Green Pea Dip with Parmesan

by BC Farms & Food  -  Permalink
June 2, 2019


If you want to add more plant-based protein foods to your diet, green pea dip is a simple, nutritious choice. This fresh, light dip is an alternative to chickpea hummus, and is high in protein, minerals and vitamins.

A bowl of bright green pea dip, a fresh light appetizer or spread. Green Pea and Parmesan Dip.Green pea dip makes a good appetizer or a lunch spread, and is a stand-out at dinner parties with its amazing bright colour.

You can make green pea dip with frozen peas, or with fresh shelled peas from the garden. If using fresh, it takes about three pounds of peas in the pod to produce three cups of shelled peas.

Peas, once out of their pods, begin to lose their natural sweetness and become more starchy. So, unless you use them just after shelling, they will lose some of their sweet flavour. Luckily, because frozen peas are quickly chilled just after shelling, they retain their natural sugars and work perfectly in this recipe.
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A Low-Carbon Citrus Greenhouse in Canada
Growing Subtropical Fruit with Minimal Inputs for Heat, Water and Nutrients

by BC Farms & Food  -  Permalink
May 7, 2019

On Salt Spring Island, in Canada’s Pacific maritime climate, oranges and avocados flourish in an innovative, energy-conserving greenhouse. The subtropical fruit greenhouse, called simply “The Garden,” uses renewable energy, thermal mass, nutrient cycling, and rainwater harvesting to grow citrus fruits with minimal inputs. (Article continues below video.)

Video: Growing a Sustainable Citrus Garden in Canada

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Tests Reveal Benefits of Eating Organic
Surprising Pesticide Levels From Eating Conventional Foods

by BC Farms & Food  -  Permalink
March 24, 2019

Is eating organic worth it? A new study in the journal Environmental Research says yes. The research, conducted on four families across the United States, offers a snapshot of how pesticides in our food accumulate in our bodies.

Video: Organic for All  (from Friends of the Earth Action)

The Test: Conventional vs. Organic Diet

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Did Cooking Make Us Smarter?
The Recipe for Improved Intelligence

by BC Farms & Food  -  Permalink
February 21, 2019

What did the advent of cooking bring to human development? Scientific evidence suggests cooking our food may have made us more intelligent.

Olduvai Gorge in Tanzania where humans evolved. Did cooking make us human?

Olduvai Gorge in Tanzania

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Bringing Back Ancient Grains and Seeds
Growing Old World Grains in Gardens and on Small Farms

by BC Farms & Food  -  Permalink
January 17, 2019

Ancient grains are making a comeback, as farmers, millers, artisan bakers and diners seek them out for their exceptional flavour, nutrition, and low-gluten content.

The heritage wheat, barley, rye, buckwheat, amaranth, quinoa and flax at Dan Jason’s farm come in many colours. In August, at Salt Spring Seeds, the fields shimmer with blue, gold, and purple seeds and grains. Not the kind you’d see on the large industrial farms of the prairies, but old world varieties that grow today much as they did thousands of years ago. (Article continues below video.)

Video: Bringing Back Ancient Grains & Seeds

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Oh No, Not the Beer!
Barley, Hops, and the Future of Beer

by BC Farms & Food  -  Permalink
January 6, 2019

Beer lovers take note: barley a key ingredient in beer is in trouble around the world.

Glass of Beer. Oh No, Not the Beer: Barley, Hops, and the Future of Beer.A recent article in Nature Plants warns that increasing episodes of extreme drought and heat due to climate warming will cause a decrease in world barley production. Today, beer is brewed most commonly from partially germinated (malted) barley. To find out about the effects of climate change on beer, researchers modeled the effects of more frequent droughts and heat waves on 23 barley-growing regions around the world. Under the worst case conditions, barley yields would decrease by 17% and beer prices would double on average.

In bartender speak, low barley supply means less brew to satisfy the world’s surging thirst for this popular beverage. Beer is the third most consumed liquid after water and tea, and the most popular alcoholic drink in the world. So rising costs for this valuable drink will quickly become visible to consumers.

How Beer Got Started

Farming began 10,000 years ago with the domestication of wild wheats and barley. As these grains became the food mainstay, early farmers discovered grain fermentation, and the resulting alcoholic drink we call beer. By the time the pyramids were under construction in ancient Egypt 5,000 years ago, the workers were paid in vegetables, grain, and alcohol. In 2017 the world produced approximately 140 million tons of barley, 20% of which goes for brewing beer.

Although well adapted to a wide range of climates, barley prefers temperate regions such as the northern prairies of North America. Barley does not like extreme heat and drought, which brings us to climate change…
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Colourful Scalloped Potatoes

by BC Farms & Food  -  Permalink
November 25, 2018

This scalloped potato recipe celebrates the diverse colours and flavours of the much loved, yet humble potato. Red, yellow, blue and white potatoes add colour and nuanced taste to this potato classic. Make with any combination of potato colours and varieties. Topped with cheese, scalloped potatoes are a traditional favourite for special dinners and prepare-ahead entertaining.

Serves 6
Baking time: 1 hour
Colourful Scalloped Potatoes recipe. Sliced red, yellow and blue potatoes in a baking dish.6 to 8 potatoes of varied colours (red, yellow, blue, white), thinly sliced
1 onion, chopped
1 tbsp olive oil
2 tablespoons flour
2 tablespoons butter
freshly ground black pepper
1 to 1 1/2 cups milk
1/2 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
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How We Can Regrow Sustainable Agriculture in BC
Investing in British Columbia’s Food Security

by BC Farms & Food  -  Permalink
October 22, 2018

British Columbia is facing an agricultural crisis. Sixty percent of farmers in BC are over age 55, and the new young generation of farmers cannot take over.

At the same time as baby boom era farmers are retiring, speculation has driven the price of farmland higher than the ability of new farmers to buy it. Unless we find a way to make most of the farmland in the Agricultural Land Reserve affordable, and to grow enough food on it, we can expect to permanently rely on imports to feed ourselves. Two recent projects suggest a way forward for BC.

Farmland in BC. How We Can Regrow Sustainable Agriculture and Food Security in BC.
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10 Tips for Year-Round Vegetable Gardens
Best Techniques for a Sustainable Four-Season Garden

by BC Farms & Food  -  Permalink
September 25, 2018

Gardeners often ask how they can grow and harvest vegetables all year long. Here are our top ten tips for a sustainable, organic year-round garden:

Plant a winter garden. Tips for a sustainable year-round garden.

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Zucchini Pancakes

by BC Farms & Food  -  Permalink
August 19, 2018


These savoury zucchini pancakes will not last long! Flavoured with sweet onions, hot out of the pan, they make a delicious side dish for meat or pasta, or a light vegetarian meal. Zucchini pancakes freeze well and are a great way to preserve an overabundance of summer squash.

zuchinni pancakes recipe from BC Farms & Food

Zuchinni pancakes are delicious hot off the griddle, topped with parmesan cheese.

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Deer Resistant Plants That Attract Pollinators
Pollinator-Attracting Herbs, Vegetables and Flowers that Deer Avoid

by BC Farms & Food  -  Permalink
July 31, 2018

Bee-friendly plants that repel deer? It sounds like a gardener’s dream. As it turns out, quite a large number of flowers, herbs, and even vegetables are deer resistant pollinator plants.

Gardeners and farmers who struggle against deer damage know how difficult it is to grow flowers, fruits, and vegetables with these voracious browsers about. At the same time, growers depend on bees, flower flies, butterflies and hummingbirds to pollinate farm and garden crops. If you select carefully, you can have both together: plants that attract pollinators and are also unpalatable to deer. (Article and plant list continue below slideshow.)

Prickly plants like globe thistle, globe artichoke (above), and cardoon resist deer and are tremendous attractors of bees, when in flower. Deer also usually avoid plants with thick, leathery or spiky textures.
Plants with fuzzy leaves and hairy stems such as cucumbers, squash, borage (above), and phacelia typically turn away deer. The tiny flowers of borage and phacelia are amazing attractors of bees.
Deer avoid strong-scented herbs and aromatic flowers. The strong fragrance of marigolds (above), lavender, rosemary, sage, thyme, chamomile and other herbs can interfere with a deer’s sense of smell (which it relies on to detect danger).
Mint family plants (Lamiaceae) are reliable deer deterrents. These include bee balm, catnip, anise hyssop (above), lavender, lemon balm, peppermint, spearmint, marjoram, oregano, rosemary, salvia, thyme, and savoury.
While deer may nibble on new spring onion shoots or chives, flowers from leeks, onions and native alliums such as Nodding onion are generally deer-resistant. Leeks (above) and other allium flowers are beautiful, powerful attractors of bees.
Deer avoid bitter-tasting plants like snowdrops, yarrow (above), foxgloves, bleeding heart and poppies (including California and Oriental poppies). Fawns learn while young to avoid these plants, which contain alkaloids.
Wildflowers, such as deer-resistant woolly sunflower (above), yarrow, and phacelia, co-evolved with pollinators for centuries. Native plants have co-relationships with specific bees and pollinators that protect diversity.
Blue, violet, white, and yellow flowers, such as salvia, lupine (above), alyssum, and zinnias are attractive to bees. Bees cannot see the colour red. They look for shallow or tubular plants with a landing platform.
Tiny clusters of flowers attract a variety of beneficial insects such as bees, butterflies, flower flies, ladybugs and parasitoid wasps, which pollinate and also prey on garden pests. Parsley, dill (above), and fennel are a prodigious draw for these beneficials.
Bright (especially violet or red) flowers, such as purple coneflower, delphinium, and cosmos (above) with wide landing pad areas attract butterflies. Hollyhocks and lupine host butterfly larvae and help support butterflies into adulthood.
Scarlet, red and orange tubular flowers such as columbine (above), comfrey and foxgloves attract hummingbirds. A hummingbird can access nectar from deep within the flower using its long narrow bill and tongue.
Yellow and white flowers, like calendula (above) are good attractors of flower flies (also known as hover flies or syrphid flies). Flower flies are valuable pollinators. Although they often look similar to wasps or bees (a mimicry they’ve developed to ward off predators), they do not sting.
Prickly plants like globe thistle, globe artichoke (above), and cardoon resist deer and are tremendous attractors of bees, when in flower. Deer also usually avoid plants with thick, leathery or spiky textures.

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