Have Local Fresh Tomatoes All Year
How to Enjoy Fresh Tomatoes Year-Round without Processing or Freezing

by BC Farms & Food  -  Permalink
August 12, 2015

A basket of ripe tomatoesIt’s becoming possible to eat fresh local tomatoes year-round in South Coast, BC. Through the use of season extension in the garden, careful choice of tomato varieties, and planned buying and storage, you can access a supply of fresh tomatoes throughout most of the year.

Whether you plant your own or simply buy local, here’s how:
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Cooking Up Ways to End Food Waste
Book Review: The Waste Not, Want Not Cook Book

by BC Farms & Food  -  Permalink
July 2, 2015

Book cover of the Waste Not, Want Not Cookbook, Touchwood Editions.Cinda Chavich opens her new cookbook, Waste Not, Want Not, with an astounding fact: nearly 40 percent of the food produced in North America is wasted. The problem begins on the farm where a good percentage of harvested fruits and vegetables are rejected for cosmetic reasons. Once at the supermarket, under the influence of variable consumer demand and a poorly understood “best before” system, much of the food goes out the back door into the trash bins. Food waste culminates in the home kitchen where busy consumers throw away as much as a third of they food they buy. This river of wasted food winds up in landfills where it generates the highly reactive global warming gas methane and increases the problem of global warming. Worldwide, food waste produces as much greenhouse gas as some large nations. If food waste were an individual country, it would rank third behind China and the United States as greenhouse gas producers.
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Fish Tacos

by BC Farms & Food  -  Permalink
July 2, 2015

RECIPE

These crispy fish tacos from The Waste Not, Want Not Cookbook by Cinda Chavish use organic corn chips to coat the fillets. Top with fresh salsa for a spicy, light meal.

Serves 4

fish tacos, courtesy TouchWood Editions
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Raspberry Lemonade

by BC Farms & Food  -  Permalink
July 2, 2015

RECIPE

This summer lemonade from The Waste Not, Want Not Cookbook by Cinda Chavish works well with ripe, juicy raspberries, as well as with fresh strawberries or blackberries.

raspberry-lemonade-courtesy-Touchwood-Editions
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Crisp Kohlrabi
A Cool Vegetable for Dips and Slaws

by BC Farms & Food  -  Permalink
June 2, 2015
Purple kohlrabi

Kohlrabi is a fast-growing member of the cabbage family with an edible bulb.

With its tentacle-shaped leaves and green or purple bulbs, you might think it’s an alien life form. It is, in fact, kohlrabi, a cool-weather brassica that grows abundantly in South Coast British Columbia and provides a crisp, nutritious addition to salads and stir-frys.

Available in the British Columbia from June to November, kohlrabi is named for the German kohl (cabbage) and rabi (turnip), which is more or less how it looks—somewhere between a cabbage and a turnip.
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Asian Slaw with Kohlrabi and Carrots

by BC Farms & Food  -  Permalink
June 2, 2015

asian slaw with kohlrabi and carrotsRECIPE
Kohlrabi’s crunchy texture and mild cabbage flavor make it an excellent choice for slaws.


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Growing a Local Mediterranean Diet
Citrus Fruits, Olives and Pomegranates on Vancouver Island

by BC Farms & Food  -  Permalink
May 8, 2015

Bob Duncan of Fruit Trees and More stands amid his kiwi fruit.

Bob Duncan of Fruit Trees and More has pioneered ways to cultivate kiwis, oranges and other subtropical fruit on Vancouver Island.

Scientific studies have long hailed a Mediterranean diet of oranges, olives and subtropical fruits, along with vegetables, nuts, legumes and grains, as one of the healthiest in the world. Until now, however, British Columbia food distributors have had to import most of these subtropical foods from California and Mexico. While growers in BC are able to produce some Mediterranean vegetables, such as tomatoes and peppers, citrus fruits have been seen as unsuited to the growing conditions in this region.

Thanks to the pioneering work of Bob and Verna Duncan of Fruit Trees and More, a demonstration orchard and nursery in North Saanich, BC, citrus fruits, olives, figs and pomegranates are now within reach of backyard gardeners and farmers.
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Growing Mediterranean Fruit on Vancouver Island
A Tour of Fruit Trees and More

by BC Farms & Food  -  Permalink
May 8, 2015

Bob Duncan, owner of Fruit Trees and More in North Saanich, BC, takes us on a tour of his demonstration orchard and nursery and shows how to grow Mediterranean fruit on Vancouver Island.

By using microclimates, partial shelters, and by choosing varieties best suited to the south coast BC climate, Duncan has found ways to grow subtropical fruits that normally could not thrive in this northern climate. The video includes tips on how to grow Mediterranean figs, lemons, oranges, olives and loquats, as well as warm weather fruits and nuts such as peaches, nectarines, almonds and apricots.

Quinoa, Tomato and Mozzarella Salad

by BC Farms & Food  -  Permalink
April 12, 2015

RECIPE

This refreshing salad combines the tang of sweet cherry tomatoes, mozzarella cheese, and garlic with quinoa in a fresh basil vinaigrette. For a sharper flavour contrast, try this salad with crumbled feta or blue cheese.

Quinoa, tomato and mozzarella cheese
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Teafarm Brews up a New Crop for Canada
Cultivating Tea on Vancouver Island

by BC Farms & Food  -  Permalink
February 25, 2015

Margit Nellemann at Teafarm on Vancouver Island.

Margit Nellemann at the Teafarm on Vancouver Island.

On a sunny slope in the Cowichan Valley on Vancouver Island, a rare Camellia is growing; rare for Canada but widely sought worldwide for its stimulant qualities. It is Camellia sinensis, better known as tea.

Far from the tropical and subtropical mountain slopes of China and India where much of the world’s tea is grown, and running contrary to Agriculture Canada’s declaration that “Canada does not have the appropriate climate for growing tea,” the 11-acre Teafarm, in Cowichan, is home to 600 thriving tea plants, adapting nicely to the region’s Pacific maritime climate.
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12 Vegetables You Can Grow in Winter
A Guide to Planting and Harvesting Winter Vegetables

by BC Farms & Food  -  Permalink
January 1, 2015

If winter grocery-store produce has you wishing for something fresh from the garden, consider this: you can grow a surprising number of vegetables throughout the winter in our moderate south coast BC maritime climate. (Article continues below slideshow.)

Winter Salad Greens include arugula, bok choi, chicories, lettuce, mache, mustards and spinach. They grow slowly due to low light. Mulch well, and harvest as baby greens or braising mix.
Broccoli can survive most cool maritime winters but may not tolerate sustained freezing weather. Plant a sprouting broccoli variety for a continuous crop of side shoots throughout the winter.
Brussels sprouts are very hardy, and frost makes them sweeter. If you plant in June, they are ready to eat by November or December.
Certain carrot varieties, such as Danvers, store well in the ground. Sow in July, size them up by October, and pull them fresh in the winter.
Chard is frost-hardy and will make it through most winters. Sow from April to June for fall and winter harvest.
Collards are hardy and survive all winter in a coastal marine climate. The large leaves make good wraps.
Kale is one vegetable you can count on throughout the winter. It is easy to grow and hardy, even in freezing temperatures. The leaves become sweeter after a frost.
Leeks are a great onion substitute that grow fresh in cold weather. Slow to mature, they need to be planted in the spring for the fall and winter harvest.
Curly parsley reliably survives the cold, even on frosty days, and provides a leafy garnish. Hamburg parsley, grown for the root, can be harvested from September to March and cooked like any root vegetable.
Parsnips are similar to carrots. If well mulched, they will store well under the winter soil and provide a delicious root vegetable for roasting.
Scallions are Spanish onions that due to low winter light do not form a bulb during cold weather. Protect with mulch and pull them fresh throughout the winter.
Turnips can be a good early winter root crop. Pick them small for milder flavour. Best grown under a cloche or tunnel.
 
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Winter Salad Greens include arugula, bok choi, chicories, lettuce, mache, mustards and spinach. They grow slowly due to low light. Mulch well, and harvest as baby greens or braising mix.


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