Sunday, 26 August 2012

Harvest #9 - August 26th, 2012

Here's this week's harvest, MCed by one of our lovely interns, Claire. On going comments courtesy of the peanut gallery.

No harvest next week, enjoy the long weekend!

See y'all on Sunday, September 9th.

Sunday, 19 August 2012

Harvest #8 - August 19, 2012

Apologies for missing a posting for last week's harvest. Here's the profile for the veggies today:

Lemon Cucumbers, might be the tastiest cukes around.
Mixed Zucchini: amatista grey, ambassador & patty pans
Purple Top Turnips!
Persian Star Garlic
Swiss Chard, rainbow
Mixed Beets: red ace, touchstone gold & chioggia
Carrots, scarlet nantes. Incredibly sweet.
Kale, redbor

Friday, 10 August 2012

Urban Fruit Trees

Like finding hidden treasure! One of our land donors offered us a share of their Yellow Plum tree and we were more than willing to help off-load the surplus. Plums make pretty good culinary companions, full of b-complex vitamins, Vit K, C & A, beta-carotene, antioxidants, iron, potassium, fiber and on and on...

Urban access for hard to reach fruit
Vancouver has an abundance of fruit trees in residential spaces (and on City property, check out the Foodtree Map) thanks to previous generations' appreciation for growing food close to home. Recently, the trend of tearing down old houses to make way for the new has sadly included clear-cutting all of the trees on a property. I have seen too many 50+ year old fruit trees been replaced with laurels and other more manageable types of trees. It does take a lot of knowledge to maintain a fruit tree properly, another skill being lost in our increasingly urban population, so if you have a neighbour with an old fruit tree, offer to help out with maintenance, learn a thing or two, and hopefully get rewarded with bags of gold.

30 minutes of 'work', not bad
No caption needed

Thursday, 9 August 2012

Ngoc's Kohlrabi Lettuce Wrap with Hoisin Sauce

A creative recipe from our shareholder Ngoc, sounds delicious! Feel free to send more recipes our way, we'll gladly share them. 

Ngoc's Kolrabi Lettuce Wrap with Hoisin Sauce

  • 1 lb ground chicken (or beef or pork depending on your preference) Can substitute the ground chicken with tofu for a vegetarian dish (just crumble a block of tofu instead of the ground chicken)
  • 1 kohlrabi peeled and chopped to about 1 inch cubes
  • 1 large carrot, peeled and chopped to about 1 inch cubes
  • 2 green onions, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 10 button mushrooms or shitake mushrooms, thinly sliced
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, finely chopped (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon hoisin sauce
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • About 10 leaves of green lettuce, washed and dried
  • Mint leaves washed and dried
  • Heat a large non stick pan, brown the ground chicken, kohlrabi, carrots, garlic and jalapeno pepper.  Add the hoisin sauce and white wine, simmer until the vegetables soften (about 10 minutes); adjust the seasoning using a small amount of soy sauce if needed.  
  • Add the mushroom and cook for a further 3-4 minutes until the mushroom cooks through.  
  • Serve the filling hot and arrange lettuce leaves and mint leaves on the side and everyone can assemble their own wrap
  • To assemble: take a lettuce leaf, add the filling and some mint leaves, roll the lettuce to enclose the filling and enjoy!
Great as an appertizer or snack!

Wednesday, 8 August 2012

Nutrients and Happiness in the Community

Imagine this:

The nutrients and energy captured in these beautiful plants are about to be distributed throughout the community by the hands of skillful chefs and eager mouths, making each one who shares the meal just a little bit healthier and happier. But these aren't the only beneficiaries in this network. The growers were enriched by witnessing the soil, water, air and sunlight interact with a seed, a seedling, a little plant and the mature flora. The neighbourhood in which the plants grew also took part in the experience, watching the transformation from lawn to harvest, with anticipation and fascination.
This week's Oppenheimer Park Community Kitchen harvest

Tuesday, 7 August 2012

Eat Together Pop-up Dinners

Collaboration and collusion are amongst the best perks of Inner City Farms. This spring, through some fortuitous coffee shop eavesdropping, Cam met Ellen and Ken of Eat Together. They were planning their meals and events for the upcoming months and Cam was thinking about how to get more of our veggies into the community - a great match!

From their website:
Eat Together is a secret dinner for nine aimed at bringing together people for a good time and highlighting locally sourced organic ingredients harvested only a few hours before they're served. Hosted in Tin Can Studio, dinners are popping up all over the city, dedicated to being a summer hideaway serving delicious seasonal suppers monthly.

To find out when and where, a mail out is sent to notify people a week ahead of the night of the dinner. Sometimes it is mentioned on their blog or sometimes it gets mentioned in Scout magazine. It's a first come first serve basis.

If this sounds like something you'd like to experience, contact Ken & Ellen at

Here are a few images and descriptions from July's dinner to give you a sense of their culinary and aesthetic creativity. The beautiful prose courtesy of Ellen.

We used your rhubarb to make a rhubarb lime granita - the amuse bouche for the night. It was sweet, but still sour enough that it made your mouth pucker, woke up the palate a bit and made you hungry for dinner!
Cauliflower panna cotta with a curry granola and lemongrass and ginger infused oil. We steeped chopped up cauliflower in cream, and then mixed it with agar to make the panna cotta. The textures and flavors in this were great and we were really happy and excited with this dish!
Fennel braised in sambuca and orange juice with golden raisins, toasted almonds, creme fraiche, and fresh toasted breadcrumbs. This is the fun/most exciting part of the dish: underneath all this a cauliflower cous cous. Ken came up with it - we cut the little heads off of the cauliflower to make it look like cous cous and mixed it with brown butter and salt and pepper. We had all this cauliflower left over, and used that to make the cauliflower panna cotta in the previous dish.
Roasted beets in a rye dirt with whole pistachios, goat cheese, and a reduced balsamic glaze. This dish is a playful one - it would be like if you were to encounter beets in the ground and would be able to eat everything around it!
We used the blueberries and rhubarb to make two compotes: one rhubarb only and one blueberry and rosemary. Then we mixed these into freshly whipped cream and also put in crushed meringues. So good!

Monday, 6 August 2012

Harvesting Garlic

So it begins. Harvesting the fruit of our efforts from last fall. More accurately, we are harvesting the bulbs of our efforts, but we must live within the limits imposed by our common idioms.

In no particular order of rank, here are the hardneck varieties that we grew this year (13 in total!):
  • Yugoslavian
  • Russian Red
  • Chesnok Red
  • Persian Star
  • Leningrad
  • Musica
  • Cuban Purple Creole
  • Purple Creole
  • Purple Glazer Creole
  • Burgundy Creole
  • Spanish Morado Creole
  • Genki Creole
  • Native Creole
We grew some varieties in large number and will have them available for sale in a month or so. Some we are growing strictly for seed stock. If you are interested in purchasing garlic, email us at

Here are a few images from yesterday's harvest in the Sunset neighbourhood of Vancouver. These are some of our Yugoslavian variety. Amazingly, this front yard had about 650 plants!
Mid spring growth
2/3 of the harvest
Fragrant piles of garlic tempting sidewalk strollers
Pete doing a preliminary prep for curing

Wednesday, 1 August 2012

Oppenheimer Community Kitchen + Veggie Updates

We are continuing our relationship this season with the fine folks at Oppenheimer Park Community Kitchen (one of the Downtown Eastside Community Kitchens). They make a delicious batch of soup each week with our veggies.

Intern Michelle and the Oppenheimer harvest
Our cucurbits are coming on-line finally. Michelle is trellissing our lemon cukes and the first of the zucchinis are being harvested for our mid-week box (offered through Harvest on Prior).

Good use of vertical space

Amatista Grey and Ambassadors ready to go