Author Archive

Happy Spring – the sprouts have sprung!

Friday, March 20th, 2009

Thyme sprouts

Seeds are in!

Thursday, March 19th, 2009

seeds from Seedy Saturday

Tanny, Ella and I went down to Seedy Saturday and picked up this year’s crop of veggies. Seedy Saturday was held at the Wychwood Barns this year and it was PACKED!

Our haul for 2009:

  • Tomatoes: Yellow Cherry, Beefsteak, Ruffled Red
  • Pepper: Lipstick Sweet Red
  • Herbs: Italian Large Leaf Basil, Thyme, Italian Parsely, Cilantro
  • Misc: Sugar Snap peas, Brittle wax beans, Scarlet Nantes carrots
  • Garlic: six varieties!

Making a return to the garden from last year:

  • Tomatoes: Blanche Beauty, Black Cherry
  • Sweet Basil
  • Midget Golden Watermelon

This weekend we started all the tomatoes, the basils, the thyme and the peppers. In a couple of weeks we’ll start the melons. The rest we’ll plant directly outdoors.

I’ve already started getting the yard ready for spring. I cleaned up the leaves and debris from our East and South yards (sounds bigger than they are) and some green flowers shoots are already peeking through! We had a nasty infestation of Viburnum leaf beetle that stripped both our snowball trees last year so I’ve been painstakingly pruning all the infected branches.

This year we’re going to convert one of our flower gardens into a vegetable garden since our current vegetable garden is really shaded. We’re also hoping to plant a second fruit tree (to replace a fallen tree) and some Veestar strawberries. It absolutely breaks our hearts to know that we have to clip the flowers from the strawberry plants the first year and won’t get strawberries until 2010!

If anyone has a recommendation for a native fruit tree that doesn’t suffer from neglect and insects but has a plentiful yield – please let us know!

EcoSuave Experience

Wednesday, March 18th, 2009

LocalEating @ EcoSuave

Tanny and I have been a little buried with our day jobs (which have recently extended into evening/night jobs) recently so we’re a bit behind with our posts. We’re on vacation currently so the site will get some more attention in the coming days.

As we had written previously we were fortunate to be invited to this year’s inaugural EcoSuave fundraising event. We had a table set up with two laptops connected to localeating.ca and hosted a video testimonial to local eating. Tanny and I had a GREAT time. The event was very well organised, with a lot of yummy local food and a lot of very friendly guests. It’s the first time we’ve ever actively promoted the site and it was fantastic to get feedback from people. I hope some of you found your way to our site after the event!

The video testimonal was setup as a way to enter a raffle for a wonderful gift basket of sustainable goodies. We’re planning to release the video on our site once it’s ready, but due to the excitement and energy level in the room it’s pretty difficult to hear many of the speakers on the video so I will be captioning them before I post it.

The Stop’s Green Barn Market

Sunday, January 4th, 2009

Yesterday, Tanny, Ella and I went down to The Stop’s Green Barn Market near Christie and St. Clair. It’s not far from our house and with our CSA deliveries on hold over the holidays we were tired of staring at empty produce bins in our fridge. 

It’s a nice little market. Everyone is super friendly. It’s bigger than the market at Distillery (at least the last time we were there) but not as big as the market at the Brickworks. The market is held at Artscape’s Wychwood Barns – a converted TTC streetcar repair barn. It looks a bit like the Distillery Farmer’s Market, though much much smaller; the Distillery is also an Artscape project. The Stop, which runs the market, is an organisation which works to increase access to healthy food. 

We picked up some sweet potatoes from Round Plains Plantation. They have Tanny and Ella’s favourites: Chinese purple sweet potatoes. They also had O’Henry sweet potatoes of which we bought one to try. 

We got some eggs and ground beef from two vendors and some white potatoes as well. That night we made sheppard’s pie with the ground beef and potatos and it was delicious! They potatoes were the most favourful we’ve had in months.

Since we’ve been slow to upload recipes, here’s my Mom’s Sheperd’s Pie Recipe:

  • 1lb ground beef
  • 1 tsp salt
  • dash of pepper
  • 1 cup water*
  • 1 beef boullion cube*
  • 1 chopped onion
  • 1 tbsp flour
  • 1 stick of celery (chopped)
  • pinch of thyme
  • dash of worchestershire sauce
  • milk (to taste)
  • a few parsley sprigs
  • 1 tsp of paprika
  • (optional) 1 carrot (chopped)
  • (optional) 1 cup corn kernals (cooked or canned)

* You can substitute 1 cup of homade beef stock for the 1 cup of water and boullion cube

  1. Brown beef and onions
  2. Stir in salt, pepper, flour, beef boullion*
  3. Add celery, water*, thyme, worchestershire sauce (and carrots)
  4. Simmer 20 minutes, stirring occasionally
  5. Meanwhile or before: peel and boil potatoes
  6. When cooked, drain and mash with butter, milk and salt
  7. Put beef mixture into an oven-proof dish
  8. (optional) Add layer of corn
  9. Top with mashed potatoes
  10. Sprinkle with paprika and parsley
  11. Put in oven at 400F for 25-30 minutes

p.s. We left our camera at my parent’s house at Christmas so the blog will be pretty textual for a while.

Registration is back up!

Sunday, January 4th, 2009

I’ve re-activated registrations. 

Last week we noticed that our site had been hacked and has been including invisible links to unscrupulous sites without our knowledge. My efforts to reverse the damage must have disabled registration. Well, we’re now accepting new users AND spam free!

Josh

Registration problems

Sunday, January 4th, 2009

Hi Everyone,

We just noticed that the link to register new users is missing. I’ll fix that now. Sorry for the inconvenience for all of you who would like to contribute!

Josh

Why Sarah Palin is a locavore.

Saturday, December 20th, 2008

I’ve never read Slate magasine before though I’d heard it mentioned. I just happened to stumble upon the fact that Elliot Sptizer’s new job is a columnist on Slate. Poking around the site I found this article:

Why Sarah Palin is a locavore.

What I thought would be pure comedy was actually a mildly insightful article about the decline of hunting in America and the link of “frontier-style” hunting to local eating. Tanny and I would never be able to hunt for food and would surely both be vegetarians if left to our own devices, but the article has some interesting points.

Local Eating on CBC

Tuesday, November 18th, 2008

This morning Tanny heard a story on CBC (Metro Morning, Toronto) about local eating. The host interviewed Jamie Kennedy. Link to the audio file is here. Let us know if it expires. UPDATE: The link has expired – thanks Laurel!

From Tanny:

Here’s the gist of it:  

Jane and Jamie discussed the local eating movement in the Toronto area, focussed mainly on the restaurant owner’s perspective. Jamie partnered with Thermador and worked with local growers to film vignettes showing his take on local eating and how you prepare a winter feast using locally grown produce.   Jamie is currently working with local growers to set up a chefs’ wholesale market at Evergreen Brickworks to make local produce more accessible to restaurants.  He hopes that by allowing the growers connect directly with the end users, the prices of local produce would become affordable for more people.  There’s a new winter farmers market in Toronto – Green Barn Farmer’s Market at Wychwood Heights.

 

 

 

Two good reads about good eats

Tuesday, September 9th, 2008

Just a quick note to highlight two websites we came across today (thanks to a blog comment): Vert-a-go and the Seasonal Ontario Food blog. The first discusses local, sustainable food around Saskatoon. The second is a collection of recipes using 80% local Ontario food. That site will certainly find its way to our tummies.

Blueberries, Peaches and Plums. Oh my!

Sunday, August 31st, 2008

Blueberries

Blueberry season is almost over in Ontario, but we certainly enjoyed it while it was here. Tanny, Ella and I went blueberry picking last weekend at Andrew’s Scenic Acres . We went again this weekend. Ella cannot get enough blueberries!! It was hard to get her to focus on putting the berries into the basket and not in her mouth. She got remarkable adept at distinguishing ripe blueberries from unripe.

One thing we learned this year is that the powdery-white coating on blueberries is called the “bloom” and is not pesticide (thank goodness).

During my high school years, my family and I would always pick blueberries in Thamesville at Park’s Blueberries . If you’re ever passing through the area they have excellent pick your own and home-baked goods. They usually have three different types of blueberries.

While we were at Andrew’s Scenic Acres we also picked some Damas plums. Personally I prefer yellow plums but these were good too. Their pears and apples looked just about ready to pick.

Damas Plums

Tomorrow we’re going to be in Grimsby and hope to stop at Two Century Farm to pick up some peaches and possibly some grapes. We haven’t been there before but my parents said it’s good.

Tanny and I have a running joke about #1 peaches. When we were in the Niagara area a few years ago we stopped at a roadside peach stand. He had two types of peaches with labels: “peaches” and “#1 peaches”. Curious, we asked him what the difference was and he remarked, pointing to one basket, “Those are #1 peaches.” Now whenever we get an obvious answer that contains no value it’s “#1 peaches!”. Anyway, for the curious here is the precise definition of #1 peaches in Canada.

Blueberry farms listed in our database (as of August 31, 2008):

Peach farms listed in our database (as of August 31, 2008):

I know there are many stands and farms with blueberries across the country. Please add them to our list so that others may feast on fresh blueberries.

Keep eating local!