Garlic is Hard Work!

harvesting garlicToday I pulled up some garlic. I had a special helper, my niece, who is visiting for a few days. She loves to help with cooking. She loves to help with gardening. She loves to help – it’s a good age. As expected, after a few bulbs had been pulled, she started to comment on how hard our task was. This was my warning that the help on this particular task would soon come to an end. I told her to imagine a huge field, full of garlic, for all the people who wanted it. “Garlic is hard work!” she exclaimed. You betcha. I finished pulling the garlic solo.

Continue reading

Mel’s Box – Week 3

It’s getting hot in Vancouver! It’s only the middle of July and we are already having a heat wave (yes, we get those in Canada). Last week I kept indoor cooking to a minimum and appreciated items that were easily eaten raw.

CSA box_week 3

Week 3 went like this:

Parsley: It’s hot out, which means the grill is on outside and the oven is off. Chimichurri sauce, an Argentinian dish that is traditionally served with grilled meats, was the way to go. I made a big batch and used it throughout the week, mostly with grilled chicken, but some was used to finish off a turnip and chard hash for Sunday brunch. The hope was that adding this sauce to our meal would somehow, magically assist Argentina in winning the World Cup. No such luck.

Turnips: As mentioned, I used the turnips in a breakfast hash that also included this week’s chard, some of my garden potatoes, and of course, bacon. The flavour of the turnips was subtle, so this would be a good dish to serve to those who may not enjoy the taste of turnips on their own.

Radish: Thinly sliced and added to salads. I had to make the cucumber and radish salad again – it’s so refreshing in this heat! I hope we get more next week. Oh yeah, and the tops were made into a batch of pesto of course!

Continue reading

Vancouver Has a Plan

Vancouver Food StrategyDid you know that the City of Vancouver has an official food strategy? If you didn’t it’s worth a look. The strategy was developed in collaboration with the Vancouver Food Policy Council to help develop a food system in Vancouver that is unbiased and sustainable. Although there is a lot of engagement from local citizens in the Vancouver food system there are improvements to be made and challenges ahead. The food strategy lays out a road map with which the city can use to guide policy, in a coordinated manner, in all areas of the food system. Currently, there are five areas of priority for the Vancouver Food Strategy: food production, empowerment of residents, food access, processing and distribution, and food waste.

Here are some of the key goals of the strategy:

  • Support and enable urban agriculture such as community gardens and urban farms
  • Make it easier for individuals to get involved with neighbourhood food networks and community programs
  • Improve access to local, affordable, and healthy foods
  • Increase local infrastructure that supports processing, storage, and distribution
  • Expand food waste disposal programs to reduce the amount of food waste that goes to landfill

If you are interested in food policy, Vancouver’s food strategy initiatives, or simply learning more our food system, I encourage you to check it out. You can find the Vancouver Food Strategy at the City of Vancouver website.

Mel’s Box – Week 2

Week 2 arrived and I still had a few items left from last week’s CSA box. It’s amazing how long produce lasts when it doesn’t spend days in transit and at the store before making its way to your fridge.

CSA box_week 2_labelHere’s this week’s breakdown:

Kale: A huge bunch this week. We went away for the weekend so I made a giant salad with kale, quinoa, dried cherries, pumpkin seeds, and a balsamic vinaigrette. It was to have some healthy food on hand, as eating well when away from home can sometimes be a challenge. Thank goodness for coolers!

Garlic Scapes: I used all the scapes from this week to make another big batch of pesto. When winter rolls around, I’ll be thanking my past-self. Last year when I first discovered scapes and decided that they were the best thing since pockets, I made a tart that was amazing. I wish that I had thought about doing that again this year.

Continue reading