Tag Archives: garden

Foraging and Fermenting

Garden bounty
It’s summer and the world is our grocery store. Our garden is booming, so we’ve been enjoying a lot of fresh salad and kale smoothies.

Rooftop Apple Tree
Apple Crisp
I also discovered that the apple trees on our rooftop produce surprisingly tasty fruit. Perfect for eating raw or baking into an apple crisp.

Blackberry Picking
We also went back to our secret blackberry spot and picked a few containers full of delicious berries. We ate some fresh and froze the rest.

Homemade Kimchi
My latest food experiment is making kichmi (recipe). I was inspired after reading Michael Pollan’s new book – Cooked. It tastes really good and should help build a strong digestive system.

Garden Envy

Kelsey and Mom With Their Bounty
I’m feeling a bit of garden envy looking at pictures of my Mom’s garden in Manitoba. Although harvesting all of those vegetables is a lot of work, never mind figuring out what to do with them. My mom’s been cranking out salsa and tomato sauce as fast as she can. You can read more about her garden and the off-the-grid home my parents are building on their blog.

Vancouver in the Sun

Creekside Sports on the Plaza
Vancouver really comes alive when it is sunny out. There is so much going on in the city and in my neighbourhood. Within 5 minutes of my front door there is outdoor sports setup by my local community centre; thousands of cyclists cruising on the seawall, and musicians cranking out tunes on a public piano provided by Keys to the Streets.

Thousands of Cyclists Public Piano Doggie Obedience School

Our garden is also thriving. The long hot days have caused our plants to explode. We picked the last of the arugula, which went to seed, but the lettuce, kale, carrots, green onions, beets, tomatoes, and cucumbers are thriving.
Rooftop Garden - Planting in June Rooftop Garden - July Jungle

Vancouver Turning Parkades into Vertical Farms

As more people shift away from driving, what do you do with all the unused parking space in downtown Vancouver? Convert it in to vertical farms, of course!

Next door to my work is an underused, 5-story parkade that is now home to a $2-million vertical farm. I’ve watched it being constructed over the past two months. Today it celebrated it’s first harvest, and it’s expected to produce 70,000 kg of vegetables every year – that’s a lot of kale and arugula.

It’s a fancy system built by Alterrus.

The facility will be 5,700 square feet, with 4,000 square feet devoted to growing the produce in trays, stacked 12 high and circulating on conveyer belts. The remaining 1,700 square feet will be used for picking and packaging. It will use less than 10 per cent of the water required for traditional field agriculture, while producing significantly higher yields compared to field-farmed produce. All of the excess water used will be recycled.

Turning a Rooftop Parkade Into a Greenhouse Greenhouse Construction VertiCrop Greenhouse Urban Garden at Night

More details and some excellent photos are available at Vancouver Foodster.

Garden Update: Salsa Time and Mystery Squash

Cherry Tomatoes Large Tomatoes Hot Peppers
This late surge of warm September weather is really helping our tomato and pepper plants. I was worried none of the green tomatoes would have a chance to ripen, but I picked the first 5 monster tomatoes yesterday and there’s dozens more just starting to turn orange. We even have a few jalapenos making a late push. Which can only mean one thing – it’s fresh salsa time!

Mystery SquashI also found this mystery squash in our community garden. I transplanted it in the spring from our compost bin (often seeds from squash, pumpkins, and tomatoes will sprout). One of my neighbours thought it could be chayote (which we used to make pho), but it doesn’t look bumpy enough. After scanning pictures on google, I think it might be Lebanese White Bush Marrow, but I don’t where the seed would have come from, it’s not exactly a grocery store variety of squash.