SOLAR GARDENS at Avalon

Solar Gardens in the City

purveyors of quality succulents, fresh-baked gooey cinnamon buns & artisan bread every Saturday morning, fine gardenware, succulent class kits you can make at home,
succulent balsamics & olive oils, worldly spice blends, weird candy, flavoured maple syrups, gourmet foods, puzzles, paint by numbers, gifts & fresh ideas

NEW SUCCULENT BOWL CLASS KITS FOR SPRING 2021

Click on the "SUCCULENT CLASS KITS YOU CAN DO AT HOME" red button in the top right corner for all the info

In-store shopping hours, Online Ordering for curbside pick up, map & Contact Us


  • 2605 Broadway Avenue, Saskatoon, SK, Canada
  • Located in Bays 1, 2, 3 and 4 at the east end of the Avalon Shopping Mall

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Our gift certificates are RAD!

Welcome to SolarGardensAtAvalon.ca


Welcome to SolarGardensAtAvalon.ca
Welcome to the website of Solar Gardens at Avalon, our charming Solar Gardens shop conveniently located in central Saskatoon. We are a locally owned and operated business, established in 2005.

While we are perhaps best known for our beautiful succulents and succulent bowl classes (and now succulent class kits you can do at home), we are also very pleased to carry delicious and varied balsamic vinegars and olive oils, exotic spice blends, flavoured maple syrups, unusual candies and chocolates, our own delicious sangria line, puzzles, giftware and much much more. Explore this website to learn more about our succulents and exciting products.

Our website is frequently updated. We revise its content as new classes and products become available, and as new seasonal events approach. We update our CURRENT AVAILABILITY plant page very regularly and this is where you can order for contactless curbside pickup. We also offer in-store shopping, if you prefer not to pre-order and utilize our curbside pick up option.

Particularly at this time of Covid-19 physical distancing, we want this website to provide an easy way for our clients to stay abreast of our available products and new developments.

We are now in the process (on a continual basis) of posting a more complete listing of our many available products and will be adding a list of current pricing for products to make it easy for you to order any item via email.

Consider signing up for our newsletters, Facebook and Instagram. They are probably the best ways to keep abreast of all things Solar Gardens.

HOW WE ARE HANDLING THE AGE OF COVID-19

This year, more than ever, we need the normalcy of gardening and enjoying our back yards and being able to enjoy our decks, balconies, gardens and homes.

We have instituted a number of changes to allow you to easily and safely access our gorgeous succulents and other products.

We now offer both curbside pick up (of prepaid orders) and in-store shopping. You can order any of our products online for curbside pick up by emailing solargardenclasses@gmail.com OR come right in the store to shop.

E-transfer is the preferred method of prepayment for curbside pick -up. You can also pay at curbside using our card reader which will will bring to your car to pay with debit, VISA or Mastercard. If shopping in-store we accept Visa, Mastercard, debit and cash.

We are not offering any classes currently due to covid-19 and safe social distancing practices , but we have created convenient and beautiful class kits that allow you to make succulent arrangements at home.

Information on our "make at home" class kits, our other various products and how to order any Solar Gardens items for curbside pickup are available on this website

A number of changes have been instituted at our shop to meet the safety and public health regulations. These guidelines are now familiar to all of us.

  • Outside and inside our shop, we ask people to maintain physical distancing of 2 metres (6 feet) or more.
  • We have a mandatory face mask or face shield requirement.
  • We have hand sanitizer placed near the door and we ask anyone entering the shop to use it immediately upon entry.
  • There is a maximum of 15 people allowed in our shop at a time and the flow of movement along aisles is in one direction to prevent your path crossing with others.
  • We have a dedicated entrance door and exit door.
  • Sampling of our food items and our spice “sniffing jars” will not be available.
  • We ask that customers do not visit our shop if you are feeling unwell.
  • We apologize that our washrooms cannot be available to the public or even our clients during this time.
  • Please demonstrate patient and mindful awareness of others when moving within our shop.
  • Our staff may be called to do curbside deliveries while helping you and so they may need to attend to others. We apologize in advance if they are briefly called away.
  • Please be patient and kind with each other and with our staff. We are all finding our way through this unusual and challenging time as best we can.
  • Ultimately we hope to meet your needs and help you find a beautiful item while everyone remains safe and happy.
Thank you for understanding, following and respecting these public health guidelines.

And please note: Our Acreage is now permanently closed.

Effective April 2020 we have permanently closed our acreage greenhouses and Firestick Cafe to the general public and so the acreage is no longer available for classes, shopping, events, bookings or dining. Thank you for all your wonderful support of our acreage and Firestick Cafe over the years. It has been a great and challenging adventure. We plan to write a book about our non-stop, unbelievable, fantastic journey someday....with lots of pictures....and recipes...why not? Thankfully, our memories are very, very long!

Our acreage will now focus solely on the greenhouse production of quality succulents for Solar Gardens at Avalon and our wholesale clients across Canada.

But we are very happy to say that all of our wonderful products are now available through our Avalon shop. We hope you can pop by from time to time to check out our ever changing products and succulents.




New Title

JUST baked goooo-ee bottom CINNAMON BUNS every Saturday morning :-)

6 buns per pan - you'll eat them all If we don't sell out on Saturday we freeze them Saturday night (since we don't use preservatives) so they may be available frozen throughout the week.

1/8 of our sweet tasty avalon shop



Stay in the Loop - Sign Up for Our Email Newsletters


When you receive our newsletters you'll be the first to know about:

EVERYTHING WE'RE DOING!

AND...we'll include some beautiful pictures too!

AND...of course a doggie picture or 2!

Please note: When you sign up you won't receive a confirmation BUT you will be added to the list and receive the next and future email newsletters. You have the option of unsubscribing at any time.


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Spice Blends from the Avalon Spicery



THE AVALON SPICERY

Our spices are all grouped alphabetically within 20 categories.


WE LOVE TO BUNDLE...EVEN OUR SPICES!



BAKING BLENDS AND SPICES

Allspice Chicano

Allspice Jamaican

Apple Pie Spice

Cake Spice

Chai Baking Spice

Gingerbread Spice

Pumpkin Pie Spice


BEEF BLENDS

4 Peppercorn Rub for Beef

Citrus Beef Steak Seasoning

Espresso Rub for Steak, Pork & Chicken

Grill Master's Beef Steak Rub

Korean Beef Seasoning

Steakhouse Rub for Beef


BREAD DIPPING

Dukkah

Everything Bagel Seasoning

Bread Dipping, Marinade & Salad Dressing - Il Pane

Bread Dipping Ranch Dressing Seasoning

Bread Dipping, Salad Dressing & Sauce Mix - Lombardy

Bread Dipping & Salad Dressing Blend - Mediterranean


BURGER

Black Bean Burger Seasoning

Burger Bump

Devilish Burger Seasoning

Not So Basic Burger Seasoning


CHICKEN

Artisan Chicken Rub

Bahamian Chicken

Balckened Seasoning for Chicken, Steak, Shrimp, Fish & Veggies

Buffalo Chicken Wing Rub

Cajun Maple Seasoning

Fruit (tangerine) & Flower (hibiscus) Chicken, Fish, Seafood & Pork Rub

General Tso's Chicken

Ginger Citrus Stir Fry for Chicken, Shrimp, Seafood & Pork

Honey Heat Chicken, Shrimp, Fish & Pork Rub

Hot Southern Chicken Seasoning

It's All That Chicken Rub

Maple Bourbon Finishing Blend

Pineapple Sweet Heat Chicken, Fish & Tofu Rub

Poultry Seasoning

Rooster Chicken & Veggie Seasoning

Spicy Mango Chicken & Wing Rub

Sweety Bird Chicken Rub

The Chicken Run

Yummy Chicken & Duck Dry Rub


CHILI

Chipotle Moritas Chilies

Chili Con Carne

Heating Up Texas Hot Chili Powder

Korean Chili Flakes Gochugaru

Chili Lime Seasoning

Maras Chilies Crushed

Mixed Pepper Chili Seasoning

Mulato Chilies

Rio Grande Chili Powder

Shishito Chiles

Siri Siri Chiles

Smoked Red Serrano Chiles

Sweet Chili Powder


CINNAMON

Ceylon Organic

Indonesian Korintje

Vietnamese Organic


CURRY

Cape Town Curry

Green Thai Curry

Madras Curry

Maharajah Curry

Sweet Curry

T & T (Trinidad & Tobago) Curry

Vindaloo


FISH

Acadian Fish Seasoning

Baton Rouge Seasoning

Cajun Seasoning for Fish, Shrimp, Seafood, Chicken, Gumbo & Jambalaya

Salmon & Fish Seasoning

South Carolina Seafood Boil


FRUIT

Citrus Bump

Solar Sugar


GARLIC

Garlic Fries Seasoning

Garlic Herb Seasoning

Garlic Powder - Fine Ground

Roasted Minced Gaarlic


LONE SPICES (SINGLE SPICES NOT IN BLENDS)

Apple Cider Vinegar Powder

Cardamom - Green Pods

Cardamom - Ground

Celery Salt

Dill Seed

Ginger Powder

Honey - Granulated

Lemon Juice Powder - Organic

Lime Juice Powder - Organic

Mango Powder

Maple Sugar - Quebec

Nutmeg - Ground Indonesian

Onion - Toasted & Minced

Oregano - Organic Mediterranean

Paprika - Regular

Paprika - Sweet

Paprika - Smoked Swweet

Pineapple Juce Powder

Porcini Mushroom Powder

Sage - Rubbed

Seasoned Salt

Sumac Berries - Ground

Thyme

Turmeric


PEPPER

Amish Pepper Blend

Cal;ifornia Papper Blend

Habanero Garlic Pepper Blend

Lime Pepper

"Little Bit of Lemon" Pepper

Mignonette Pepper

Roasted Garlic Pepper

White Pepper - Ground


PEPPERCORNS

4 Varieties Peppercorns

Black Peppercorns

Green Peppercorns

Sichuan Peppercorns

Tellicherry Peppercorns

White Peppercorns


PIZZA & ITALIAN SEASONINGS

Bruschetta Seasoning

Italian Pizza Seasoning

Mediterranean Wet & Dry Rub

Pizzeria Pizza Seasoning

Soul of Italy Seasoning

Spaghetti Seasoning

Tuscan Seasoning


PORK
Filipino Pork & Rib Rub

Pork Rub

Vietnamese Pork Rub


RUBS

Applewood Chipotle Rub

Chipotle Rub

Fiery Cajun Rub

Honey Chipotle Rub

Smoky Molasses Rub


TEX-MEX

Colima Mexican Seasoning

Enchilada Seasoning

Ixtapa Rojo Rub

Lime-dobo Rub

Mexican Mole Seasoning

Mexican Street Corn & Meat Seasoning

Mojito (not the drink) Lime Seasoning & Marinade

Taco Seasoning - Mexican

Tacos al Pastor

Yucatan Organic Seasoning


VEGETABLE SEASONING

Corn on the Cob Seasoning

Moroccan Vegetable Rub

Vallarta Vegetable & Meat Seasoning


SPICE BLENDS FROM ALL AROUND THE WORLD

Adveih

Baharat

Barbacoa Rub

Caribbean Blend

Chimichurri Seasoning

Chinese 5 Spice

Creole Seasoning

European Spicy Picking Mix

Garam Masala

Greek Seasoning

Harissa

Herbs de Provence

Jamaican Jerk Seasoning

Jiao Yan

Lebanese 7 Spice 

Machu Picchu Kabab Seasoning

Paella Seasoning

Panch Pharon

Piri Piri Seasoning

Ras El Hanout

Satay Seasoning

Shawarma Seasoning

Shichimi Togarashi

Shish Taouk

Suya Yagi

Tandoori Seasoning

Thai Seasoning Spicy

Tikka Masala

Turkish Kofte

Za'atar - Israeli

Za'atar - Syrian





















"SPICE ADVICE" from the avalon spicery


"SPICE ADVICE" from the avalon spicery

HERE'S SOME REALLY GOOD "SPICE ADVICE"

Dried herbs and spices add a lot of flavour to our dishes. They are readily available and convenient to use. When we're able to blend a combination of spices and herbs the end result usually leads to a wonderful meal. Preserving the quality, freshness and flavour of your spices and seasonings will give you great tasting dishes and help eliminate boring meals.

Spices don't spoil, but over time they do lose their strength. When stored properly spices retain their potency longer than you might think. Whole peppercorns, nutmegs, cloves, cinnamon sticks and whole seeds, such as coriander, cumin, and cardamom all last longer than their ground counterparts.

Proper Storage

There are two critical keys to maintaining the optimum flavor and in getting the greatest value out of your herbs and spices. Store your spices and seasoning blends in air tight containers and keep them in a cool dark place. Keeping containers tightly closed will protect them from moisture and oxidation. Keeping them away from direct light will keep their colour from fading. We've also found that when spices are stored in glass jars they tend to retain more of their essential oil content (this is where the flavour is).

Never store your spices above your stove as the additional heat will more quickly lead to degradation of their quality. Also don't store them directly above your dishwasher as the increased humidity will also shorten their shelf life. Stored spices do best in temperatures below 70° and in lower humidity environments. While achieving both of these may be impractical in your kitchen, the closer you can get to the ideal storage of them the more flavour you will retain.

If you have ever heard it's good to freeze spices and herbs forget it! Condensation will be a problem each time the jar or bag of spice comes out of the freezer and is likely to introduce unwanted moisture to the spices. We also do not recommend shaking herbs or spices out of the bottle directly into something you're cooking as any steam/moisture rising up from the cooking dish will introduce moisture into your jar of spices. Instead it's better to shake the spice into the palm of your hand and then add it to the dish you're cooking.

Some people like to store red spices like chili powder, cayenne pepper and paprika in the refrigerator to prevent loss of colour and flavour. As mentioned in the freezer scenario above, this does more harm than good.

Whole spices keep the longest because they have not been cracked or ground which would expose their volatile oils to the air, which speeds up the breakdown of their flavor. This is why ground spices have a shorter shelf life than whole spices or seeds.

So Many Different Recommendations - Which are Correct?

The general recommendations for freshness dating are four years for whole spices and two years for ground. You may hear people say that spices should be replaced every six months. However, most spices are only harvested once a year, so it certainly doesn't make sense to replace them every six months.

If spices and herbs are kept as we have discussed the shelf life will be as follows:
  
  • Whole spices and dried herbs, leaves and flowers will keep 1 - 2 years.       
  • Seeds will keep 2 - 3 years and whole roots (i.e. ginger root or galangal root) will keep 3 years.       
  • Ground spices and herb leaves keep 1 year.       
  • Ground roots will keep for 2 years.
Just because a spice or seasoning blend is outside the date range listed above doesn't mean that the spice needs to be tossed in the trash. To determine if a spice or seasoning is still good you have to remember "appearance" and "aroma". A spice that is no longer acceptable will have lost much of it's vibrant colour and will instead appear dull and faded. The bigger key though is smell. To determine whether or not a ground spice is still good gently shake the container with the cap on. Remove the cap and smell the spice to see if the potent aroma of the spice is still present. If it is, then your spice is still in good shape. Spices don't just all of a sudden go from good one day to bad the next (like milk). From the time they're harvested they slowly begin to deteriorate and what you want to do is to prolong their optimum flavour for as long as possible with proper storage.

The Bottom Line ....literally haha!

A good overall practice to follow is to only purchase high quality dried herbs, spices and spice blends from reliable suppliers & in small quantities, so that you can easily use them up in a reasonable period of time. 

MAPLE SYRUPS


WE LOVE TO BUNDLE - EVEN OUR MAPLE SYRUPS

FLAVOURED MAPLE SYRUPS

UNFLAVOURED MAPLE SYRUPS


Balsamic Bundles


WE LOVE TO BUNDLE...EVEN OUR BALSAMICS & OLIVE OILS

Dark Balsamic Vinegars


All of our dark balsamic are naturally flavoured. No added sugars, sweeteners, glutens, colouring, or thickening agents. They only contain naturally occurring sulfites and no added or re-introduced sulfites.

Our balsamic vinegars contain no added sugar – they're a combination of 80% grape must and 20% red or white wine vinegar. The flavourings also do not have added sugar and are all natural. The reason most people assume there is added sugar is because of the thick viscosity and the sweet taste. We accomplish that by using more ‘must’ (our competitors use between 40% to 60%). This costs more money for us to buy but it makes for a better product.

A Premium Balsamic Vinegar is without a doubt a condiment that is unparalleled in taste and versatility. Our balsamic are selected from one of the most reputable producers in Italy, and are of exceptional quality.

Acai Berry - (ah-sigh-EE) berry is a grapelike fruit harvested from Acai
palm trees, which are native to the rainforests of South America. Brush on poultry, drizzle over salads and fruits, add to pan drippings for a delicious sauce. Pairs well with Truffle, Garlic, Blood Orange, and Persian Lime olive oils.

Apricot - This apricot balsamic is juicy, fragrant, sweet, slightly tart, and
simply mouthwatering! It makes a fantastic vinaigrette, glaze, or reduction for fruit salad or grilled chicken. Drizzle over greens and add goat cheese crumbles for an amazing salad!

Blackberry - This balsamic vinegar is sweet and smooth and bursting
with summertime freshness. Drizzle it on your favorite desserts, fruit salads, or cheese plates. Splash into your favorite iced tea or lemonade recipes for a summertime treat. Use as a marinade for pork or chicken or slather on baby back ribs.

Blackberry Ginger - Sweet blackberry flavour combined with a hint of spicy, sweet ginger. Delicious in combination with a fruit dish or as a salad
dressing, but also perfect as a sauce for roast pork or chicken.

Black Currant - This blend of balsamic vinegar and black currants
produces a unique flavour that nicely complements feta cheese, red onions and orange wedges in salads. A rich balsamic vinegar infused with sweet black currants, this unique vinegar is rich and full of depth. Pair it with other berries, pork, game meat, mushrooms and fresh cheeses.

Black Mission Fig - Rich and flavourful. Pair with Garlic, Wild Mushroom & Sage, Tuscan Herb, Walnut, Chipotle or Blood Orange Olive Oil.

Blueberry - A great blueberry aroma, crisp and very tart flavour with a mild sweetness. This unique balsamic is great for dressings, dessert sauces or
as a marinade for your steaks or pork.

Butter Pecan - Our Butter Pecan Balsamic Vinegar combines the flavors of roasted pecans, butter and vanilla for a sweet, traditional taste that
can’t be beat.

Cara Cara Orange Vanilla - Madagascar Vanilla and the
bright citrus of Cara Cara Oranges combine to delight the senses. Pair with fine chocolate, drizzle over fruit salad, in sparkling water, mixed drinks, or over yogurt or ice cream.

Caramel - The concentrated, burnt sugar flavour has hints of vanilla and cream. It's perfect to drizzle over angel food cake or use in a fruit salad. Or top baked fruit.

Cherry - Sweet cherry with a hint of licorice aftertaste. Perfect for vinaigrettes, pork and duck. Also great on ice cream and drizzled over a brownie. Yumm!

Chile - A mild chile flavour that works well on a salad or as a marinade for meats. Don’t forget drizzling on a bowl of beef chili to add extra yum.

Chocolate Cherry - Chocolate covered cherries? Need we say more? Use as a topping on ice cream, cheesecake or a fudge brownie!

Chocolate Jalapeno - Everything is better with chocolate! This
rich chocolate flavor is enhanced with just a little bit of spicy jalapeno. Marinate steaks or drizzle this over fresh fruit with a little pound cake. If you want to be healthy try this with roasted brussels sprouts or plain cottage cheese.

Chocolate Mandarin - The creamy goodness of the chocolate flavour pairs perfectly with the tangy citrus zing of mandarin. Tastes like orange
sherbet with dark chocolate syrup. Great over ice cream.

Chocolate Raspberry - A decadent flavour combination that
few can pass up; this rich and dark balsamic combines the sweet dark flavours of chocolate with the tart undeniable zing of fresh raspberries. Great over ice cream or pancakes.

Chocolate Strawberry - This rich and dark balsamic combines
the sweet flavours of chocolate with big bold strawberries. Perfect alone, used as a dessert sauce, or in combination with a citrus flavoured olive oil as a salad dressing. Also try as a topping on Brie cheese.

Cinnamon Pear - A lovely pear taste with a hint of cinnamon. Try it
on pork or lamb. Wonderful on fruit and desserts. Blend with EVOO and drizzle over spinach, baby arugula, slices of fresh pear, toasted pecans and dried cranberries.

Citrus - Citrus flavours of grapefruit, lemon, lime and orange. Great in vinaigrette to dress your salad or fruit. Also good for marinating chicken or fish.

Coconut - An ideal accompaniment to tropical dishes. Pair with our Meyer Lemon, Persian Lime or Blood Orange for salad dressings or to marinate
chicken or shrimp for the grill. A darker version of our popular white balsamic.

Cranberry - This is a wonderful flavor to add to meats, such as pork or turkey. Works great on a salad with nuts, or try it on vanilla ice cream.

Cucumber & Melon - A summery taste that goes well with marinated veggies or pair with our Meyer Lemon olive oil for a fresh salad
dressing.

Espresso - This flavourful balsamic is excellent as a steak marinade or as a base for barbecue pork. With the essence of dark roasted coffee, enjoy this as a glaze for your favourite cut of beef. Makes fresh fruit taste amazing!

Fig & Lemon - This rich, dark balsamic vinegar has a full fig flavour, brightened with the citrus touch of lemon. Beautiful as a seafood glaze and
delicious combined with nuts in your favorite salad.

Garlic - Pungent garlic in a thick dark sweet balsamic vinegar, this is a
great option in a vinaigrette or as a drizzle on your Caprese salad. Mix it with our Parmesan rosemary olive oil for a great chicken marinade or dipping sauce. A dark version of our Garlic white balsamic.

Grapefruit - A light balsamic to brighten up your summer salads or drizzle on rich, lightly seasoned fish. Pair with our Blood Orange olive oil for a
crisp, clean vinaigrette.

Green Apple - A slight tart taste of apple. Try it with an olive oil for a delicious spinach and nut salad dressing.

Hibiscus - Very fragrant and fruity, and a bit sweet. Hibiscus is
becoming the trendy taste of the day! Not only can it be used as an aromatic balance to sweet dishes, it can add layers of flavor in savory dishes as well. Try it in your martini or add a drop to your next citrusy cocktail. Or drizzle on a crostini with Brie.

Honey Date - Mediterranean flavours of honey and date. Drizzle over crispy bacon wrapped figs. Great for a grilled pork marinade or sauce. Toss with a salad of olives, capers, tomato and feta cheese.

Honey Raspberry - A combination of sweet honey and raspberry, this flavourful balsamic can be used over your favorite fruit salad, as a chicken or salmon marinade, or even as a delicious sweet sauce on your steaks.

Jalapeno - With a smoky, spicy flavour of jalapeño, it’s perfect to add a
bit of heat as a marinade for salmon or chicken. Try it paired with our
Persian Lime olive oil for a vinaigrette for your taco salad. A dark version of our Jalapeño white balsamic.

Juniper Berry - Sweet, pleasantly herbal and with just the right bite,
our Juniper Berry balsamic is a seasonal flavour which beckons the holidays with the distinctive taste of juniper berries. Try this balsamic with gin in a cocktail, paired with wild game or as a glaze for duck.

Key West - Enjoy a citrus explosion with this popular dark balsamic
vinegar. Use as a tropical component in your marinades or vinaigrettes. A blend of grapefruit, orange, lime and lemon, this versatile vinegar is great with vegetables and proteins, or use with grains like quinoa or farro. Drip on top of some chopped avocados, halved cherry tomatoes, goat cheese and walnuts for a delicious snack.

Lavender - A member of the mint family, lavender can be described as herbaceous, earthy and floral. Use in any recipe calling for thyme or marjoram, or poured over favourite desserts (especially ice cream).

Lemon - Perfect as a glaze for salmon or other seafood. Adds a nice citrus touch when used in vinaigrettes.

Mandarin Orange - Perfect for vinaigrettes, salads and sauces For Asian, pork or chicken dishes.

Mango - This sweet fruity balsamic is always great by itself, on a salad or on fresh fruit. Use also as a marinade on many different meats and poultry.
Would make a great topping for your favorite ice cream.

Maple - Flavours of caramelized sugar and vanilla. Warm and pour over pancakes or dunk French toast strips. Works as a healthy substitute
for brown sugar in your porridge/oatmeal.

Orange - A little more tangy than our Mandarin Orange dark balsamic, enjoy the sweet, citrus zing of this rich balsamic in a multitude of ways.
Peach - A rich and fruity finely crafted balsamic from Italy with a pleasant punch of peach! Adds a unique fresh flavour to salads, seafood and pork. Drizzle over fresh fruit for a simple, sensational dessert.

Pear - Light pear taste delicious on salads, fresh fruit, ice cream and a variety of meats to compliment their flavour. Use this balsamic with mild olive oil for a salad dressing or dip, or just by itself. It is so good!

Pistachio - A decadent sweet, nutty flavour. Drizzle over a strawberry sorbet. Try as a glaze over lamb chops or other gamey meats. Pour over pan seared and pistachio crusted Tilapia or Halibut.

Pomegranate -Enjoy this sweet, slightly tart balsamic vinegar. With a supple pomegranate flavour, it can be enjoyed on salads, in desserts, as well as in sauces and marinades.

Pompea - (Pomegranate and Pear) Drizzle over white fish or blend with an olive oil for a tart and sweet salad dressing. Great on cheesecake
or ice cream. Try blended into a warm apple cider.

Raspberry - Great alone or paired with olive oil or try it with the Blood Orange infused olive oil for a great bread dip or salad dressing. This balsamic is also awesome on vanilla ice cream.

Raspberry Cranberry - Tart and sweet, this flavourful dark
balsamic is great to use in both sweet and savory dishes. Very versatile, use as a glaze on ham, put into your favorite cranberry sauce recipe or just pour over ice cream. The possibilities are endless.

Rich Dark Chocolate - Outstanding marinade for chicken or pork. Use Chocolate Balsamic in a reduction for a mouthwatering sauce. Toss
with fresh berries. Also try as a topping on Brie cheese.

Spicy Mango - Turn up the heat with chile peppers and mango! Try on sautéed shrimp, pan-seared sea scallops or for an Oriental chicken salad.

Spicy Orange - Citrus with a kick. Enjoy our Spicy Orange balsamic on bruschetta, over ice cream and as the perfect component in a salad dressing. pork, chicken and asian dishes.

Strawberry - Terrific paired with our Basil EVOO over greens,
strawberries, toasted pecans, and goat cheese. To make an instant appetizer, try it drizzled on a strong cheese such as smoked cheddar.

Tangerine - With a bold tangerine aroma and flavour, this balsamic is perfect for vinaigrettes and sauces. When used as a marinade on scallops, enjoy the sweet caramelization after it’s been grilled.

25 Star - Hints of fig and dried raisins. Add a dash to slice fruit, cheeses, salads, or fish to enhance their flavour.

Tangy Fig – A blend of tangerine and fig. Blend with an olive oil dressing for salads. Great as a marinade for grilled salmon, chicken or pork
chops. Top cantaloupe wrapped with prosciutto.

Tart Berry – (Strawberry and Lemon) Toss a salad with baby arugula, sliced strawberries and blue cheese and candied pecans. Brush
on grilled salmon or baked chicken. Drizzle over salami stuffed with blue cheese.

Traditional - This balsamic vinegar from Modena Italy is so smooth
you could sip it after dinner. Use it as a drizzle on aged cheeses, cured meats and fresh fruit, or as a dessert sauce for vanilla ice cream and strawberries. Makes a great marinade or a fabulous finish on salmon.

Vanilla - A distinctive sweet and dark balsamic vinegar, hinted with the flavour of vanilla. Use with your dessert, pouring over vanilla ice cream and
pound cake with fresh strawberries. Or also excellent for a sweet vinaigrette.

Vanilla Fig - Great poured over grilled asparagus, or added to your favorite sauces. Try drizzled over a good nutty cheese for a treat.

Walberry (Walnut & Strawberry) - With a pleasant strawberry walnut aroma and unique flavour, it is perfect for vinaigrettes and
sauces.

Watermelon - Perfect for summer salads. Try watermelon, feta and arugula with toasted pine nuts or a watermelon caprese salad. Drizzle over a lemon sorbet.

SPECIALTY VINEGARS

Champagne Vinegar - Solera aged dark balsamic vinegar from
Modena, Italy is blended with sparkling white french champagne vinegar. With an acidity of 6%, it adds a tart kick to many applications such as vinaigrettes, marinades and sauces.

Sherry Reserva Vinegar - Has a true sherry flavour. It tastes
of ripe fruit and nuts, and is delicately balanced by tangy acidity. Enjoy its intensity as a dressing for greens, warm salad or an outstanding reduction sauce.

White Balsamic Vinegars


White balsamics are a lighter version of our traditional darks. They traditionally carry sweet flavours, however, we carry some savoury white balsamics that will work very well in your favourite savoury recipes.

All of our white balsamics are naturally flavoured. No added sugars, sweeteners, glutens, colouring, or thickening agents. They only contain naturally occurring sulfites and no added or re-introduced sulfites.

Our balsamic vinegars contain no added sugar – they're a combination of 80% grape must and 20% red or white wine vinegar. The flavourings also do not have added sugar and are all natural. The reason most people assume there is added sugar is because of the thick viscosity and the sweet taste. We accomplish that by using more ‘must’ (our competitors use between 40% to 60%). This costs more money for us to buy but it makes for a better product.

Cara Cara Orange Vanilla - Madagascar Vanilla & Cara
Cara oranges combine to delight the senses. Pair with fine chocolate, drizzle over fruit salad, in sparkling water, mixed drinks, or over yogurt and vanilla ice cream. It pairs well with fruitier olive oils, and is also excellent blended with our Butter olive oil. Use this heart healthy combination over oatmeal, cooked whole grain cereal, pancakes, or in salads.

Coconut - An ideal accompaniment to tropical dishes. Pair with our
Meyer Lemon, Persian Lime or Blood Orange for salad dressings or to marinate chicken or shrimp for the grill. Use with granulated sugar to rim your glass for a Piña Colada. Drizzle over pineapple pancakes or upside down cake.

Coconut Lime - An ideal accompaniment to tropical dishes. Pair with our Meyer Lemon, Persian Lime or Blood Orange Olive Oils for salad
dressings or to marinate chicken or shrimp for the grill. Mix into a drink!

Cranberry Pear - Delectably sweet and tart. Use to make a variation
of cranberry salad for Thanksgiving/Christmas Holiday dinners or try in a spinach salad with dried cranberries and slivered almonds with Parmesan shavings. Use to caramelize a poached pear with walnuts for dessert.

Garlic - Strong garlic flavour! Pairs exceptionally well with Wild Mushroom and Sage, Meyer Lemon, Basil and unflavored olive oils.

Grapefruit - A light balsamic that is perfect to brighten up your summer salads or drizzle on rich, lightly seasoned swordfish. Pair with our blood
orange olive oil for a crisp, clean vinaigrette.

Green Apple - Love the sweet-tart flavour of Granny Smith and
Pink Lady apples? Then you're going to love our Green Apple White Balsamic! Whether it's a savoury green salad with bitter greens, cheese and nuts or a sweet fruit salad with apples, pears and raisins, this is the perfect vinegar! We love this balsamic with our Rosemary or Oregano Extra Virgin Olive Oils. Combine them as a vinaigrette or use as a drizzle for chicken or seafood.

Honey Ginger - Honey and Ginger play well together and bring a
gentle, spicy heat, which balances perfectly with the moderate, natural acidity of our White Balsamic Vinegar. Pair with our Persian Lime Olive Oil. Mix an amazing marinade with our Honey Ginger Balsamic Vinegar & Toasted Sesame Oil or Garlic Olive Oil and soy sauce.

Jalapeno - Sweet, spicy and tart, just like you would expect from this
chile-infused condiment. Use this balsamic to light up your marinades, splash in a ceviche, spice up a salsa or blend into a dressing to top fruits. Unbelievably flavourful paired with our Persian Lime Olive Oil.

Jalapeno Lime - This luscious white balsamic starts with a light,
sweet and tart citrus twang – and ends with a jalapeño kick! Use to rim a margarita glass or add to lemonade or iced tea. Use to marinade steak, chicken or shrimp for fajitas. For dessert, thicken with powdered sugar and top your lemon bars.

Jalapeno Mango - Smoky jalapeño combined with sweet mango – a perfect South of the Border treat. Try in a ceviche or with our Persian Lime oil for a delectable tropical vinaigrette.

Lemon - Perfect as a glaze for salmon or other flavorful seafood. Adds a nice citrus touch when used in vinaigrettes. Flavour a cocktail or sparkling water!

Lemongrass - Adds a delicious punch of fresh, crisp flavour to
Roasted potatoes & veggies or your marinades for grilled chicken. Jazz up a lighter version of Chinese Chicken Salad or Teriyaki Chicken. Pairs well with Roasted Garlic or Jalapeno Olive Oils.

Lime - This is a luscious flavorful white balsamic... a great addition to lime-
based cocktails (margaritas or mojitos) or in lemonade... in vinaigrettes or seafood marinades... pair with our avocado oil as an addition to salsa or ceviche.

Mandarin Orange - This tasty balsamic is great poured over cheesecake, used in a vinaigrette or in Asian-inspired sauces. Not only is it good
drizzled over strawberries; you must try it over watermelon.

Mango - Use this balsamic on seafood or fish tacos (think mango salsa).
Chicken or steak fajitas. This is perfectly paired with an olive oil such as Persian Lime, Habanero, Basil, Blood Orange, Chipotle, Cilantro, Garlic, Lime, Toasted Sesame or Italian Herb.

Peach - A light and crisp traditionally crafted white balsamic with a pleasant punch of Peach! Adds a unique fresh flavor to salads, seafood and pork. Drizzle over fresh fruit for a simple, sensational dessert.

Pear - Bright and sweet, just like a fresh pear! This balsamic is wonderful as a dressing for a blue cheese and walnut salad, drizzled over cheeses including Brie or Gorgonzola, with delicate white fish or a light chicken dish!

Pineapple - Delicious on salads, this popular vinegar is also great for
cooking and grilling. Mix in a salad of greens with grilled and chopped chicken breast and diced pineapple. Pairs well with our Persian Lime, Jalapenos and Roasted Chili Infused Olive Oils.

Raspberry - A nice light version of our dark balsamic, you can use this
flavour in so many ways. Combine with strawberry preserves to create a fruity yet tart salad dressing... try drizzled into a salad with roasted walnuts and feta cheese... or combine with caramelized onions and our blood orange olive oil for a delicious sauce for pork or chicken.

Raspberry Cranberry - This flavour will remind you of
Christmas all year round! Add to Cranberry Sauce for some extra tang... blend with walnut oil or herbal tarragon olive oil for a delicious vinaigrette... or try as a dressing for a green salad with grilled chicken. Great with roast turkey, ham or beef. Whisk with one part Balsamic to three parts Extra Virgin Olive Oils for an amazing vinaigrette.

Traditional - Traditional balsamic is not a cooking ingredient —
heating it will kill its distinctive bouquet. Great for sprinkling on a fresh salad. Try putting a few drops on fresh berries, Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, or creamy desserts like panna cotta, or vanilla ice cream.
Traditional balsamic can be used at the end of cooking. Excellent drizzled over veal scaloppini, risotto, or a stew. Also over grilled meats and seafood.

Tropical Passion – Bring the flavor of the islands with this vibrant burst of passion fruit to a fruit or chicken salad. Pair with Persian Lime, Blood
Orange, Jalapeno, Lemon or Lemon Pepper Olive Oils.
Watermelon - Great for summer salads. Try watermelon balsamic on feta cheese and arugula with toasted pine nuts salad. Drizzle over lemon sorbet.

Extra Virgin Olive Oils - EVOOs


SOLARGARDENS@AVALON TASTING STUDIO GOURMET OLIVE OILS

We carry all the popular flavours as well as some unique items that will keep you coming back over and over! All of our olive oils are extra virgin olive oils (EVOOs).

Flavour-Infused Extra Virgin Olive Oils

Bacon - Avoid the saturated fat and substitute this delectable extra virgin
olive oil wherever you love bacon flavour! Add sweet, salty and smoky goodness to your warm spinach salads or use to top your potato skins. Add a little salt when cooking to enhance the flavor to new heights!

Basil - Distinctive basil flavour in an extra virgin olive oil. It is perfect for grilling and sautéing or tossing in with pasta. Drizzle it on tomatoes, steamed vegetables, fall soups and soft cheeses.

Blood Orange - Blend with our Cranberry/Pear White Balsamic
Vinegars for a lively, tart vinaigrette. Use in place of the oil in any recipe for a hint of orange flavour. Try in baked goods, add a new twist to Asian cooking or use to sauté salmon or scallops.

Butter - You can still keep the flavour of butter intact but treat your family to better health by using this special olive oil in many of your recipes. Drizzle over fresh bread or a rosemary loaf, or try it with steamed vegetables or grilled fish and of course popcorn!

Chipotle – Chipotle has all the smoky flavor of chipotle (smoke-dried jalapeno chilies), and its heat is primarily noticeable after you swallow. Deep red in colour. Drizzle over focaccia bread or pizza dough, to finish soups, pasta or grain dishes. Use it when marinating steaks or brush it over grilled chicken, seafood or veggies. Pair with our Pineapple White,
Tangerine or Cherry Balsamic vinegar for sweet and spicy vinaigrette.

Chive - Enjoy our chive olive oil as a drizzling oil over roasted potatoes (combine with our bacon and butter for a "baked potato" theme). An aromatic extra virgin olive oil, this is a great topper for potato soup, use to poach salmon or just simply to scramble eggs.
 
Cilantro Lime - Fresh and tangy combination of aromatic cilantro and vibrant lime. Perfect to zest up your favourite marinades, salad dressings and salsas.

Cumin - Aromatic cumin is used to add an earthy element of flavor with an
almost sweet hint of pine and lemon. A perfect addition to your favourite hummus recipe, any meat or poultry, or also try sautéing with your favorite vegetable, especially eggplant or squash.

Cumin Lime - Take the great aromatic and earthy flavours in cumin and add a little zing with the citrus of lime. A great way to brighten up any Indian, Mexican, or Asian dish, and is a versatile ingredient in a salad or slaw dressing.

Dill - Try this dill flavoured extra virgin olive oil as the perfect oil to sauté salmon or in a creamy aioli for potato salad. A beautifully aromatic oil, it is also great in salad dressings or for roasting potatoes.

Garlic - Try drizzling over roasted potatoes, pasta, or for marinating your grilling meats. Great as a bread-dipper, or for brushing over a warm slice of bread, focaccia, or bruschetta.

Garlic Cilantro - A perfect ingredient for your next salad dressing.
Pair it with one of our citrus balsamics for a flavorful bright combination. A savoury blend that is often described as aromatic and zesty with flavors of sage and citrus, balanced with a subtle garlic attitude.

Habanero - This oil is spicy! For serious hot pepper fans, true flavor of
habanero peppers. This is wonderful drizzled over fish, chicken, veggies or pasta. Drizzle over anything that you think could use an extra spicy “kick”.
Pair with our Lemon, Apricot, Raspberry or Black Currant Dark Balsamic Vinegars.

Habanero Garlic - Spicy habanero provides a spicy kick to garlic olive oil. A perfect combination of heat and sweet garlic that can be used for sautéing vegetables, to cook seafood (add some Meyer Lemon olive oil) or for a marinade for chicken.

Harissa - Is a North African pepper paste staple, containing roasted red &
green chile peppers coupled with garlic, coriander and saffron.
The inviting aromas are perfectly balanced and add a unique smoky and spicy flavour to your dish. Pairs well with our Mango white balsamic for a spicy & sweet combo. Use in stir-fry's to add a layer of flavour.

Italian Herb - This one makes your mouth water! A great combination of
garlic, basil, rosemary and oregano, it's great for dipping, sautéing or used as finishing oil. It has a vibrant herb flavour which would be great brushed on your grilled meats. Also try in pasta with blue cheese, roasted potatoes and on your vegetables. Serve with bread or even drizzled on popcorn.

Jalapeno - Jalapeno chilies brings a touch of southwest flavour to your
chicken, beef or seafood. Excellent for dipping or as a finishing oil for soups, pasta or grain dishes. Use in cornbread. Brush on kabobs, chicken or corn before grilling. Pairs well with Peach White Balsamic, Espresso Dark Balsamic, Chocolate Dark Balsamics and Pineapple White Balsamic.

Jalapeno Garlic - The flavour of spicy jalapeños and garlic ending with a slight slow burn. Great drizzled on pizza or pasta. Add to sautéed veggies for a little kick. Try scrambling some eggs with this oil too!

Jalapeno Lime - The flavor of jalapeños, lime and a touch of heat. A favourite for bread-dipping. Drizzle over any white fish, scallops or salmon
sashimi. Try it as a finishing touch on your guacamole or chicken tacos.

Lemon Pepper - Transform a so-so dish into a meal to remember... perfect on poultry or any white fish, this combination of cracked black
peppercorns and tangy lemon zest will add citrus flavor with a peppery kick.

Meyer Lemon - Meyer lemons are a cross between oranges and
lemons, creating a sweet flavor with less of a bite than regular lemons. Drizzle on fish fillets before you bake or broil. Also excellent on salads, vegetables and in marinades. Lemon chicken will never be the same! Perfect for sautéing shrimp or scallops. Pair with Blueberry or Raspberry Dark Balsamic or Jalapeno White Balsamic.

Mushroom Lovers - Four different mushroom flavors: Porcini, Portobello, Shiitake and Wild Mushrooms. Great with pasta, drizzle on steaks or chicken dishes.

Oregano - Great on pastas and rice. Also use on meats and in sauces. Mix with your favorite balsamic for a wonderful bread dip or dressing.

Parmesan Cheese - A wonderful dipping oil to add your favorite seasonings to or use it on pastas, rice, and salads. It is delicious drizzled over a baguette and then grilled. Popcorn too!

Parmesan & Basil - The flavors of pesto sauce. Try on pasta and rice, focaccia bread or as a bread dipping oil.

Parmesan & Garlic - A wonderful dipping oil to add your favorite Italian seasonings or use it on pastas, rice or salads. It is delicious.

Parmesan, Garlic & Rosemary - A great flavour combination. Try on pasta, in a risotto or as a bread dipping oil.

Persian Lime – Also known as Tahitian Lime. Less acidic than key limes. Fantastic with fish, poultry, marinades and dressings. Great paired with our Dark Blackberry Ginger, Mango or Jalapeno Balsamics.

Porcini Mushroom – For mushroom lovers beware! Woodsy. Earthy. Rich pungent mushroom taste. Known for its versatility, porcini olive oil
can be added easily to soups, salads, pastas or risotto.

Portobello & Garlic - Another wonderful mushroom flavor with the added touch of garlic. Use to grill your cheese sandwich or sauté meats

Roasted Chile - Combination of fruity extra virgin olive oil infused with roasted chili will bombard your senses. Perfect for general pan frying and
sautéing as well as salads and of course, a terrific bread dip. Jazz up the those scrambled eggs. Drizzle over your pizza for a punch of flavor. Marinate shredded chicken or pork for fajitas or enchilada filling.

Roasted Chile & Garlic - Fire-roasted chili flavour with the unmistakable addition of roasted garlic. Use to sauté pretty much any
vegetables for a spicy side dish. Also a great marinade for steak or chicken.

Roasted Chile & Lime - Spicy and tangy, great as a marinade or with chicken, meat and fish dishes. Great on popcorn too!

Roasted Garlic - Try it on salads, for bread dipping, in marinades and
wherever a rich buttery garlic flavor is desired. We love it on roasted and mashed potatoes, and roasted vegetables. It produces divine Sautéed Spinach and Garlic Shrimp, and it is a treat served on popcorn topped with grated cheese. Mix it with Basil Olive Oil for a customer favorite Garlic-Basil blend and it can be softened by adding some light EVOO.

Rosemary - This oil has a light rosemary flavour that is wonderful on salads. Use with many meats and especially great on chicken. Drizzle on tomatoes, steamed vegetables, soups and soft cheeses.
Shallot Garlic - Shallots exhibit a soft onion-type flavour, making it so
easy to incorporate into recipes. With added garlic, this oil is super easy to use. It adds great taste to pastas and salads, or make a bread dip with your favourite seasoning, or sauté veggies in it.

Sundried Tomato, Parmesan & Garlic - A wonderful
dipping oil to add your favourite Italian seasonings or use it on pastas, rice, salads. It is delicious. Drizzle some on a baguette and grill to make awesome crostini.

Tarragon - The French consider tarragon the "King of Herbs," and you will, too, after using this classic, aromatic extra virgin olive oil. Its licorice-like essence is captured beautifully to help you enhance the flavor of chicken, lasagna, fish and egg dishes. Blend with our Grapefruit White Balsamic for a taste sensation!

Wild Mushroom & Sage - The earthy flavor of mushrooms paired with sage. Use on a wide variety of meats, vegetables or side dishes. Add
it to stew or soup. Drizzle on your turkey stuffing! Pair with Lemon White Balsamic for a wonderful vinaigrette.

Zesty Onion - With a little chipotle kick, this onion flavoured olive oil is a versatile option. Don't waste time sautéing onions when you can let this oil do all the work for you! Use this oil when cooking meats, making soups and marinating chicken or pork. Use in your favorite salad dressing or as a bread dipper.

SPECIALTY OILS

Avocado - Avocado oil is relatively new to the culinary world. Like olive oil, avocado oil is pressed from the pulp surrounding the pit. It is great for sautéing or frying as it has an unusually high smoke point. As for health benefits, it is high in monounsaturated fats and vitamin E. Use it for sautéing, stir-fry, grilling, baking, or as a base for a salad dressing. Add to hummus.

Avocado Garlic - Great for sautéing vegetables or breakfast potatoes. Brush on steaks or chicken for high temperature grilling. Great for marinades too.

Avocado Lemon - With a high smoke point, this is great for sautéing
items such as scallops, shrimp, white fish and salmon. Could be used with a load of freshly ground pepper, sea salt and garlic for a fantastic Lemon Pepper Chicken.

Black Truffle - The oil has an earthy mushroom flavour. A fantastic complement to cream-based soups, risotto, mashed and roasted potatoes.
Roasted Almond - Great for sautéing, drizzling, baking, dipping and
as a vinaigrette. Pair with Raspberry Dark Balsamic or Lemon White Balsamic for amazing vinaigrette.
 
Roasted Walnut – Our Roasted Walnut oil is produced in France. Adds a rich walnut taste to salad dressing, pasta, grilled meat, fresh baked pastries and makes a great bread dip. Shake up with equal amounts of our Green Apple or Blackberry-Ginger Dark Balsamic Vinegars for an unforgettable vinaigrette!

Toasted Sesame - This sesame oil is tremendous with Honey Ginger
Dark Balsamic or Coconut White Balsamic to make an amazing marinade for chicken or vinaigrette for an Asian chicken salad. Also, try marinating flank steak in Sesame Oil with Honey Ginger Dark Balsamic for a delightful spin on steak. Sesame seed oil has a high proportion (41%) of polyunsaturated (Omega-6) fatty acids and is also a great source of anti-oxidants. It is often used as a flavour enhancer in Chinese, Japanese, Middle Eastern, Korean, and Southeast Asian cuisine.

White Truffle - A connoisseur’s olive oil. Makes a great finishing oil for many Mediterranean dishes, in mashed potatoes or try it drizzled on popcorn! It also makes an amazing aioli. A little goes a long way, so use sparingly!
 
VARIETAL EXTRA VIRGIN OLIVE OILS

Arbosana - A complex, nutty oil with flavours of fresh tomato and almonds. Fabulous when baking with chocolate or as a drizzle atop soups or a
grilled rib-eye steak.

Argentinian - The oil has an intense fruity aroma and taste. Pair with soups, roasted fish, grilled vegetables, and red meat.
Chilean Arbequina - Chilean Arbequina is often taken by the
tablespoon as a nutritional supplement. Use this oil raw over seafood, vegetables. It is delicious when paired with our Fig, Cranberry, Walberry, Vanilla or Orange Balsamic vinegars.

Chilean Arbosana 
- Arbosana is often taken by the tablespoon as a
nutritional supplement. It contains hints of apple with a nutty flavor. Light and buttery in consistency, ends with a pungent and bitter-yet-smooth finish. Drizzle over fish or lobster to enjoy the richness of butter without the guilt! Also delicious with breads or in salads when paired with our Blueberry Dark Balsamic, Coconut & Lime White or Grapefruit White Balsamic Vinegars.

Cobrancosa - Cobrancosa complements our Pear and Black Currant
balsamic vinegars as a dressing for salads, or for dipping with artisan breads. Its smooth consistency, coupled with its fresh aroma and flavor profile, makes it ideal as a finishing oil for drizzling on seafood or pasta.
 
Hojiblanca - This extra virgin olive oil is the sauce makers’ choice. Is an
excellent all around oil. It has a soft, buttery, smooth and sweet flavour, yet ends in a wonderful pepper finish. Stands up well under heat. Brush over vegetables, as a base for salad dressings, or mix with any Balsamic for a sweet, buttery taste.

House Olive Oil - This is a blend of our favorite extra virgin varietal olive oils. You can count on this blend to wow your taste buds and be versatile
with any food. Use as a base for a bread-dipping blend or for your salad dressings, as well as for your everyday cooking.

Koroneiki - Strong rich dark green Greek Olive flavour. Koroneiki is fabulous as finishing oil with any salad, and all vegetable dishes. Enjoy over bean salads, grilled vegetable dishes and meats, and roasts.

Picual - Like many Spanish olive oils, Picual has a medium body, smooth
texture, and sweet, buttery taste, finishes with a peppery kick that gives it an extra layer of flavour. It is an excellent choice for use as an everyday olive oil. Picual works beautifully in sauces and salads, and is a delicious counterpart to the more flavourful balsamic vinegars. For an appetizer, sprinkle it with assorted grated cheeses and spices and use it as a dipper for your favourite crusty bread. When warmed, Picual gives off the sweet aroma of ripe tomatoes.

Perfect Pairings


Perfect Pairings
Perfect Pairings

Here are some inventive ways you can pair our fine olive oils with our balsamic vinegars.

  • Bacon Olive Oil
    • with Smoked Balsamic
    • with Maple Balsamic
    • with Chocolate Balsamic

  • Basil Olive Oil
    • with Strawberry Balsamic
    • with Chocolate Mandarin Balsamic
    • with Cucumber Melon Balsamic
    • with Honey Ginger Balsamic

  • Blood Orange Olive Oil
    • with White Pineapple Balsamic
    • with Tangerine Balsamic
    • with Blueberry Balsamic
    • with Chocolate or Vanilla Balsamic
    • with Espresso Balsamic

  • Butter Olive Oil
    • with Maple Balsamic
    • with Butter Pecan Balsamic
    • with White Coconut Balsamic

  • Chipotle Olive Oil
    • with Honey Balsamic
    • with Pomegranate Balsamic
    • with Chocolate Balsamic

  • Chocolate or Chocolate Cinnamon Olive Oil
    • paired with any fruit flavoured balsamic
    • with Bacanut Balsamic
    • with Butter Pecan Balsamic
    • with Caramel Balsamic

  • Chocolate Chipotle and Chocolate Jalapeño Olive Oil
    • with Chile Balsamic
    • with Cinnamon Pear Balsamic
    • with Espresso Balsamic
    • with Vanilla Orange Balsamic

  • Cilantro Lime Olive Oil
    • with White Jalapeño Balsamic
    • with Prickly Pear Balsamic
    • with Pomegranate Balsamic

  • Citrus Habanero Olive Oil
    • with Mango Balsamic (dark or white)
    • with Bergamot Lemon Balsamic
    • with Key West Balsamic
    • with White Tropical Passion Balsamic

  • Italian Herb Olive Oil
    • with Lemon Balsamic
    • with Garlic Balsamic (dark or white)
    • with Traditional Style Balsamic

  • Jalapeño Lime Olive Oil
    • with Citrus Balsamic
    • with Orange or Mango Balsamic
    • with Pompea Balsamic

  • Meyer Lemon Olive Oil
    • with Traditional Style White Balsamic
    • with White Pineapple Balsamic
    • with White Honey Ginger Balsamic
    • with Cucumber Melon Balsamic (dark or white)
    • with Mediterranean Balsamic

  • Mushroom Lover’s Olive Oil (also Mushroom Sage, Portobello Garlic and Porcini)
    • with Black Walnut Balsamic
    • with Fig Balsamic or Fig & Lemon Balsamic
    • with Black Currant Balsamic

  • Oregano Olive Oil
    • with White Lemon Balsamic
    • with White Mango

  • Persian Lime Olive Oil
    • with Strawberry Balsamic (dark or white)
    • with Traditional Style White Balsamic
    • with Pomegranate Balsamic
    • with White Honey Ginger Balsamic
    • with Cinnamon Pear

  • Roasted Chile Olive Oil
    • with White Pineapple Balsamic
    • with White Grapefruit Balsamic

  • Roasted Garlic Olive Oil
    • with Traditional Style Dark Balsamic
    • with Fig Balsamic
    • with Jalapeno Balsamic
    • with Lemon Balsamic

  • Rosemary Olive Oil
    • with White Honey Ginger Balsamic
    • with Cinnamon Pear Balsamic
    • with Cranberry Balsamic

  • Shallot Garlic Olive Oil
    • with Garlic Cilantro Balsamic
    • with White Lemon Balsamic
    • with Blackberry Ginger Balsamic




Frequently Asked Questions About Balsamics and Olive Oils


Frequently Asked Questions About Balsamics and Olive Oils
 FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

What are varietal olive oils?

These are extra-virgin olive oils (EVOO’s) that have been made from a single variety of olive, e.g., Arbequina or Picual. This is the same concept as we see in varietal wines, which are made using a single variety of grape, e.g., Pinot Noir, Shiraz, or Cabernet Sauvignon. As with wines, each variety of olive imparts a distinct taste to its oil.
As you will see, and have the opportunity to experience in the store, olive oils can be classified by intensity: mild, medium, and robust. This method of classification is similar to that of, for example, Cheddar cheese.

What are infused or fused olive oils?

The varietals described above have nothing added to them from harvest to consumer. Some olive oils, by contrast, are augmented by introducing additional flavour. The other characteristics of the oil remain the same. Adding flavour is done in one of two quite different processes; one of them gives rise to what is referred to as ‘fused’ oil, the other to ‘infused’ oil.
In the production of a ‘fused’ oil, the fruit or vegetable having the desired flavour, e.g., lemons or oranges, is combined with the olives at the time of crushing, that is, the olives and the fruit are crushed together at the same time early in the production process.
An ‘infused’ oil, on the other hand, is one to which the concentrated oil from an aromatic natural source has been added later in the production process. Examples include herbs such as basil, and vegetables such as roasted onion. This method provides a wide diversity of flavour options.

What are specialty oils?

Specialty oils are not restricted to those made from olives. Many are made from seeds and nuts. Oil is extracted using one of several defined processes; sources include almond, sesame, walnut, porcini, and avocado. These oils are used as cooking oils or to add flavour directly to food.

 What are balsamic vinegars?

True traditional balsamic vinegars are produced in only two locations in the world: the adjacent provinces of Modena and Reggio Emilia in the Emilia- Romagna region of northern Italy. These vinegars are made primarily from Trebbiano grapes, though Lambrusco and other grapes are sometimes used. The ripe grapes are pressed and the mixture is then cooked for many hours to reduce it to a concentrate. The concentrate is then aged for up to 18 years in wooden barrels of various sizes. Because true traditional balsamic vinegar is very expensive, we are fortunate that other excellent balsamic vinegars are available to us. “Condimento” balsamic vinegar, for example, is similar to traditional balsamic vinegar, but its production varies slightly from that of the “true traditional” product, for example, it is aged for fewer years.
Dark balsamic vinegars (often simply called “Balsamic Vinegars”) and white balsamic vinegars obtain their different colourings partly through the length of the reduction process and partly through the colour of their flavouring additives. The white vinegars often have a milder taste and are somewhat less sweet.

Sure they taste great, but what do I do with them???


Sure they taste great, but what do I do with them???
Here's a few quick ideas of what you can make with our olive oils and balsamics. There's a million recipes out there, but to get you started real quick here's a few suggestions:

Create a marinade: Equal parts flavoured olive oil and flavoured balsamic (see Perfect Pairings page for ideas).

Create the quickest appetizer ever: Buy some bread, place an olive oil and a balsamic in a shallow dish (either separate or together) and dip, dip and dip some more.

Create a vinaigrette: 2-to-3 (depending on your personal taste) parts olive oil + 1 part balsamic vinegar (shake vigorously or whisk briskly while slowing streaming olive oil into the vinegar)… other ingredients to add: minced garlic, Dijon mustard, salt and pepper to taste.

Create a reduction or glaze: 2 cups balsamic vinegar in a saucepan, bring it to a boil and then reduce heat, allowing to simmer for about a half an hour or until the balsamic vinegar has thickened to the consistency desired (down to about a 1/2 cup).

Jazz up your popcorn: Air pop some popcorn then drizzle on a savoury olive oil like butter olive oil (tastes awesome and is way healthier than real butter), mushroom lovers, parmesan cheese, wild mushroom and sage or parmesan and garlic. Or try a combo of your favourite olive oils. Might add some salt if you like salt.

Use our flavoured balsamics right out of the bottle as a sauce for meat or veggies.

Use our flavoured olive oils to saute your favourite proteins or to roast your favourite meats and veggies.

Use in baked goods substituting olive oil for canola or vegetable oil.

Macerate fresh berries in flavoured balsamic for a delicious sauce or to eat as a special dessert over ice cream, cake, doughnuts or ice cream.

Use as a finishing touch… olive oils over soups, balsamics over desserts (including ice cream, pies, cakes…) or drizzled over cheese.

Use our premium white balsamics as a cocktail mixer.

Can Balsamic Vinegar Go Bad?


Can Balsamic Vinegar Go Bad?
Can Balsamic Vinegar Go Bad?

Balsamic vinegar is more expensive than traditional vinegar, so if you’ll find a bottle of it stored for a long time in the pantry, you’ll surely ask yourself “can balsamic vinegar go bad?”. While there’s a slight possibility that it will go bad (if stored improperly), in almost all cases it will be fine to use for years after buying. So, the answer to the question is affirmative – balsamic vinegar can go bad, but it happens very rarely and only in certain circumstances. Let’s go through the most important pieces of information about storing vinegar, how its quality will be good and how to tell if it's bad. Sounds interesting? Read on!

                   Storing Balsamic Vinegar

Balsamic vinegar should be stored like any other vinegar. That is, it should be kept in a cool, dry area, in a dark coloured bottle (not clear) and away from light. Therefore, most people keep it in the pantry, as it seems to be the best choice. Heat and light will affect the taste of balsamic vinegar, so do your best to keep it away from them. Never buy balsamic vinegar that's in a clear bottle as the light will cause the balsamic to deteriorate more rapidly.

After opening the bottle, the thing to remember is that it should be always sealed tightly when not in use. If you store vinegar in a bottle without it's cap, chances are some contaminants might find their way into the bottle and start to develop in there. Even though vinegar isn’t the best place for bacteria and other microorganisms to grow (due to the acidic environment), it might happen. When you always keep the bottle sealed, vinegar going bad isn’t a risk.

                   As mentioned earlier, vinegar will last years if stored properly. But the sole fact that balsamic vinegar is safe to consume 5 or 10 years after production isn’t the only thing that matters. There’s one more thing that’s even more important – the quality of vinegar over time. You should remember that balsamic vinegar is in it's best quality only for a couple of years ( 2 to 3 years maybe) and its quality slowly deteriorates. So if you find a bottle of balsamic vinegar that was sitting in the cellar for 10 years, the vinegar is safe to consume, but in most cases you really won’t be happy about its taste. The best thing to do is to taste it before using, so you’ll be sure if it still can be used or if you would much rather discard it for quality reasons.

What affects the quality of olive oils?


What affects the quality of olive oils?
Extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) is fresh-squeezed juice. Consequently, extra virgin olive oil is perishable. And, unlike wine, extra virgin olive oil doesn’t improve with age. So, when you use and store your olive oil at home, keep in mind that extra virgin olive oil has four enemies:
                   1. TIME
Once bottled, olive oil has an 18-24 month shelf life. And once you open your oil, you’ll want to use it sooner than later. We recommend using up the oil within 30 to 60 days upon opening.
                   2. LIGHT
Exposure must be minimized or eliminated at all times. Extended exposure to light can deteriorate the quantity and quality of the antioxidants found in olive oil.
                   3. HEAT
The optimal storage temperature for olive oil is 60 to 72 degrees Fahrenheit. Exposure to warmer temperatures may cause unpleasant flavours to develop in the olive oil.
                   4. OXYGEN
Exposure must be minimized or eliminated during storage. Otherwise oxidation of the oil occurs, which causes off-flavours in the olive oil.

Olive oil has a shelf life of two to three years when properly stored in a pantry. It does not matter if the olive oil is opened or unopened. Always reseal your
bottles tightly after use to ensure limited exposure to oxygen.
After opening a bottle of oil, use it up quickly and replace it with a fresh bottle every couple of months.

Olive oil can go bad. If the oil develops a rancid or wine-like smell, it has probably spoiled. The best way to store olive oil is in its original container in a cool, dark place, such as a pantry.

Myth - The Olive Oil Fridge Test


Myth - The Olive Oil Fridge Test
MYTH - The Olive Oil Fridge Test

An often perpetuated myth related to olive oil is the “Fridge Test” - a supposedly simple home test for olive oil authenticity. The myth is so widespread that you may even see conflicting versions of the test – some say your oil should solidify if it’s real, and others say it should not solidify if it’s real. If only it were that easy! This “test” unfortunately, is completely false and misleading. Read on to see why even the rumour-mongers are confused on this one.

Almost all oils will become cloudy and eventually solidify at cold temperatures. Generally speaking, refined oils (such as regular olive oil or vegetable or seed oils) will solidify at a lower temperature than extra virgin olive oil. However, the time and the level of cold required to get to the solidification stage are greatly affected by the overall chemical compounds of the oil. These include the contents of the saturated fatty acid chains, like palmitic or stearic acid, that can change the melting-point of the triglycerides (the main constituent representing almost 98% of all oils and fats) and other compounds in oil, as well as the presence of natural waxes.

The profile of an olive oil, and especially Extra Virgin Olive Oil, is incredibly diverse because the oil’s makeup is affected by so many natural factors that vary by region, season, and type of olive. These include:
  • The olive variety
  • The seasonal growing conditions
  • The latitude of the country of origin
  • The time of harvest
  • The processing methods
All these factors affect the final profile of the olive oil, and even olives from the same trees can produce oil that varies from year to year. Since olives are a fruit, the skin has natural waxes that protect the fruit as it grows. Evidence of these waxes can be traced in the final product. These natural waxes aren’t harmful, but the range found is variable and some suppliers even chill and filter the oil to remove visible waxes for appearance purposes in order to produce a more polished oil, which will also affect the oil’s solidification temperature. Finally, in order to achieve and keep a consistent flavour profile, some producers may blend several varieties of extra virgin olive oil from various types of olives or regions. This will also affect the time and the level of cold required to get to the solidification stage.

There is no simple magic home test to check for olive oil authenticity. Extra virgin olive oil will crystallize and/or solidify at a wide variety of time and temperature exposures. All this variance is what makes extra virgin olive oil truly special. Forget the fridge, and focus instead on enjoying the wide variety of flavours found amongst extra virgin olive oils.

Vegepods - Gardening Made Easy










Wedding Favours


Wedding FavoursWedding Favours
We sell plants for wedding favours in 2 1/4" size  plastic pots and are sold in flats of 48 plants. $4.50 per plant and the entire flat  must purchased  ( half or partial flats not available).

We can ship clear across Canada!

The pictures above show the succulents in 2 1/4" pots. There are 48 plants in a flat. Pictured here are assorted different varieties,
Please note that the above pictures are just sample trays. Our selection constantly varies.
.
We will always text or email you a picture of the trays before shipping to make sure you are happy with the selection.


WHOLESALE


We WHOLESALE to all sorts of businesses clear across Canada - greenhouses, flower shops, online ecommerce businesses,  home improvement stores, contractors, gift shops and any retail shops that might want to place some lovely pots/plants/balsamics/spices by the checkout to increase sales. 

We can have a look at your business and give you some good ideas to get you up and running.

We wholesale succulents, cacti, candy, our 90 or so balsamics/oils plus our 165 or so continually expanding fragrant spices and spice blends from the Avalon Spicery.

We send our wholesale customers current availability pics and prices regularly via our wholesale newsletters.

SHIPPING? Within SK, AB and MB we deliver ourselves. Our shipping fee is WAY cheaper than other companies. For other provinces we can ship via truck (by the pallet) or courier (for smaller orders).

To purchase wholesale you need to have a business. We'll need your PST or HST number.

It's really easy and painless to get started. To get started email us: solargardenclasses@gmail.com

LET'S SUCCULENTLY GROW TOGETHER!

Our succulent arrangements are always fresh, new and changing.The Avalon spice cabinet is full of incredible spice blends from all over the world.

Our balsamic, extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) and fruit vinegar cabinets are always full of a fantastic selection of goodness!

Where it all started...succulents, succulents...more SUCCULENTS!!!!

More succulent pots....ALWAYS!


We like to keep things fresh

Since we grow our succulents in our greenhouses just 20 minutes from Avalon we are constantly bringing in fresh succulents and arrangements

POP IN OFTEN

EXTREMELY fresh artisan bread baked right in-store every Saturday

It doesn't get fresher than this! Baguette and 3 flavours of focaccia

If there's any left over from Saruday you can buy it frozen throughout the week FYI - if you don't gobble it up as soon as you get home, the next day it makes the best toast EVER

FOLLOW US ON FACEBOOK

We post all sorts of stuff on FACEBOOK like all the current happenings at Solar Gardens at Avalon

So you've brought home some uncooked thin-crust pizza dough...now what?


So you've brought home some uncooked thin-crust pizza dough...now what?So you've brought home some uncooked thin-crust pizza dough...now what?

THIN-CRUST PIZZA BAKING INSTRUCTIONS

We make all of our pizza dough in the Solar Gardens At Avalon kitchen with just 4 ingredients---water, wheat flour, yeast and a dash of salt.

You will be baking your pizza on a pizza stone or a baking sheet on the middle rack of your oven. A pizza stone is ideal for our pizza shells. If you do have a pizza stone, you should put it in the oven while the oven is preheating so that the stone becomes hot before you place the dressed pizza on it. If you don't have a pizza stone, consider buying one. You can usually find them really cheap now in dollar stores.

Preheat your oven to almost as high as it will go. 500 F is great, and you could even go a bit higher to 550 F if your oven goes that high.

You can bake our dough directly from frozen or thawed. If you are using a thick pizza sauce, it is best to spread it on while the pizza shell is still frozen.

We have placed the pizza shell on parchment paper for your convenience. You will keep the pizza shell on the parchment paper while you dress the pizza and for the first few minutes that it is baking in the oven.

Dress your pizza in this order: Spread the sauce on first. Then sprinkle on the cheese. And finally, add any toppings. Remember that this is a thin crust pizza shell that bakes quickly, so try not to stack your pizza too thick with toppings or it will not cook thoroughly.

The parchment makes transfer of the now-dressed pizza onto your preheated pizza stone easy. Put the parchment and pizza directly onto the stone.

You will allow the pizza to cook on this parchment paper for the first few minutes that the pizza bakes. But as the pizza cooks and the crust begins to bake, the dough will loosen from the parchment. At this point, you will be able to pull and slide the parchment out from under the pizza so that the pizza bottom will now be cooking directly against the stone. (If the parchment paper does not pull out with ease after a few minutes of baking, leave it to bake a little longer and try again.) You may find that the parchment becomes a bit brown/black or possibly breaks apart more easily in this hot oven. (The parchment here will not remain as white as when you bake cookies in a lower temp oven.) Be careful not to burn yourself against the hot stone or rack when you slide the parchment out. Consider using tongs, gloves and/or a spatula as needed to ease the parchment out to continue baking.

Cooking time will vary based on your oven temperature, the thickness of your toppings and whether the pizza stone is sufficiently heated through before baking begins. In our wood-fired oven (which is 700F) the pizzas cook in 3-4 minutes. Your home oven will be cooler, so expect a longer cooking time (perhaps 8-10 minutes). But watch your pizza closely. It may take less time than that.


ALLERGEN ALERT: Please note that our dough is made in the Firestick kitchen which contains tree nuts, peanuts and sesame seeds. We cannot guarantee that cross- contamination has not occurred in our busy kitchen.

If you have any questions, you can text us at 306-280-2761. We are always interested in what people are making in terms of pizzas, if you’d like to send us a pic of your creations, we would love to see them.


Fundraising


Consider our Succulent Arrangement Fundraising opportunities.

Are you looking for a fundraising opportunity for your club, charity, group or organization?

If so, talk with us about purchasing bulk succulent arrangements that your club can then resell at a profit.

Depending upon the size of the succulent arrangement purchased from us, you can anticipate 5 to 25 dollars (or more for larger arrangements) profit per arrangement sold.

We often arrange seasonal pots and so seasonal arrangements may be available for bulk purchase (eg. Halloween, Christmas, Thanksgiving...).

You will need to forward proof that you are a bona fide club, charity or organization.

The minimum number of succulent arrangements per bulk sale is 25.

Email us to learn more - solargardenclasses@gmail.com or click here to fill out the CONTACT US form.

Succulent Care Throughout the Seasons


Succulent  Care Throughout the Seasons
SUCCULENT CARE

To help you along with your succulent endeavours we thought you might like to have a glimpse of what we've learned throughout our 30 years of 'succulent' growth.

Soil:
We've found that the best 'soil' for succulents is not a soil at all. It's a soiless mix!
We use Pro Mix, or Sunshine mix number 4 or 8. To this we add perlite for enhanced drainage.
Pro Mix is available in a 3.8-foot vacuum-sealed bag weighing about 55 lbs, If you buy one we will add the perlite and mix it for you in our mixing machine. Mixing it by hand is quite a chore.
For convenience to our customers, Solar Gardens also sells a bag for $3 that is enough to pot up about 2 ten inch bowls. If you require a larger bag, please don't hesitate to ask as we have other sizes available.

Terracotta Bowl:
Any inexpensive terracotta pot will work for potting up succulents.
When choosing a pot for growing succulents, make sure there is a hole in the bottom. If there is not, you will need to put one in. Use a Dremel with a bit used to put holes in ceramic tile. The bit is available at Home Depot or other hardware stores.

Terracotta draws a lot of water away from the roots of the plants when over-watered. It also retains a lot of heat collected from the sun during the day, keeping the roots warm in the nighttime low temperatures. Remember that cold, wet roots kill cacti and succulents!

Water and Fertilizer:
At the beginning of March, we use a mixture of one rounded teaspoon of 20-20-20 fertilizer to a 2 gallon watering can. Never use chlorinated water or water from a water softener as the salt and chlorine may harm your plants.

  • From March to October, use fertilizer every time you water.
  • From October to March, do not use fertilizer when you water (which will be infrequently).
  • From March to October, water succulents as needed when the soil throughout the bowl becomes dry.
  • Remember that these plants are used to dry conditions, and thrive on neglect.
  • It is actually better to underwater these plants than to overwater.
  • For example, when your pot becomes very dry, your plants may become a bit soft to the touch and wrinkly. This is a good sign that the plant needs a drink.
  • When succulents are over-watered (and we see this especially in winter November through March when the days are considerably shorter and cooler), they may die or their leaves turn yellow and fall off (usually beginning with leaves closer to the bottom).
Too Much or Too Little Water?

  • In March and April we definitely err on the side of watering less, sometimes only watering once or twice monthly.
  • In the months of October to December, do not fertilize.
  • During winter months, succulents need only enough water to keep the roots alive. In reality, this amount of water is very little. With light levels low and our days being so short, water sparingly during these months (ie. infrequently and with only a small quantity of water).
  • If the leaves start to turn soft, wrinkle or drop (in that order) then your succulents need water desperately.
  • If your leaves drop without first having turned soft then wrinkly, that is a sign of overwatering.
  • Many people's succulents begin to stretch in January as the days start to get longer. This is a telltale sign of overwatering in December or January.
  • If you want your plants in your bowl or arrangement to remain more compact and not grow as much, do not water as much at any time of the year.
  • However, if and when your plants do stretch, use a sharp pair of scissors or shears to cut the plant back near the bowl. Always leave a few leaves on the stem to ensure a few pups of growth.
Fertilizer:

When purchasing fertilizer, one should not buy the largest container or quantity available. Buy smaller quantities at a time. When fertilizer sits on your shelf too long, it will turn hard and become difficult to accurately measure. We sell 20-20-20 in a 500 gm container. This size is not available at most garden centres, but this is the only way that we like to sell it in order to limit your waste and unnecessary cost.

Overwintering:

Many, many people do not want to overwinter their succulents and that is just fine. No need to feel guilty. However, many avid gardeners do want to overwinter their succulents and that is great too. Today, succulents are more affordable, less scarce, and prices are more reasonable than in the past. Understand that every living plant (like us...unfortunately) will die at some point. However, succulents will last a lot longer than 2 dozen cut roses that will last a week (if you're lucky) and if you're changing their water everyday.

Succulents can outlive annuals and many perennials simply by understanding their seasonal growth habits. Solar Gardens' succulent class bowls cost $54.50 plus tax (but contain approximately $125 value if all plants are purchased individually), are in a 10" diameter terra cotta bowl and contain 13 to 20 different varieties of succulent plants. These plants should surely last the spring, summer and fall (6 or 7 or 8 months) with little to no care outside on your patio or balcony. Keeping that in mind, if you would like to try to overwinter your succulents as some avid gardeners do (and again..don't feel guilty if you don't), here are a few tips:

Since winter days are so short, the plants really prefer to stay dormant (alive, but not growing) and they still need as much light as possible to stay alive. So putting them in a garage or basement or closet with no light will kill them. During this time they require vastly decreased amounts of water since they are not actively growing. Plus, succulents are desert plants and require little water to begin with even when they are actively growing.

We have found that most people kill their succulents during the winter with too much water (and not enough light - see the "Grow Light" section below). During the winter, succulents will still need a bit of water. But how much is "a bit of water"? Well, that is a very hard question to answer since the amount of water they need depends on many variables, such as - how warm or cold the room is, how much (or little) light they are receiving, how many plants are in the pot, how big (or small) the pot is, what the pot is made of (ceramic, terra cotta, glass or plastic), how big (or small) the plants are, and how much drainage each individual pot allows (if it has drainage at all). In general, a good rule of thumb is to add a small amount of water if the soil is exceedingly dry. With our class 10" terracotta bowls, you might add a cup of water occasionally during the winter but only if the soil is very dry.

So in a nutshell, most succulents die during the winter dormant period from COLD and WET roots. The key is to water infrequently with a small amount of water, just enough to keep the roots alive during dormancy. When overwintering, succulents prefer a sunny window (south is best), hardly any water, and a temperature above freezing.

The absolute BEST way to overwinter succulents is under grow lights....

Grow Lights

For those that are very serious about overwintering succulents we highly recommend grow lights. We carry a fantastic, amazing type at our Avalon shop.

Lastly, don't be too upset if you haven't overwintered your succulents successfully. Like most things in life, it takes trial, error, time and patience. Not everything works (and grows) successfully all the time....unfortunately!

Who Doesn't LOVE a Summer Holiday? Succulents are no Exception!

Whether you've overwintered your succulents or purchased new ones in the spring, fall or winter, they ALL enjoy a summer holiday outside. But you should be aware of just a few things before moving them outside.

#1. When placing outside NEVER let them freeze. Often we play it super safe and bring them indoors for the night if the forecast minimum is for +3 C. It's OK to leave your plants out during the day if it is above freezing, but in the spring we generally don't put them out during the day unless the temperature is going to be about 8 C or above. Of course some prefer not to put them out until about the 3rd week of May when (hopefully) the freezing is over and you don't have to bring them in at night. Whenever you put them out, keep an eye on your weather app. This is equally important in the fall if you plan on bringing them in to overwinter.

#2. It's really hard on your succulents if you take them from your low-light houses, greenhouse and/or grow lights and put them out in direct sunlight. If placed out in the sun without acclimatizing, they will sunburn for sure. The sunburn won't usually kill the plant (if it is not too severe), but it will create dead looking areas on the leaves. These areas will never heal, so the leaf will be scarred for its' life.

#3. To acclimatize your succulents to the sun, introduce them to the great outdoors gradually. For the first 3 or 4 days place them in the shade all day. After that, place them in a partly shady spot for another few days and then they can go into the direct sun in about a week.

and

#4. Your succulents don't HAVE to be placed in the direct sun for the entire day. Most succulents will be happy all summer on a deck that may only get sun 3 or 4 hours of sun a day.

The main benefits of giving your plants a summer holiday are 3-fold:


- when your plants are outside they will be happier and appreciate the fresh air and its movement.
- you'll enjoy the benefits of added colour and less stretching of your plants (unless you're watering them too much).
and
-they will gain strength with direct sunlight which will give them more energy to help get them through our terribly LONG winters.



Overwintering Living Walls

In our living wall class, you may have planted your wall with either all hen and chicks (sempervivum), all other succulents that can't freeze or a combination of both. If your wall has nothing but hen and chicks in it skip to the next paragraph. If planted with all succulents that can't freeze (all succulents other than hen and chicks that are non-hardy in our climate) you can either overwinter the entire wall indoors or pull out the plants and plant them in pots either individually or like we do in the succulent bowl class - group together in a lovely arrangement using as many bowls as you need. If your wall has a combo of both types then you must separate the hen and chicks from the non-hardy succulents. For overwintering the non-hardy varieties be sure to read the section 'OVERWINTERING" above

The ABSOLUTE best way to overwinter the hen and chicks in your living wall is to lift them and plant them in your garden in the fall. Make sure they have thick snow cover all winter (it's good to have a place to pile all that driveway snow). Then in the spring you can lift them and plant them back into your living wall (It's so much fun to replant them into the wall in the spring and make up a new design). This is a little more work than just setting your planted living wall outside and hoping it will survive. Having said that, many of our living wall clients have very successfully overwintered their living walls right in their frames. If trying this, be sure your plants have a good snow cover as well.

Bugs:

If you can see bugs on your succulents (aphids, fruit flies or cotton ball-like "downy mealy bugs"), use End All. End All is a green product made with pyrethrum (from the citronella plant).

Before you take your plant indoors in the fall, give it a good spray with End All. Spray from the edge of the bowl inwards, up and around, under the leaves. Wear a pair of rubber gloves and a respirator when spraying your plant in order to take proper safety precautions.

We always have End All in stock year round.

If you see small cotton balls on your plants you have mealy bugs. Before spraying with End All it will definitely help if you first remove any cotton balls that you see with a Q tip.

Unfortunately bugs are a fact of life and can occur on your plants any time of year. Of course bugs can attack your plants when outside and can be transferred into your house if you are overwintering your plants. Also, bugs and bug eggs can be brought into your house at any time of year. Small bugs and their tiny (usually invisible) eggs can be brought into your house by hitching rides on fruits, vegetables and grains that you buy at the grocery store. If your plants seem bug-free in the winter and then suddenly bugs appear (especially those annoying, tiny flying fruit flies) then they (or their eggs) have hitched a ride directly from the grocery store to your kitchen. The key is to be vigilant all year-round. Inspect your plants every week (even in the winter). It is much easier to deal with a few insects than a whole swarm of them.

End All is an oily substance that will stay on the plant surface for a couple of months and will actually enhance the colour of your plant! Solar Gardens carries it year round in our retail centre. As succulent specialists, we can say that End All in our experience is safe on succulents. However, if you are considering using it on non-succulent plants, we cannot guarantee that End All will be safe on all plants. You would need to research that as all plants are different.

Solar Gardens uses a systemic commercial product in late February and early March, which is drenched into the soil for the new active roots to absorb the chemical and ensure no bugs will exist. The chemical we use lasts for 8-9 months, and a one-time application per year is all that is needed. This doesn't mean that bugs cannot exist on the plants. But it does mean that for 8-9 months after our drenching, any bugs that bite into this plant will ingest the chemical and die.

Mealy-bug infestations can also be managed using a commercial product. Only commercial growers have access to it. It's expensive and requires additional precautions. As a result, it is not available to the general public. If you have a severe infestation, we can treat your succulents for you using this commercial product at our acreage. Send us your request via the CONTACT US form and we can provide a cost estimate.



FAQ


We've got a lot going on all the time....and sometimes, it all can be pretty confusing. To help out, here's some answers to questions that we are frequently asked:

COVID UPDATE: The Solar Gardens acreage is now closed to the public. This includes the restaurant (Firestick Cafe), weddings, public & private events, as well as the greenhouses. Our greenhouses are only open to our wholesale clients by appointment. We're leaving the following description as is, only because it is too depressing to remove it, AND perhaps someday, things will return to normal.  However, on the bright side, Solar Gardens At Avalon remains open.

1. What is the difference between Solar Gardens and Solar Gardens at Avalon?

  Solar Gardens is our acreage and the original location where we have our succulent greenhouses, a party event venue and a restaurant the can be booked by groups for special dinners and MYOPs (make-your-own-pizza parties). Also, at the acreage we offer succulent classes of all types (both private and public - see #2 below for the difference), mostly year-round. Other than that, our acreage is closed to the general public. We are only open to the public on a few special days in the spring and summer (that we announce on Facebook and in our newsletters) or by pre-arranged bookings for classes and parties. The greenhouses are stuffed full of beautiful succulents year-round that supply our city shop, as well as shops and greenhouses across Canada.

    Solar Gardens at Avalon is our sweet little shop in the city in the Avalon Shopping Centre. Our shop is full of succulents, as well as unusual and tasty things. By tasty things we mean a huge selection of balsamics and extra virgin olive oils, convenient (and unusual) spice blends, sangria mixes, our thin crust pizza shells made in the Solar Gardens restaurant, Saturday morning fresh-baked artisan breads and some gourmet foods too. We also offer succulent classes here (both private and public). We carry a wide variety of unusual candies and interesting gift items. We always have a selection of succulent arrangements that are a perfect and longer-lasting alternative to cut flowers.  Our Avalon location does not have a restaurant, so if you want to plan a class and have the MYOP, then we'll have to schedule your class at the acreage. 


2. What is the difference between a public and a private class?

     Almost all of our classes are offered as either public or private classes. 

      Public classes can be booked by either a single person or a group of people. The dates for these classes are preset and listed on our websites.  Send us an email or use the Contact us form.  Please note--register for public classes at our acreage if you wish to have a MYOP with your class, or register for a public class at Avalon if you do not wish to have MYOP with your class. (No pizza oven is available at Avalon.)      

      A private class is a possibility if you have 5 or more people who want to take the class at a time other than a public class.  Private classes are available at Avalon for groups of 14 or less, and are also available at the acreage if MYOP is desired with the class.  Private classes for groups of 15 or more must be held at the acreage. Again, arrangements can be made by emailing us using the CONTACT US form.


3.  Somebody gave me a succulent bowl.  How do I care for it? 

       We have great "succulent care instructions" on our website that will help you care for your succulents year-round.  Click here to see them. 


4.  What kind of events do you hold at your acreage?

       We can hold all types of private group events for you at our acreage including weddings, showers, stags and stagettes, anniversaries, reunions, retreats, corporate meetings, birthday parties, team building events and club gatherings to name a few.  To arrange a private event, just email us using the CONTACT US form. 


5.  What is the maximum number of guests that you can accommodate for parties, events and weddings at Solar Gardens?

           During the winter we are restricted to using the main dining room.  In that room, we can accommodate a maximum of 40 sit-down guests. 

           During the spring, summer and early fall we have more in-door (glass conservatory, teaching studio) and outdoor seating areas (covered decks and non covered decks) where we can accommodate a maximum of 80 sit-down guests. 


6.  I would like to visit your acreage.  Is that possible? 

            Our acreage is no longer open to the general public as we are focusing our energy and efforts on our city shop, Solar Gardens at Avalon.  We are also busy growing and providing succulents and other products (like our balsamica, olive oils and spice blends) to our wholesale clients across Canada. 


8.  I'd like to carry your plants, spice blends and/or balsamics/olive oils in my shop.  How to I set up a wholesale account?

               Just email us to set up an account.  We will need your PST number as we only wholesale to registered companies.  If your province doesn't have a PST number, then we don't need it.  


9.  I loved seeing your dogs when I visited your acreage.  Do your dogs ever visit Solar Gardens at Avalon?

                Unfortunately our current puppies Petal and Bud don't like leaving the acreage. They do enjoy the van ride to the city, but they'd much rather stay in the van than hang out in the shop. Thanks for asking!