organic food

Garlic

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I used to think that garlic was an exotic food. I thought it was like the mango - something so full of flavour couldn't possibly come from nearby, could it?

I couldn't have been more wrong. Garlic is in fact easy to grow in Edmonton and impossible to grow in the tropics. Ha! Suck on that year-round-luscious-food-having tropical countries!

Since it also stores very well, Edmonton could be self-sufficient in the stinking herb if it wanted to be.

It's time to plant your garlic for next year. Here's how:  read more... »

Local Organic Tomatoes - Not Just for the Rich and Famous Anymore

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An Edmontonian's backyard tomato crop, 2010

The term elitist has been popping up more and more in the media when describing local organic food. I think that using the term displays a lack of imagination and out-of-the-box thinking (to use a tired term).

We just hauled in this year’s tomato crop (I described starting the tomatoes from seed earlier in the year). We transplanted them in late May in 30-40 square feet of garden space. I picked a few weeds along the way (like, 50), but we hardly paid them any mind until today.

With fewer hot days in late summer than usual, it was a bad year for tomatoes in Edmonton. Late blight took all of a neighbour’s tomatoes, and we lost most of our crop at the community garden to blight as well (seems that the cool wet weather is what causes it). Also, usually by this time at least half of our tomatoes are red, but we've only picked three red ones to date. No matter - covering them with newspaper will enable them to ripen on their own, and I for one can’t tell the difference between on ripened inside and one ripened outside.

So in a bad year we grew 10 gallons of local organic tomatoes with minimal effort, for $5-10 worth of seed. And, for those without a yard there are a plethora of community gardens in this city.

What exactly is elitist about local organic food again?

Indian Tomato Rice Soup (or, Cooking With November Garden Greens)

Indian Tomato Rice Soup

I'm always on the lookout for vegetarian recipes that can be made with local organic ingredients. When I get to eat straight from my garden, especially in November, I get even more excited. The rice aspect of this soup isn't so local, but I always use leftover rice, so I'm reducing food waste. Plus, it's shipped dry (from California), so the calories per gallon of diesel fuel ratio is pretty high (I can say things like that because it's already well established that I'm the world's biggest eco-nerd).  read more... »

Go Lean, Go Green This Halloween

I know what you’re thinking. You’re dreading the moment I unleash my judgement on the parent who irresponsibly allows pollution of their child’s bodies with artery-clogging sweets, over-packaged junk food, and artificially dyed and preserved confections.

Relax, that’s not how I roll. All you’ll hear from me are a few friendly pointers on how to have more fun and less guilt on October 31st. Here goes:  read more... »