HELEN LANG: Anyone with a can opener can serve peas

The end of July and the first couple of weeks of August are often like being stuck in the bowels of a roaring furnace.

The next few weeks promise to  be brutal. It has already been hot, but the end of July and the first couple of weeks of August are often like being stuck in the bowels of a roaring furnace.

I suppose when winter comes we’ll recall these over-heated  days with  fondness (as we carefully button up our heavy coats and wrap another woollen scarf around our goose-flesh covered necks — and we haven’t yet even opened the front door).

Today there is a welcome gentle breeze to keep it  from being  too warm and the sunshine is glorious. There isn’t a cloud anywhere. Talk about being spoiled.

This is the beginning of harvest season, which means a lot of work for the house-wife, as her husband staggers in carrying another basket of fruit and vegetables for her attention. She can’t decide whether to scream for mercy, or hit him with the frying pan, but calms herself long enough to say, fairly calmly, “That’s enough for today, dear, unless you want to help get them ready for freezing, bottling or cooking.”

He pleads a head-ache and totters off to lie down in the bed-room where there is a big fan to sooth his fevered brow.

If this sounds mean, please forgive me, I speak from experience.

I adored my husband, but  never understood his disinterest in the garden.

He loved the fresh produce, but wanted no part in “producing” it, which  was the part that most  thrilled me.

Anybody with a can-opener can serve peas. but they just don’t taste the same as those fresh ones, or the ones you’ve frozen.

This is what keeps gardeners in the vegetable plot, wielding the spade, the rake and the hoe and hauling the hoses, of course. Actually it’s a disease and you just can’t stop until  you drop in your tracks, in the middle of a row of ripening squash.


•   •   •   •


This has been a mad few days. Every time I put my head down on the pillow in early afternoon for a bit of a nap there would be a buzz on the intercom and it  would be another member of the extended family (with several children in tow) wanting to come in for a cup of tea and a cookie, of course! Some of the family from Alberta wanted to go to the beach, so I sent them off asking that they come back for me in about half an hour, which gave me time to make a sandwich lunch, adding  cookies and a large bottle of pop, which we all enjoyed, perched on a log. It was fun. The kids enjoyed it, anyway. With plans to come back, this time Nanny is going to buy hamburgers to take to the beach for lunch.

All my adult life I have saved money for my old age and now I think it’s time to spend at least some of it! I love these dear people and would like to help make their holiday as happy as I can.

My token effort to talk about gardening this week boils down to talking about dandelions.

One of the little girls in my extended family was enchanted by dandelion flowers that had now become fuzzy, round seed-pods.

She learned to blow the fluffy tops away. Children always seem to be interested in something new (don’t they have dandelions in Alberta?).

Incidently, I want my hamburger with four slices of crisp bacon and a big slice of cheese added. If you’re going to forget your diet, why not do it in style?

Yahoo! Fat city, here I come!


Helen Lang has been the Peninsula News Review’s garden columnist for more than 30 years.

Just Posted

Const. Sarah Beckett’s family honoured on Remembrance Day

Victoria Mountie was killed in the line of duty April 2016

Provincial housing boss brought home more than $350,000 in 2017-18

BC Housing develops, manages and administers a wide range of subsidized housing options

Greater Victoria bike sharing company looks to lock out thieves, vandals

U-Bicycle has lost about 10 per cent of its fleet to theft and vandalism

STUDENT VOICE: Why it’s important to balance your school and sleep schedule

The debate of whether or not to guzzle multiple cups of coffee… Continue reading

Feds kickstart Indigenous Guardians program with $5.7M in early funding

Part of $25M announcement from March to commit financial help for First Nations to remain stewards of their land

Calgarians vote ‘no’ to bidding for 2026 Winter Games, in plebiscite

Out of 767,734 eligible voters, 304,774 voted and 171,750 said ”no.”

Fundraising firefighters complete quest for B.C. Paralympian

The four Penticton residents raising money for Victoria Paralympian complete journey

PHOTOS: Hockey history in B.C. as Team India comes to play

Squad played its very first game in Canada on Tuesday against Surrey Falcons

B.C. man wanted in connection to domestic assault in Edmonton

Sterling Miles Booker has ‘ROCK’ and ‘ROLL’ tattooed on his hands

Vancouver Island teen aims to build a bionic arm

Prosthetic prototype project latest in Nanoose student’s math, tech ambitions

Canada wants free trade deal with southeast Asian nations, Trudeau says

ASEAN nations combined have nearly 650 million people, an economy of US$2.8 trillion, and are already Canada’s sixth-biggest trading partner.

Olympic and Paralympic committees disappointed, but respectful of Calgary’s vote

The majority of voters said ‘no’ to a potential Calgary bid for the 2026 Winter Olympics and Paralympic Games.

Vancouver Island man survived for ‘days’ trapped in smashed truck

Duncan Moffat, 23, found by hunter by the side of the road near Sayward

Wildfire death toll rises in California as search for missing continues

Authorities reported six more fatalities from the Northern California blaze, bringing the total number of dead so far to 48.

Most Read