Raspberries growing in Edmonton, Alberta

It’s been quite a dry year, much to the relief of TV weather people all over the city. They’ve barely had to complain at all about their waterskiing getting interrupted just so the pesky ecosystem can get some water.

The dryness is one reason that I’m impressed by the raspberry harvest. The iconic prairie canes are chock full of fruit at my community garden. With little maintenance or water, no fertilizer, and no pesticides, raspberries are as close to a zero-carbon food as there is.  read more... »

Good Dandelion Questions

Readers at both my blog and here at asked about the taste of the dandelion root coffee that I described here.

As you can see below, after grinding and brewing, it certainly looks like coffee, and the 50-50% blend with real coffee is barely distinguishable for having been economically adulterated.  read more... »

Weedgeek: dandelion

I’ll start this weedgeek post by saying that I know hardly anyone can pick dandelions the way I do. For most people with uniform yards of Kentucky blue-grass, extracting the yellow flower with an intact tap-root is a futile task. I’ve seen those screwdriver-like weed pickers that are sold in hardware stores described as ‘weed-breeders’ because they always break the root and any dandelion root fragment will just grow another dandelion.

Because I have no grass, I pick my dandelions with a pitch-fork.

There are plenty of reasons to celebrate the dandelion. People eat the greens and crowns. Make wine and fritters from the blossoms. But for me, dandelion-root coffee is the real prize. Because organic, fair trade coffee is pricey, it’s easy to quantify the value every scoop of dandelion coffee that I brew.  read more... »

Guerrilla Gardening

Edmonton has a new movement: guerrilla gardening. A group of Edmontonians has started organizing and enacting gardening events that aim to promote "issues of community ownership, food security, native habitat, biodiversity, and the direct replenishing the environment in which we live our daily lives". Awesome.  read more... »