Coriander Oil : A Natural Antibiotic
Infection-Fighting Properties from a Common Herb

by BC Farms & Food  -  Permalink
February 23, 2021

Coriander (or cilantro, as the leaves are sometimes known), may do a lot more than just season your salsa. Scientists in Portugal, testing oil from coriander seeds, found the herb effective against such dangerous bacteria as E.coli and staphylococcus.

Coriander plants (also known as cilantro). Research shows coriander oil is a natural antibiotic.
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Plant a Seed Saving Garden
A Way to Always Have Your Own Seed Supply

by BC Farms & Food  -  Permalink
January 28, 2021

By growing open-pollinated plants and saving seeds, you’ll always have enough for next year’s garden.

Two hands opening a sun-dried pod with pea seeds. Plant a seed-saving garden.

Seed shortages and rising food prices due to the pandemic have generated huge demand for backyard gardens. Unfortunately for gardeners, this need collides with a rapidly consolidating seed industry. Dominated by a few global companies, seed corporations are determined to substitute patented seeds, which must be repurchased each year, for open-pollinated seeds, which gardeners can regrow indefinitely.

As gardeners, you can counter this trend by planting heirloom and open-pollinated varieties, and saving your seeds. This does more than simply save you the cost of buying new seeds each year—it builds diversity and resilience in the environment and our food supply.

Starting a Seed-Saving Garden

Starting a seed-saving garden is easy and depends on two things: 1) willingness to let your plants go to seed, rather than tidy up as soon as they bear fruit, and 2) choosing heirloom and open-pollinated varieties. Open-pollinated plants grow true to type, which means that (unlike hybrids) their seeds produce the same kind of plant as the parent. By selecting seeds from plants with the best flavour, size or other desired characteristics, you can create a garden most suited to your tastes and microclimate.
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Seasonal Vegetables to Eat this Winter
Recipes and Cooking Tips for Seasonal Local Vegetables

by BC Farms & Food  -  Permalink
December 19, 2020

Want to eat more seasonal winter vegetables? Here’s our guide to cooking and eating local in-season veggies in fall and winter.

Red, white, yellow and orange carrots. Seasonal vegetables to eat in winter.
Seasonal vegetables are the unsung heroes of winter eating. It may surprise you just how many winter veggies are available fresh. If you add in root vegetables, which keep well in storage for several months, you have a wide range of eating and cooking choices for the cold weather season.
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Kale Chips

by BC Farms & Food  -  Permalink
November 14, 2020

RECIPES

Parmesan Garlic Kale Chips  •  Ginger Basil Kale Chips  •  Tahini Lemon Kale Chips  

Baked kale chips with Parmesan and garlic recipe. bcfarmsandfood.com

Is the Kale Trend Over?

A few years ago when kale was all the rage, kale chips became an instant classic—a healthy snack food to make in minutes. The kale trend has subsided, but as winter comes on each year, we’re reminded why this hardy vegetable became so popular in the first place.

Kale is the quintessential winter vegetable, able to withstand cold temperatures better than just about any other crop. Stroll through any local garden or farm on a freezing day and you’ll see this hardy green thriving in the chill or pushing up under cold frames. Not only is kale able to survive winter weather, it actually becomes sweeter after a frost.

What’s more, these leafy greens are loaded with good nutrition. Rich in vitamin A and vitamin K, kale is also a source of vitamin C, folate, calcium, phosphorus and magnesium.

So, even though the trend is over, I guess this is why people continue to ask for the recipe for these vegetable chips. Below is the basic Parmesan Garlic Kale Chips recipe, and two new flavour variations: Ginger Basil, and Tahini Lemon. Enjoy!
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Chayote Squash: A New Staple Crop for Northern Gardens?
How to Grow Chayote Squash

by BC Farms & Food  -  Permalink
October 10, 2020

What is a chayote squash, you ask? Bright green, spiny, pear-shaped chayote squash may just be a new reliable staple crop for BC coastal gardens.

A green pear-shaped spiny chayote squash hangs on the vine. Chayote Squash: A New Staple Crop for Northern Gardens?

Chayote squash

What makes chayote squash so unusual is that it has a mild taste like a summer squash and the texture of a cucumber, but is able to withstand cool fall temperatures. In maritime south coast British Columbia, chayote squash is hardy on the vine until early November.
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Cooking with Chayote Squash
Sautéed Chayote Squash

by BC Farms & Food  -  Permalink
October 10, 2020

You may have noticed chayote squash appearing at local markets. This unusual bright green, pear-shaped squash has long been cultivated in Mexico and Latin America, and is now making its way to northern grocery stores.

Three bright green spiny pear-shaped chayote squash on a cutting board. Sauteed Chayote Squash Recipe.

Chayote squash


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Vitamin D may Reduce Severity of COVID-19
Test and Supplement with Vitamin D for Health Benefits

by BC Farms & Food  -  Permalink
August 23, 2020

New research points to vitamin D as a low-cost way to reduce the severity of coronavirus.

As medicine urgently searches for therapies to treat COVID-19, no vaccine or effective anti-viral treatment is yet available. Two new studies, however, highlight the relationship between low vitamin D levels and COVID-19 death rates, and point to an effective treatment to reduce the severity of the pandemic.

Salmon Filets. Vitamin D: A Low-Cost Way to Reduce the Severity of COVD-19.

Natural food sources of vitamin D include salmon (above), and mushrooms that have been exposed to ultraviolet light. Vitamin D may be a low-cost way to reduce the severity of COVID-19.


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Bread and Butter Pickles

by BC Farms & Food  -  Permalink
July 28, 2020

RECIPE

This is a traditional tried-and-true sweet pickle—wonderful on burgers, sandwiches, mixed into chicken or tuna salad, or eaten straight out of the jar.

Sliced pickling cucumbers, peppers and onions with salt and ice in bowls. Bread and Butter pickles.

We searched in the stores and never found sweet pickles as good as these. Which is why it’s worth it to spend a few hours on a summer day, canning up enough Bread and Butter Pickles for winter.
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Growing Your Own Garden Seeds
A Look at Seed-Saving Vegetable Plants in Flower

by BC Farms & Food  -  Permalink
July 10, 2020
The seed head of a leek. Growing Your Own Garden Seeds.

A leek in flower

The shortage of garden seeds this spring gave a foretaste of what it is like when supplies run out. If anything, the shortages demonstrated just how important it is to grow and save your own seeds.

Many gardeners miss the second part of vegetable growing: allowing plants shoot into flower and produce seeds. We’ve been told to have tidy gardens and to pull out our plants as the harvest slows. Nothing could be farther from the truth! As the harvest season slows down, the seeding season is just beginning. The garden is abundant with seeds. We have only to gather and store them to have the most an ample supply we could ever want.
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Why Face Masks are Essential as We Go Back to Work
New Research Shows How COVID-19 is Transmitted and How Masks Can Stop the Spread

by BC Farms & Food  -  Permalink
May 12, 2020

As farms, food vendors, and other businesses begin to reopen, three new scientific studies show why face masks are an important way to bring the COVID-19 coronavirus under control.

woman in a face mask
COVID-19 has spread so widely because infected people often don’t show symptoms during the first 4–5 days, but still shed virus by breathing, talking or coughing to anyone nearby.
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Basic Foods You Can Make at Home
Homemade Recipes for Dressings, Sauce, Baked Beans, Soup, Pastry, Crackers, and Bread

by BC Farms & Food  -  Permalink
May 3, 2020

Homemade salad dressings, bread and baked beans. Basic Foods You Can Make at Home.

We’ve put together nine of our favourite basic staple food recipes—from condiments and sauce, to bean pots, soup, bread, crackers, and pastry.

If being in lockdown is doing anything, it’s teaching us to cook at home. We now have time to try new recipes and experiment with foods we never thought of making. Case in point—pantry staple foods. Have you ever thought about making your own salad dressing, mayonnaise, crackers, or baked beans?
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