some reason bent over. Of course long gone are snowdrops and more recently grape hyacinths.

Now it’s almost wilted entirely I finally googled “spring garden shrub yellow pom pom” and found that it’s Kerria Japonica.

I’ve planted potatoes in bags, a variety of greens and am trying to start from cuttings “kale trees”.

Yup. They’re a thing.

Oh, and the grass and weeds of course need attention regularly.

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Nodding Onions – enough to share. They’re actually sleeping not just nodding.

The nodding onions need thinning out again. They’re just green now, but will produce their lovely pink flowers in late May or so. Then they “nod off” – becoming entirely horizontal now.

I have enough to share! just ask or come by and dig a few up!

Here’s what I found about advice on eating them. Clip some leaves for your potato salad as you stroll by. Notice the warning that they’re stronger than your usual onions.

Edible Uses: from
Nodding onion is edible, and its bulbs were widely eaten by native peoples and European settlers, either raw, cooked or dried for winter. Being strongly flavored, it is mainly used as a flavoring. Cooking removes the strong smell and flavor, converting the sugar inulin to the more digestible fructose, and the bulbs become very sweet. The leaves are edible, raw or cooked. They have a delicious, strong-onion flavor, and are said to be very nice in salads. The flowers can be eaten raw or cooked. They have a delicious strong onion flavor, somewhat stronger than the leaves especially if the seeds are starting to set. They make a very decorative and tasty addition to the salad bowl.

and a tip for onion pesto from:

Nodding onion is an onion in its flavor and uses. Think of it as a wild chive with the healthy Sulphur compounds found in all edible onions. This means that they can be used any way a chive can be used. They are usually harvested in May and June, when the unique “nodding” flowers can be seen; bulbs can be harvested as well. They are excellent in scrambled egg dishes or as a garnish in soups.

An interesting recipe is wild onion pesto with basil: ½ cup wild onion flowers and bulbs, 2 cups fresh basil, ¼ pine nuts or walnuts. 11/2 cups olive oil ¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese (optional). Blend all the ingredients in a food processor until a creamy bright green sauce appears. Serve over pasta warm or cold.

And some general information about the plant from: 

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Free strawberry plants – again. There are some strawberry plants at 5th and Tralfagar – please take.

Ah, yes, spring is around the corner and that means that I’m yet again digging up strawberry plants to give away. What kind? you ask. Sorry dunno. generic strawberries. I’ll say this: the crows love them.

They’re to be planted outdoors (at least on a balcony) not an indoor plant (someone asked me that.)

They need watering. If we have the kind of drought summer we had, you’ll need to look after them.

And they multiply through runners. Little baby strawberry plants will emerge from an umbilical cord and at some point you’ll have enough strawberry plants to give away too.

When the ones at 5th and Trafalgar are gone, I’ll dig some more up, so do take as many as you like and come back for more.

Take a Plant; Leave a Plant – taking an idea from Little Free Libraries, I’ll be putting up a sign saying: Take a plant; leave a plant.  You can just take and not leave. And you can just leave and not take. All is optional.

Growing season is here, let’s plant something.

Here’s a Brian Minter post about strawberries.

Here’s what Brian says: March is a great time to begin planting, so find a spot in your garden and enjoy  some wonderful flavour this year and for years to come.


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HOW ABOUT A ….. Trafalgar Block Party???

HOW ABOUT A ….. Trafalgar Block Party???
from 5th to 6th Avenue
June 20, 2015 – 4pm – 8pm

from Mary Bennett, 2605 W 5th

I hope you’ll support closing Trafalgar to traffic between 5th & 6th for 4 hours on Saturday, June 20, for a neighbourhood block party. To get permission to close the street for a party, 60% of the residents must say “OK”. Saying “OK” doesn’t commit you to anything other than parking your vehicle elsewhere during that time. So if you think it’s a good idea, I hope you’ll sign your approval even if, for instance, f you’ll be out of town or otherwise unavailable.

Here’s what I have in mind. But I hope you’ll add your own creativity and contributions.

4-5pm Setup and Meet and Greet
Bring your own chair/s; tables etc.
Make a name tag. Enjoy some get acquainted conversations.
I’ll be providing name tag materials and also lots of bubbles!

5-6pm Potluck dinner
Bring something to share. Good idea to write ingredients on a card. I’ll provide cards and pens for this.

6-8pm – Music? Games?
Maybe there will be some music or street games or art projects.
I’ll provide sidewalk chalk.

8-9pm cleanup

FREE STORE – bring the things you don’t want or need any more. Take anything you want.

Leave any plants or seeds; take what you can use. Herbs are always available for free picking, and many for digging up as things like mint, oregano, marjoram constantly spread.
Interesting plant: rat tail radish is coming into its own. The radish is the seed pod not the root.

Community Events bulletin board – Bring notices about community events you’re involved with and let your neighbours know about what’s going on in our ‘hood.

Questions? Ideas? Offers?
Please contact me!
Invite your friends. Send me your email address if you’d like to get updates.
More about Kitsilano Car-Free Days Block Parties here:

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Two tomato plants have taken up residence in my traffic circle garden

Two tomato plants have taken up residence in my traffic circle garden at Trafalgar and 6th. I did a cleanup on the weekend, pulling out weeds and some plants that were taking up more than their allotted space. The new clean look seems to have attracted some visitors. On the way to Kits House last night, I noticed there are two pots with tomato plants that have been placed in the garden.

I plan to leave a note on the plants to let the gardener know that as this is a “free for all” garden, they are welcome to leave the plants there if the intention is that the tomatoes will be shared by the neighbourhood. If they’re just trying to give their plants a good start in a very sunny location and move them home before harvest time, that’s not cool, however.

One year someone planted a corn plant. Officially the maximum height is 24″ so after leaving a warning note on the corn for two weeks, I dug it up and composted it.

I hope the tomato gardener waters some of the herbs as well as their plants.

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May Herb of the Month: curry plant

At my Jane’s Walk yesterday, we decided to make the curry plant “Herb of the Month”. Here’s some info about it. Pinch a bit and sniff at 6th & Trafalgar traffic circle free herb garden.

From: The Herb Gardener: How to Grow Curry Plant

There are a lot of uses for curry plant: Chopped fine it compliments mild dishes and ingredients like eggs, yogurt, mild cheeses and even fish. It enhances vinegar blends and makes a nice garnish, too.

Looks like lavender, but sniff and you’ll smell the difference.


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