Teacup Rock

Teacup Rock is a beautiful place to visit in PEI. Neal, Neal’s sister, Erin and I decided to play tourist for the afternoon.

Teacup Rock is a piece of land that has broken away from the Island by the strong waves and wind we sometimes experience in the winter.
When we visited it was a warm and calm sunny day, lots of Island families enjoying the beach and the ocean.

Teacup Rock
Cliffs at Teacup Rock
Erin hanging out on the cliffs at Teacup Rock.

Teacup Rock is a very enjoyable place to visit – I highly recommend visiting. I hope Neal and I can take our Victoria Homestay guests there next year.

Strawberry picking!

Strawberry picking has started!! My sister and I went to the U pick strawberry fields this week. I picked 35 kilograms of fresh strawberries!!

FreshLy picked Strawberries

We felt very lucky to find a new U Pick 2 kms from Victoria Homestay!! Strawberries cost $5.00/kg. The owners of the strawberry fields work very hard to prepare the fields for us!!

After the strawberries are picked we wash and hull them. I freeze a lot of them to use in the winter in our Breakfast smoothies. We also make a lot of strawberry jam.

A new jam: strawberry pineapple rhubarb jam

We use jam throughout the year to eat with toast, or on yogurt. We also like to give jam to our neighbours and friends for Christmas or birthdays. Strawberry picking is one of my favourite pastimes. We hope you can come in the future to experience this great activity!

Graduation at Victoria Homestay, PEI

Graduation at Victoria Homestay, PEI has kept us very busy the last few weeks! Our oldest daughter Catherine attended a French school for the last 12 years and is a 2020 graduate.

Grad at Victoria Homestay
Catherine’s formal graduation picture

There are many celebrations linked to graduation in Prince Edward Island. We have been learning about all the traditions. Graduation includes a prom organised by the graduating class, a formal graduation ceremony organised by the school, individual and class graduation pictures and a family graduation party. All of these activities were more challenging this year because of COVID 19.

The prom involves dressing up and looking your best. It usually includes a dinner, dance and party. Catherine started looking for her dress early in the New Year! The day of the prom included a trip to the hair dressers, her sister doing her nails, photos with family and flowers. Some of the students go with a date, others go together with their best friend. Catherine invited her best friend. Due to COVID the prom was only with the students and teachers. They had a beautiful meal and speeches at a wedding venue called Clinton Hills. After the formal party an after prom party/bonfire took place at our home. We welcomed 50 guests to Victoria Homestay for the party.

Catherine – informal picture lying in the flowers!

The formal graduation is at the school. The students will wear a formal grad costume and receive their Grade 12 diploma from the principal of the school. They listen to an “inspiring speech” from the Valedictorian and prizes are given to students who are outstanding in sports, music and academics.

Due to COVID 19 the school team planned a surprise visit to each graduate at their home. Catherine was completely surprised – 14 teachers came to our home and gave Catherine her gown, a gift and presented her with a banner to stick in the ground in front of the house. She was completely surprised.

Catherine’s Youth Group visit at our home!

This weekend we will have an informal bbq at Victoria Homestay with Catherine’s aunts, uncles and cousins. It will be the conclusion of 2020 Graduation celebrations at Victoria Homestay until next year when we will enjoy 2021 Graduation for Erin Viger.

We continue to do well despite COVID 19 and hope that each and everyone of you is well. Please keep in touch.

Green/Viger Family
Helen, Erin, Catherine and Neal at Victoria Homestay!

Gardening at Victoria Homestay

Gardening at Victoria Homestay is my passion. I often get up early in the morning, make a cup of tea and enjoy looking at what has grown in the flower beds. This is me in my happy place

I have to thank my mother and father for my passion for gardening. As a child growing up my parents had big gardens. Early Spring my parents would start seedlings – tomatoes, onions, sweet peppers etc in the house. My father was in charge of the vegetable garden and my mother was in charge of the flower gardens.

Gardening at Victoria Homestay starts early in the year!
Packages full of hope.

Throughout the years they would read books on gardening, talk about gardening and garden – it was a year round passion. My mum is still alive at 87 years old and still talks gardening and plants seedling.

Mum planting seedlings!
Mum transplanting tomato seedlings

June is such an exciting month – on my morning walk yesterday I saw the heads of the lupins. In about a week there will be hundreds of pink and purple flowers everywhere. I do not have the words to describe the beauty of hundreds and hundreds of pink and purple flowers against the blue sky.

Pink and Blue Lupins everywhere.
Lupins everywhere!

I have to tell you that Gardening at Victoria Homestay is great exercise and good for the soul. I love to walk around our property, I often wonder how many steps I walk daily when I am in the garden.

It is also soothing for the soul – I enjoy the early sunlit days, the wind in the trees and the sound of many birds in the trees. It really is “heaven on earth”.

I think that my passion for gardening at Victoria Homestay is contagious – Neal and Catherine are both starting to enjoy it. Neal helps me with the weeding and watering and loves all the fresh vegetables we eat. Catherine is interested in the Environment – she has worked for the last two years for a Watershed. They plant trees and clean streams and parks.

Weeding in the greenhouse
Neal and Catherine weeding in the greenhouse!

Update on Covid – we continue to flourish on our beautiful Island and pray that each and everyone of you stay healthy. I hope these pictures bring you some joy. This is a beautiful saying Neal gave to me several year ago. I guess he knows me. 🙂

Beautiful saying
This picture is on my kitchen counter and I read it most days!

ハミングバード(ハチドリ)がやって来た!Hummings birds at Victoria Homestay, PEI

The hummingbirds have arrived at Victoria Homestay. I was excited to see the first ruby throated humming bird at our humming bird feeder on May 19th. In early May we replace our bird feeders which were filled with sunflower seeds with humming bird feeders. We fill them with a mixture of sugar and water. Hummingbirds are attracted to the bright red colour on the feeders. They are also attracted to bright colours in the garden. I love seeing them.


Ruby throated humming bird at our feeder at Victoria Homestay, PEI.

Ruby throated hummingbirds spend the summers in Prince Edward Island but when it gets cold they migrate to Mexico. It is incredible that they can travel from 30 to 1200 kilometers a day during migration. The distance they travel depends on how far they have to go, and the conditions they face along their route. More fascinating facts .

ノドアカハチドリは、夏の間はプリンスエドワード島で過ごし、寒くなってくるとメキシコへと移動して行きます。移動距離は一日に30Kmから1,200Kmと驚くべき飛行の旅です。旅の飛行距離はどこまで飛ばなければいけないか、そして旅のルートの状況にもよるそうです。More fascinating facts

Often when I am weeding in my flower bed at Victoria Homestay I can hear the beat of their wings but I rarely see the humming birds as they fly in and out of the flowers at such high speeds.


Our family continues to stay well and busy during the Corona Virus. In Prince Edward Island we have not had any cases for more then 2 weeks. Stores and restaurants are starting to open. The temperature is getting warmer and people are going for long walks on the beach.


Selfie of Catherine, Erin, Neal and I !
Smiling faces enjoying the sunshine

It feels very strange as Neal and I realize that we will not be welcoming any guests to Victoria Homestay, PEI this summer. We hope that some of you will be able to come next year and you can see the amazing ruby throated humming bird at Victoria Homestay, PEI yourself. Stay well!


#ハミングバード #ハチドリ #ノドアカハチドリ #ビクトリアホームステイ #PEI #プリンスエドワード島


Rhubarb – our first vegetable from the garden starts to grow the middle of April. However I have already picked it twice and made stewed rhubarb.


Fresh rhubarb from Helen's garden

What is rhubarb?

It is called a vegetable but usually people in Prince Edward Island say that it is a fruit. We cook it in a variety of ways. The easiest way is to chop it in small pieces, add some sugar and boil until soft. It can be served with cream or ice cream. We make strawberry rhubarb jam served with fresh biscuits. The PEI Preserve Company sells a delicious strawberry and rhubarb jam. I highly recommend you try it the next time you visit the Preserve Company.


ルーバーブは野菜グループに含まれるものの、プリンスエドワード島の人々はこれをフルーツと呼んでいます。(注:茎の部分だけが食用で、葉を食べてはいけません!)色々な料理方法がありますが、一番簡単なのは小さく切って砂糖を加えて柔らかくなるまで煮詰め、それを生クリームやアイスクリームに添えていただきます。我が家ではストロベリーも加えてストロベリールーバーブジャムを作り、焼きたてのビスケットに添えています。島の有名なPEIプリザーブカンパニーPEI Preserve Companyでは美味しいストロベリールーバーブジャムを作って売っているので、もしあなたが島に来ることがあればぜひ、そこのジャムを食べてみて下さい! 

Eating rhubarb and strawberry pie is also very popular I have to admit I am not very good at making the homemade pastry.


Rhubarb strawberry pie

I prefer to make a recipe that Prince Edward Island Chef Michael Smith uses called Strawberry Rhubarb Oatmeal Jumble. It is easy to make and you don’t have to make a pastry base.

なので!私はプリンスエドワード島のシェフ、マイケル・スミスのレシピでストロベリー・ルーバーブ・オートミールジャンブルStrawberry Rhubarb Oatmeal Jumble.を作っています。とっても簡単で、生地を作る必要がありません。

Strawberry Rhubarb Jumble

We continue to keep to ourselves and stay at home except for our weekly trip to the grocery store. Last week we celebrated Catherine’s 18th birthday. We hope each of you are well and we look forward to the day when we can all get together again.



Catherine's 18th birthday!

#ルーバーブ #野菜 #ストロベリールーバーブ #ジャム #PEIプリザーブカンパニー #PEI #ビクトリアホームステイ #プリンスエドワード島


There are many spring activities in PEI we can do now that the snow is all melted. The nights are still below zero but it is warmer in the days. We are still “self isolating” at home. The only time we go to Charlottetown is to buy groceries. Our teenage daughters live on their own schedule – they stay up late watching movies and wake up late. Often we eat two big meals together – brunch and supper. The word “brunch” comes from the two words breakfast and lunch. It usually includes bacon, eggs, pancakes, maple syrup. We are eating brunch about 11:30 am.


Last week a friend challenged us to create our own Burger Love. Burger Love is an annual event in Prince Edward Island that has become very popular. It is a competition between restaurants to create the most delicious and attractive burger. PEI Burger Love This year it has been postponed. My burger was made with fresh local hamburger cooked on the barbecue by Neal, and topped with fresh spinach from the greenhouse, caramelized onions cooked in maple syrup and tomato relish. Cooking tomato relish in our kitchen. I think I could open my own restaurant.

先週、友達が「自作のバーガーラブを作ってみない?」と声をかけてきました。“バーガーラブ”というのはプリンスエドワード島では毎年人気のイベントで、島中のレストランがそれぞれのオリジナルのハンバーガーを作り、見た目と美味しさの人気を競い合うというコンテストです。ちなみに今月スタートする予定だった今年の“PEI Burger Love”のイベントは延期となっています。私が考えたハンバーガーは、地元産の新鮮な牛ひき肉で作ったパテをニールがバーベキューで焼き、お肉の上に我が家のグリーンハウスで採れたほうれん草をのせ、その上にメープルシロップと自家製のトマトのレリッシュ(Cooking tomato relish in our kitchen)でよく炒めた玉ねぎをのせてみました。これは、ひょっとしたら自分のレストランが開けるかも!

Spring activities in PEI
Helen’s Burger Love Creation!

There are many other Spring activities in PEI – one that I enjoy is gardening. Now I have a lot more time to spend gardening. I have planted spinach, beets and peas in the garden outside. These vegetables can grow even if the earth is cold.


In the greenhouse I have beautiful daffodils. I am eating fresh spinach and carrots. Everything is starting to grow – it gives me hope and inspiration as we face a very challenging time on our planet. We hope we will be able to welcome Victoria Homestay PEI students soon. Our prayer is that you are all safe and healthy.


Spring activities in PEI
Daffodils in my greenhouse at Victoria Homestay, PEI
Spring activities in PEI
Our cat enjoys the sunshine on the straw in our strawberry garden.

#春 #バーガーラブ #ハンバーガー #アクティビティ #プリンスエドワード島 #ビクトリアホームステイ #PEI


Spring and Easter Preparations!

The snow is nearly melted around our house – we are excited to see the ground again. We will have to wait until May 1st before we can start digging in the vegetable and flower gardens. However I am very happy working in our greenhouse. We have already started to eat fresh spinach.


Victoria Homestay
Snow melting around our house.

Neal and I enjoy walking on the beach in Victoria. We like to go at low tide when we can walk on the sandbars. Many local people like to dig for clams when it is low tide. They take them home and make clam chowder. They are very tender in the Spring when the water is cold. PEI Chef Michael Smith’s clam chowder recipe.

ニールと二人でビクトリアのビーチでの散歩を楽しんでいます。引き潮で波あとがついた砂の上を歩くのが好きです。地元の人たちは引き潮の浜で掘ったクラム貝を家に持ち帰って、クラムチャウダーを作っています。まだ水が冷たい春にとれるクラム貝は身が柔らかいのが特徴。PEIのシェフ、マイケル・スミスのクラムチャウダーレシピもチェックしてみて下さいね。PEI Chef Michael Smith’s clam chowder recipe.

Helen and Neal’s Happy Place !

I always cut forsythia from our bushes in the garden and put them in water for a couple of days and they turn into bright clouds of yellow. I use my Japanese style vase “Kaki” and frogs “Kenzan”.


The first colours of Spring -Forsythia on our table.

This year I tried a new experiment – I planted some grass seed a couple of weeks ago and am making my own Easter Baskets for Catherine and Erin. On Easter Sunday we have an Easter Egg Hunt for chocolates. Even though the girls are getting older – they love to do an Easter Egg Hunt and eat lots of chocolate.


Easter basket with real grass.

We continue to self isolate in PEI. We spend all of our time in our home. The girls are doing homework that the teachers send to them. Neal and Catherine have started to do crossword puzzles every day. Erin and I are trying lots of new recipes. The only time we leave home is when we have to buy groceries. We do not know when a cure will be found – but for now we wish that you all stay healthy and be well.


#春 #イースター #ビーチ #生け花 #ビクトリアホームステイ #プリンスエドワード島