A community minded tapas restaurant/cafe with a french twist and epic board games! We cook local farm to table food when possible, while encouraging people to gather of all ages to enjoy a meal and possibly a game if desired. We are fun fresh and unique!
FOOD – GAMES – FRESH – LOCAL – UNIQUE – OPEN LATE
3106-115 fulford ganges rd., Ganges, BC.
When its a sap-sucker feeder! As you know we called our Salt Spring cottage Cosy Woodpecker for a reason – because we see all of our native woodpeckers around the property. However normally we only see the sap sucker fairly infrequently - in the winter when its cold. They tend to hang out at higher elevations but when the temperature drops the sap in the trees up there gets too hard, and the red-headed sap-sucker is unable to live up to their name. And so they come down to lower levels and we see them pecking at our trees.
So we were surprised to hear the distinctive peeeep in the garden and see the sap-sucker on our nut feeder. But we were even more surprised to see it hanging from the hummingbird feeder. Then we realized – we often complain about having to clean the ants out of the feeder – they just can’t resist that sticky sugar solution and soon find their way down the pole and into the feeder. But now the sap-sucker is cleaning it for us – hanging off the feeder snacking on the (probably sugar coated) ants – yum!
So if you have a problem with ants in your humming bird feeder – just recruit a friendly local sap-sucker.
And if you want to come and see ours we would love to see you at our Salt Spring Island Accommodation – Cosy Woodpecker Cottage!
I have just spent the last few minutes sitting in on my deck in the glorious Salt Spring Island sunshine, eating a bowl of leek and potato soup (made from our own leeks and potatoes of course!).
In the short time I have been sat here I have seen:
A family of 5 pine siskins on our bird feeder.
A hairy woodpecker landing on the apple tree to protest at the fact that there are 5 pine siskins on the bird feeder!
A rufus humming bird displaying over the top of the bird feeder to stake their claim to the bounty.
At least 6 violet green swallows chasing each round in elagant loops and dives.
A nuthatch waiting patiently for the pine siskins to finish.
All of this as I hear the ‘laugh’ of the pilleated woodpecker off in the distance, as well as the spring songs of countless other birds.
And before I could finish typing this and getting a picture uploaded – a male hairy woodpecker landed on the feeder. I was disappointed that he flew before I could get the close enough for a picture – but I was rewarded moments later when a female downy woodpecker turned up to take his place.
I think I can safely say that spring has sprung and we are living up to our name of ‘Cosy Woodpecker Cottage’.
If you are thinking about a spring get away and are looking for Salt Spring Island Accommodation why not book a stay at Cosy Woodpecker Cottage and come and see for yourself!
Thanks to a the recommendation of a good friend I have been converted to the ways of the River Cottage Bread Handbook – excellent theory and practise of making bread, easy recipes and great advice. I have learned the ‘bakers ratios’, how to tell if the dough needs a bit more kneading and probably most impressively the secret of the oven spring (basically cranking the oven as high as it will go for the first 10 mins of baking to get even better rise….)
Anyway I hope this bread tastes as good as it looks – I am hoping to be able to make this part of our Salt Spring breakfast at Cosy Woodpecker Cottage in 2013…so if you love good bread, come and visit!
So its October – that kinda snuck up on us! We have had a great summer at the cottage – thanks to all of our great guests! It definitely feels like the summer is slowly ending here – but the weather is still fabulous with clear blue skies and warm afternoons. So if you want a get away, don’t forget our low-season rates now apply – only $145/night.
The change in season seems to be bringing us some different wildlife. We are still surrounded by frogs – in fact they like the cottage so much we were wondering if we should have called is Friendly Frog Cottage! We have been getting daily visits from a young Hairy Woodpecker, and have also seen a sap sucker at close quarters We had an owl sat on our nature tree stump in broad daylight as well which is always exciting. There have been honey bees on our artichoke which has finally flowered and there seem to be a lot of big caterpillars around!
In the garden it looks like the late warm weather might finally give us some sweetcorn and we are still harvesting stacks of tomatoes - its always good when a late start to the growing season is balanced by abundance in October.
So if you are heading over to Salt Spring Island any time soon and need accommodation, we are open all year and would be glad to see you at Cosy Woodpecker Cottage.
We would love to end our first ever summer season at Cosy Woodpecker Cottage with a bang – so for the rest of September we are offering 7 nights at this lovely Salt Spring Island Accommodation for the price of 5. That’s 7 nights for only $925 – a saving of $370.
The sun is still shining and the forecast heading into September looks good. The famous Saturday market is still running as well as the Tuesday market and all of our great attractions are still open – including the vineyards, the cheese makers and all of our restaurants and venues.
So if you haven’t had a get-away this summer (or maybe if you need another one before we head into the fall) then why not take advantage of this shoulder season special and come and relax at Cosy Woodpecker Cottage – your Salt Spring Island Vacation Accommodation… the frogs and raspberries are waiting for you!
Click here to book online >>
This year will see the first ever Salt Spring Farm Tour on September SEPTEMBER 29th-30th.
Why not come along to learn more about this phenomenal experience of local food heaven, community, and empowerment of local & international food producers. Enjoy a magnificent learning and sensory experience while supporting the ladies & gents who graciously grow our food.
For more information visit the Farm Tour site>>>
If you need Salt Spring Accommodation for the tour please check out Cosy Wookpecker Cottage>>>
While producing bumper crops in some areas, 2012 has been a very disappointing year for apples all across North America. This loss of one of our staple crops is most keenly felt on Salt Spring, where the annual Apple Festival which draws visitors from all over the coast has been cancelled.
This is a wake-up call to producers and consumers alike. It also presented an opportunity to ask some fundamental questions about the depth and breadth of our community’s food security, and look at ways to strengthen the foundation beneath organic farmers whose vulnerabilities are not always so visible.
The Salt Spring Farm Tour is stepping in to provide visitors to Salt Spring an ecological, agricultural, gastronomic experience that will nourish body and mind. It is spread across two full days on the weekend of September 29th-30th (two weeks following the Fall Fair, on the weekend which is traditionally and will continue to be held for the Apple Festival). Saturday will be locavore heaven, with a bicycle and walking access route allowing for visits to the Saturday Market, a thriving community garden, and many small-scale producers with specialties including heirloom chickens, open-pollinated seeds, and market flowers. Sunday visitors will free-range all the way up and down the island, visiting producers of famed Salt Spring lamb, exquisite vegetable and fruit oases, and of course the Apple Luscious Orchard where the Apple Festival is normally held.
On Saturday evening, a hearty discussion is planned with eminent food security experts, all growers and producers themselves, who will chew over the implications of a changing climate on communities and discuss ways we can build our resilience. Visitors on the farm tour can attend that evening at no extra cost, while others are welcome to attend for $15. All funds raised are going towards Island Natural Growers and Phelisanong, a grassroots community organization who build orchards with orphans in southern Africa.
Our Mission: FOOD: To provide an experience where farmers, market gardeners and others who work with food can show visitors the heart and soul of their operations.
EDUCATION: To educate the community about the economic, environmental, social and health benefits of eating close to home; to share techniques, technologies and approaches which allow for great production in the Pacific Northwest with budding growers, students, teachers and the public at large.
ATMOSPHERE: To offer a safe, relaxing and enjoyable atmosphere that celebrates our local food culture; to allow for families to enjoy a healthy and inspiring weekend on beautiful Salt Spring Island.
LOCAL: To support our local community by inviting visitors to enjoy a taste of what the island has to offer; to bring folks to farm gates to see how easy and satisfying it is to get to know the folks who grow.
SUSTAINABLE: To encourage the transition towards ecologically harmonious methods of food production by fostering emerging and established organic growers.
INTERNATIONAL: To raise funds to allow for stronger food systems in southern African communities through Phelisanong, an organization who build permaculture style fruit orchards to feed orphans and AIDS affected families in Lesotho.
In addition to providing a fabulous window on farms in our bioregion, the Salt Spring Farm Tour offers shoppers the opportunity to choose life-enhancing food grown in Salt Spring’s own nutrient rich soils.
The tour is being co-produced by the Salt Spring Tuesday Farmers Market and Radical Roots
For more information visit the Farm Tour site>>>.
I was only aiming for 10 Things to Do on Salt Spring Island in August 2012 – but I got carried away… So here are 16!
- Salt Spring Gelato at Harlan’s – mostly organic, DELICIOUS gelato and sorbetto. Amazing flavours and Salt Spring’s BEST Ice Cream. Open late in the summer! Yum. If you’re there in the evening, take your gelato and head across to The Tree House and see what live music is happening!
- Check out the Beavers and their serious tree gnawing efforts on our local “Dunbabin” Trail while you can!
- Live Music at the Treehouse – Music under the stars EVERY night INCLUDING Fri Aug 3 The Barefoot Thieves, Fri Aug 10 & Sat Aug 11 Sunyata, Sun Aug 12 Alan Moberg, Mon Aug 13 Black Velvet Band, Sun Aug 19 Tom Hooper and Family, Fri Aug 24 The Coalition, Sun Aug 26 Peter Prince, Thur Aug 30 Billie Woods .
- Bittancourt House Museum – Open Sundays through Thursdays, 11-4pm (FREE) – 351 Rainbow Road. Artifacts, photographs and models illustrate the early settlers of Salt Spring in the museum building on the Farmers’ Institute grounds.
- (Late List Entry – makes 17 things!) Photography Exhibit and Bob Marley Documentary with Reggae at Stowel Lake Farm! – Saturday 4th August from 4pm until late! Original Photography Exhibit with Q&A, film screening and music, delicious food also available! Check the website for more.
- 2nd Annual International Food Festival – Sunday 5th August from 10am-4pm – Centennial Park in Ganges. Last year 12 vendors representing 13 different countries sold a wide variety of delicious fare! Also multicultural entertainment, dancing, world music performances and workshops throughout the day.
- Raw on the Rawk! Friday 10th – Sunday 12th August – Raw Living Food Festival (Vendors, Speakers, Raw Food!, Demos, Music)
- Fulford Day – ALL DAY Saturday 11th August – Drummond Park in Fulford. Lots to do, food and refreshments, music, family fun and kid’s games.
- Camp Colossal – (Monday to Friday, July 3rd to August 31 except BC Day, August 6th) Bring your kids AND have a day or three to yourselves as you use the “Drop in” Summer day camp for children aged 5-12. Crafts, sports, outdoor exploration and swimming. Varies by day.
- A Midsummer Harvest – Friday August 10th, Saturday 11th & Sunday 12th at 5 PM – Stowel Lake Farm, Reynolds Road. A theatrical event and local & organic dinner taking place each evening – a special opportunity to enjoy theatre and food on one of the most beautiful and diverse working farms on Salt Spring Island. Local organic wine and beer available, as well as local produce, seeds and products. Rain or Shine – Dress appropriately for an outdoor event. Also music and guest speaker, Dan Jason, of Salt Spring Seeds. Families and children are especially welcome at this community even. Tickets $50 with children 14 and under paying their age. Buy from Morningside Organic Bakery, Cafe and Bookstore in Fulford, Salt Spring Books in Ganges, Stowel Lake Farm Office and ONLINE at http://midsummerharvest.eventbrite.com/
- Diana Dean: Figures in the Landscape – Until Tuesday 14th August. Mon-Sat 10am-5pm, Sun 11am-4pm – Pegasus Gallery of Canadian Art, Seaside at Mouat’s in Ganges. Exhibit of works by renowned Salt Spring-based painter – her first showing in two years. See a side of her work that is not always in the limelight, the landscape. The figure will still be there, but in the context of the landscape. Grand West Coast features become almost personified – whether it’s a ballet of Arbutus and Douglas Fir reaching for the light, the oft repeated view of Mt. Maxwell or the rugged coastline. More details at the Pegasus Gallery website here.
- Learn Geology! Free Public Course – Tuesday 7, 14, 21, 28 August at 7-8pm – Fernwood Café (FREE!) Does Earth amaze you? Series of 4 one hour evening lecture/discussions on how the earth works, geologically speaking. Starting at the beginning (of time…approximately) and covering 4.5 billion years of history. If you can, rsvp via the online form here. With DJ Lake.
- Music in the Vineyard – Sunday 5th/12th/19th August from 2-4pm. Salt Spring Vineyard off the Fulford Ganges Rd. And wine-tasting of course! Jose Sanchez and the Cuban Dance Party and more…
- Gulf Island’s Spinning Mill Tours – Sunday 5/12/19/26 August (FREE) – 351 Rainbow Road in the Farmer’s Institute Grounds. See how Salt Spring wool is made! Hands-on demonstartions. Quality local wool products for sale. Entrance by donation.
- Etudes: Dialog with Nature – Karl Stittgen and Margie Korrison – ArtCraft Showcase Exhibition at Mahon Hall, Lower Ganges Rd. Friday 3rd August – Wednesday 22nd August, Daily 10am-5pm.
- Salt Spring Motorcycle & Toy Run. Friday 24th August – Sunday 26th August – 351 Rainbow Road at the Farmers’ Institute Grounds. Show & Shine on Sunday. If you like motorbikes, you’ll love this! Motorcycle toy run, games, dinner, dance + more. All proceeds help buy toys for underprivileged Salt Spring Island children.
- Check out ALL our Markets – Saturday Artisan and Produce Market 8.30am to 3.30pm in Centennial Park, Ganges. Tuesday Local Produce Market 3.00pm-7.00pm. Wednesday Artisan and Produce mini-Market 9.30am – 2pm in the Meadow at 111 Hereford Avenue behind the church.
Coming to Velo Village? If you stay 3 or more nights between the 21st and 25th of June (inclusive) you will get 1 night free!
Book On-Line Now!
So many things to do and see. Here’s a selection with hopefully something for everyone:
- Fresh, organic, local strawberries. Need I say more? Yum!
- Avoid the crowds! Come before school finishes for the summer and get ALL the attractions with fewer people. And you can hike our trails, kayak the lakes and go bicycling before the weather gets too hot!
- Tuesday Farmer’s Produce Market starts June 7th in Centennial Park from 3.00pm-7.00pm (where the Saturday Market is held). Meet your local farmers, buy organically grown produce and locally sourced treats to take home or make dinner with!
- Brand new Wednesday “Market in the Meadow” – Arts, Crafts, Food! Includes Aki’s famous Roly Poly Rice Balls and home-made Miso soups, Eve’s Garden Veggie Pâté, Fresh & hand popped kettle corn and cool crushed lemonade and of course, Brigitte’s delicious French treats. United Church Meadow 111 Hereford ave (behind Island Savings) from 9.30am to 2.00pm
- Summer Solstice celebration from at Salt Spring Vineyards. Sunday 17th June from 12.00-6.00pm. Food, wine and music – take Dad along for Father’s Day! Jose Sanchez and the cuban party, Leanne Brunnel and Chris on Guitar! Local food by Harbour House, Raven Street, Moby’s Oyster Boat, Country Grocer and us! Bring a picnic, buy a picnic, taste wine, eat, dance and celebrate the start of summer!
- Thursday 21st – Saturday 23rd – Velo Village! Salt Spring Island will become bicycle heaven-on-earth – the most welcoming place on this planet to be riding your bike. June 23 is the FIRST IN BC HISTORY – BICYCLE ONLY FERRY and Fun Ride into Ganges. ALL participants MUST preregister ($20 includes all bicycle events that day), so register now at velovillage.ca. In the afternoon there will be workshops, guided rides around SSI, yoga for cyclists and more. Come to Art Spring to discover all.
- Heidi Van Impe and Peter Allan’s “Shadows & Light” at Salt Spring Fine Art Gallery on 135 McPhillips Avenue. Sculpture by Peter Allan and Oil paintings by Heidi Van Impe (we have a ‘Van Impe’ for sale in the cottage!). Opening reception Thursday June 14th 4.30-7.30pm, Show runs from June 14th-28th www.saltspringgallery.ca
Joyce & Nick Bantock’s “Tail of the Dove” Artcraft Showcase Gallery at Mahon Hall at 114 Rainbow Rd. Opening Reception Friday June 15th 6-8 pm, Show runs from June 15th – July 11th.
- Live Music at The Treehouse. Check out June’s program of nightly music from 7pm! Includes Tom Hooper and family on Monday June 18th, Billie Woods on June 21st and the ever popular Sunyata (hot gypsy mélange of North African, Latin, Mediterranean and Western Canadian influences with a little Mid-Eastern Canadian too!) on Friday June 29th. Oh – and Brent Shindell on Saturday June 30th and Barefoot Thieves on Sunday July 1st make for a memorable long weekend!
- Shirley Valentine, one woman show returns for 5 nights at Mistaken Identity Vineyards, 164 Norton Rd. $25 for adults (includes glass of wine). Greek Tapas by Moby’s from 6pm – 7pm, Curtain time is at 7.30pm (until 10pm).(Outdoor Venue bring your own seating if you like). 50% of all ticket sales to go towards TreeSisters. www.shirleyvalentine.ca (JUNE 29, 30, JULY 1, AND JULY 6TH AND 7TH)
- It’s a great time to see migratory birds. Some will be en route to their summer breeding grounds and our summer residents should all now be here! Look for Western Tanagers, Turkey Vultures and the recently spotted Black-headed Grosbeak. In fact we have a Black-headed Grosbeak in our garden singing as I write this! Also listen out for Swainson’s Thrush (my sound of summer!).