October in Prince Edward Island!

October in Prince Edward Island is a beautiful time of year! I love it because of the breathtaking colours, the bounty of vegetables and fruits and spectacular sunsets.

Sunset at Victoria Homestay.

October is also a wonderful time to pick pumpkins and apples. We usually make it a family activity and pick many apples for the winter season and pumpkins to make pumpkin pie.

A popular Fall activity !
Fall colours at Victoria Homestay!

I have many things to be thankful for – a healthy family, a beautiful place to live, the ability to grow many of my own vegetables and many friends around the world. Please take a moment and think of all the things you are thankful for. Happy Canadian Thanksgiving!

Enjoying a campfire at Victoria Homestay!

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!

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


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

More stay at home activities!!

Erin and I followed a utube lesson for this painting. I was quite impressed! I haven’t painted for fun for a long time. Great family fun!!

Cherry blossoms!

First bonfire of the year.

Sunday was a beautiful sunny day- our family enjoyed cutting up the Christmas tree and had a bonfire in the back yard!! We can’t wait to have more of them.

Burning the Christmas tree!