Our new store


Last week we launched our stand alone online store. All of our trugs, coops, cat toys and quail eggs are for sale, with many more new items at http://www.spadeandfeather.com

A lot of the content from this blog will slowly migrate over to our new site where all new posts will be made. Growing and Making will not shut down, but we are longer updating.

As a thanks for your interest in our blog, we are offering 10% off purchases over $25 for G&M readers. Type GROWINGANDMAKING in at checkout to redeem the discount.

You can also sign up for our new blog at blog.spadeandfeather.com.

Thanks again for reading Growing and Making and we hope to see you at our new home, Spade & Feather.

All the best


New Trugs finally available!

It’s been a few years of work to get my trug designs just right, but now they’re finally available for sale through our Etsy store. We have two sizes available for now, small and large. The small one is great for collecting eggs or for any junior gardeners in your life, while the larger is great for almost anything you do in the garden. Each trug is handmade and no two are perfectly identical.


Large Trug


Both sizes of trug

The trugs can be found here:

Large Garden Trug

Small Garden Trug:

To any of our blog subscribers, contact us for a discount off the Etsy price.

2014 Hot Pepper Plants for sale

We are selling more hot pepper seedlings this year! Each plant is grown from an American seed supplier that specialized in the world’s hottest peppers so we can guarantee  the plants are from the best stock. Each plant is in a 4″ pot and were started back in January/February to ensure they are a good size for the spring.


Right now, only the Trinidad Moruga Scorpion peppers (hottest available in Canada) are available. In the next few weeks, we will also have limited numbers of Purple Jalapeños, White Yucatan Habaneros and some Bhut Jolokia (non-Canadian greenhouse strain).

Plants are $10 each or 3 for $25. We also have hot sauce bottles with caps in drip inserts for $12/doz or $10/doz with the purchase of plants.

For anyone needing fertilizer, I have bags of rabbit/quail manure that was rotted over the winter and ready to be worked into the garden. Come pick up your $hit free of charge.

Spring Chicks

Sadly these aren’t our chicks, but my parents’. We only get to visit them, not raise them. They are Basque chickens originally from Spain, but now are slowly becoming a favourite of many Canadian farmers. They are only 2-ish weeks old so there is no way of sexing them, but hopefully the hens outnumber the cockerels otherwise it’s going to be a very loud summer.

First day outside and very confused.

The chick isn’t that heavy, it’s all the bling!

These tiny little bits of fluff and feathers are INCREDIBLY loud. It’s actually kind of ear piercing when they start up as a chorus. Hopefully this isn’t a sign of an all male group or we’ll be eating capon all summer.

New Wild Bee Houses

Earlier this week I finished a new wild bee house design. After puttering about with a few different concepts, I’ve decided on this one.

greenbeehouse2It’s made from aircraft plywood, reeds and pine, held together with copper nails. The stain is a water-based, VOC-free solid colour. Now we wait to see what bees and bugs come to take up shop in our garden!

This design, as well as a version without a finish are available through our Etsy store:



New Quail Hatch

We have a new hatch of coturnix quail that started yesterday. We are selling chicks for $2/each on a first come first served basis. There will be another hatch in 3 weeks with more available.

"One, two, three....er...stop moving!"

“One, two, three….er…stop moving!”

Beatrix (the rabbit) and her litter

We’ve called off social services. It seems that Beatrix, our breeding doe, has reformed her ways and decided on a parenting style that doesn’t include neglecting her kits. She lost one set in October and miscarried in November, so we’re pretty excited to finally see the product of Rex’s (the buck) 5 seconds of hard work.

Beatrix kindled 10 kits; 2 stillborn, 2 runts (who only lasted a few days) and 6 strong, healthy ones. Seeing as Beatrix is a little difficult to work with and just a bag of nerves and misery all the time, I’ve been eyeing up one of her daughters to replace her. In rabbits you can breed father-daughter or mother-son but not siblings. Other fruitless combinations are mother-daughter and father-son.

All the kits are pure New Zealand REW’s (red eyed whites) and will be ready for the table at 8 weeks, and tanned into gloves and hats a few weeks after that.

In the meantime it’s great watching the 6 of them bounce around and constantly pester their mother for a moment with a teat. If I were her offspring, I’d be careful how far I push a doe like Beatrix. Be warned little bunnies!

Quick note: the little chocolates under the cage are turds and make great green manure. The rabbits product a few gallons per week and we’re running out of room. If you’re interested in some free fertilizer for your grass, veggies or flowers, come by and pick some up.

Newest farm member

Back in December, during some of the busiest times this house has seen, we adopted a shelter dog. He came with the name Tristan (a reference from James Herriot) but we quickly changed it to Basil (more herb than Fawlty Towers).

He was rescued from the Six Nation reserve where he was born a mutt of German Shepherd and something else (the SPCA thinks Rottweiler). His energy level and temperament are great, but the cat would disagree.

At 5 months he still has a lot to learn (mainly to leave the cat alone) and I think he’s going to really enjoy all the time he’ll have in the summer garden.


Not really legs, more like stilts.

Not really legs, more like stilts.


Quail Eggs for sale

We finally have our breeders and layers happily providing us with eggs. We’ve moved them indoors into “the barn” where they get all the light, heat, food and water they desire. As delicious as their eggs are, we can only eat so many. We are at 4 dozen a week and will soon (January) be at maximum capacity of 220 eggs per week. We are offering eating quail eggs at $4.00/dozen or $7 for two dozen, and $10/dozen hatching eggs.

Eating eggs are available every day of the week, but hatching eggs must be ordered at least 5 days in advance. If you’re interested contact us, or txt me. For those who don’t know, we are located in north west Toronto but can do pick ups in Hamilton as well.

After Christmas we will also have live quail for sale from day olds, up to 6 week olds.

Muscovy Ducks Full Grown (video)

It’s a little hard to believe that these ducks (drakes, if you look under the hood) were only hatched in late August. The video probably doesn’t do them justice when it comes to illustrating their enormous size.

Up next, pheasant? Turkey? Ostrich?