“That’s not a canola field.”
I used to hear that a lot from my grandparents when I was a kid. We’d drive by giant fields on the way to their farm, and I’d point to the yellow flowers I saw and shout, “Look at that canola field, Grandpa!”
Turns out they weren't always canola fields. Sometimes they were dandelions. The same weeds I used to pick for my Mom because I thought they were “pretty flowers.” (Hey, I bet you did that when you were little too!)
It’s been a few years since I mistook dandelions for canola (and not just because the weeds burst in early spring and canola blooms in July), but as the potatoes and peas in Grandma’s garden start sprouting, I'm starting to get excited. It won’t be long before the Alberta landscape becomes a checkerboard of canola fields.
And if you’re travelling in southern Alberta you might see another yellow crop I used to confuse for canola—mustard!
So how do you tell the difference?
Grandpa says it isn’t easy. The flowers on a canola plant are a little bigger and a paler yellow, while mustard seeds are small and a slightly darker in colour. Honestly? I think I’d need to hold them side by side to really know the difference, and even then I’m not sure I’d be able to tell you which one is the canola plant.
Gotta jet! Have a great weekend. I'm counting down the last days of school...how about you?
~ Chase Superman Duffy