Wednesday, 11 December 2013

Real Food for Change


As the 2013 garden season came to a close, a few of our incredible, dedicated interns came to us and asked how they could best be a part of the improvement and evolution of Inner City Farms (ICF), now that they’d completed their season’s engagement with our urban farm. They were particularly interested in working to address some of the gaps we have identified in our goal of being a sustainable small business. We shared with them an idea we’ve been kicking around for a while, but haven’t had the time to pursue holistically. We’ve been calling it: “Real Food for Change”. They have taken it upon themselves to develop the project further and we couldn’t be more excited and honoured that they are putting their time, effort and expertise into making ICF better; making Vancouver better, one backyard garden at a time. They are now spearheading this project.
 
Tending to the beans


Thursday, 14 November 2013

Post from a Visiting Blogger

Hi all,

We were fortunate to meet Meaghin Kennedy of These Salty Oats a few months back. She spent a day in the gardens with Camil and wrote a great blog posting about her experiences. Hope you like it!

Thursday, 24 October 2013

October 20th CSA Harvest & Pick-Up

It looks like this was the last harvest of the season for ICF. A very big Thank You to all of our CSA shareholders, land providers, associates, interns and volunteers. It takes a lot of hands to grow food and we are grateful for your energy and allowing us to be a part of your community.

We still have much work to do cleaning up our growing spaces and preparing the soil for winter rains. We will continue to post updates through the blog and other social media sorts over the next few months...

Pictures from our harvest:
8am at Matchstick for coffee

Wednesday, 16 October 2013

October 13th CSA Harvest & Pick-Up

Happy Thanksgiving! Here are a few images from our holiday harvest...

In the gardens:
Jen, Melinda, carrots, flowers, October sunshine

Tuesday, 8 October 2013

October 6th CSA Harvest & Pick-Up

The contents of this week's box will help you become a culinary legend by making the best mashed potatoes ever. Invite friends over to share, it's the type of dish that they will tell their grandchildren about.
  • First, roast the Leningrad garlic (it may still remain spicy, but that's fine, our solution will be dilution).
  • Next, make some mashed potatoes with the Chieftains and Fingerlings (don't peel, leave the red flecks to stimulate the visual cortex). 
  • Sautee the Collard Greens a la Martha, but chop them quite thinly - tiny little strips. Very thin.
  • Then, chop up the fall scallions.
  • Mix it all together - roasted garlic, mashed potatoes, collards and scallions.
  • Serve and humbly receive accolades. 
  • (Roasted beets on the side - olive oil, salt & pepper - would be a nice touch too)
El pizarron

Sunday, 29 September 2013

September 29th CSA Harvest & Pick-Up

Over heard in the gardens today:

"How do you pick-up your vegetables from the CSA?"
"You just have to turnip."

Rain makes everything funnier (that's a Vancouverism, as of now).

Tokyo Whites: delicious and pun-tastic.

Monday, 23 September 2013

September 22nd CSA Harvest & Pick-Up

 A few indicators that Fall officially arrived yesterday afternoon:
1. Rain. A good Vancouver soaking with small breaks that make you think that the rain might be letting up, then it rains more and sideways. The summer sunshine has made us soft.

2. Veggie Shift: beets, turnips, radishes and kohlrabi this week. The cool weather crops are ready to make their late season appearance and fill your soups and stews with flavour and nutrients. Welcome back friends.

With that in mind, we still have lots of tomatoes and beans in the garden - a lingering taste of summer to ease the transition.

Slideshow: In the gardens

2 with rain gear, one without. Is denim water-proof?

Sunday, 15 September 2013

September 8th & 15th Harvests

2-in-1. September hits like a 2x4! The confluence of school and farms, neither one respects the other's schedule.

Here's a mix bag of pics from the past 2 harvests. For those who crave more frequent updates, Cam is still posting on Instagram quite regularly...and he has an eye for veggies.

September 8th
Casual Peter

Monday, 26 August 2013

August 25th CSA Harvest & Pick-Up

There have been a few different varieties of garlic in the CSA boxes (Chesnock Red, Leningrad, Persian Star, Russian Red). Each variety has unique characteristics that influence their culinary use. For example, Leningrad is quite spicy, great in stir fries and stews but a bit overwhelming when simply roasted and eaten right away. Here is a link to our garlic profiles with more of the specifics.

REMINDER: no pick-up next week due to long weekend, see you on September 8th.

And the list:

Monday, 19 August 2013

Hops!

Our hops are coming around. We hope to have a limited amount of fresh hops for sale later in the season. Send a note if you're interested. We are growing the following varieties:
  • Fuggle
  • Nugget
  • Centennial
  • Mt Hood (might not have many available this season)
East Van hops

Sunday, 18 August 2013

August 18th CSA Harvest & Pick-Up

Some nice shots by Cam in the gardens and at the pick-up site today. One thing you might have noticed in our postings is the many one-of-a-kind articles of ICF swag. We make them all by hand. If you want one, bring a t-shirt/work-shirt/dress shirt to the Marche St George on a Sunday and we'll hook you up.

4 years old, still crisp!

Friday, 16 August 2013

Here Comes the Sun

Sungold tomatoes! We can't wait to start getting these beauties into the hands of our shareholders. They're just starting to ripen on our plants and if the weather holds, we expect to be filling boots for a while...

See y'all on Sunday.

Wednesday, 14 August 2013

August 11th CSA Harvest & Pick-Up

You may have already noticed something different about your veggies this week as it was a very auspicious harvest day - King Josh, farmhand extraordinaire, got hitched this Sunday to the lovely Brad.

Good looking grooms (centre and right)

Thursday, 8 August 2013

Inner City Farms on Instagram

Just in case y'all didn't know, Cam snaps some pretty amazing photos during his time in the gardens and posts them on our instagram page:


Here's one of his recent beauties

What used to be lawn...a garden we refer to as Pandora 1

July 28th CSA Harvest & Pick-Up

It's the time of season when things tend to pile up and we fall behind a little. Here are some belated photos from our harvest a couple of Sundays past.

We resume pick up this Sunday from 2:30 - 5pm at Le Marche St George as per...we hope the long weekend was well spent and look forward to reconnecting in a few days!

All-star Farm Hands!

Wednesday, 24 July 2013

Garlic Harvesting 2013

The wave of garlic is crashing on us...it's being harvested from many sites around the city this week, will cure for a few weeks and then prepped, ready for a new home (your home, inshallah).

Here are a few images to get a sense of the process and stay tuned for more details about the varieties available for purchase!

Ready to be pulled

Monday, 22 July 2013

July 21st CSA Harvest & Pick-Up

Things are rolling along quite nicely with all this heat and sunshine. The proof of Cam's skills with the veggies are best reflected in the pudding...and this week's pudding champ is the Charmane Cabbage. Quite photogenic as you will see below - Anne Geddes style, sort of, just imagine some babies in between the plants.

Tight!

Monday, 15 July 2013

July 14th CSA Harvest & Pick-Up

Some nice diversity creeping into the boxes this week:

Harvest List
A common question we heard yesterday was, "What can I do with kohlrabi?" Here's a recipe for one of our favourite ways to prepare the beautiful swollen stem (taken from conversations and experiences in Elaine's kitchen):

Monday, 8 July 2013

July 7th CSA Harvest & Pick-Up

With the hot weather comes plant growth and busy farmers. Cam's been putting in long hours to keep up with the weeds and the watering. His hard work, with the help of our amazing farm-hands, is paying off. Check out this week's box, lots of pics:

Rosco packing the truck

Tuesday, 25 June 2013

Harvest #1 - June 23, 2013

It feels nice to get the veggies out into the community! It was a good looking harvest and a good looking crew helping out. Here's some images of the scene on Sunday:

Lots of hands for harvesting in Little Mountain
Peeking in on the new pick-up location, tucked in the backyard of Le Marche St George
The list
Panorama of the set-up
Garlic scapes, radishes and heirloom tomato starts
Russian red kale & baby bok choi
Beautiful colours!
Ted & Elaine, 4th year CSA shareholders!
Reminder: no pick up on the long weekend, see y'all on Sunday, July 7th.

Wednesday, 19 June 2013

Radishes

Often, I feel like radishes don't get the respect they deserve - they're easy to grow, quick to mature (28 days for many varieties), like cool weather, have punch-in-the-face flavour and delicious greens (perfect in soup and stir-fry).

Often, I am the first to trash-talk the radish once real vegetables are ready later on in the season.  So before the inevitable betrayal occurs, here's some photos to honour the radish.

French Breakfast variety

Reds from the Easter Egg blend

Tuesday, 18 June 2013

Little Mountain Baseball League Minor Division Champs

Congratulations to the ICF Little Mountain Baseball team! They captured the coveted Minor Division Championship trophy.

We were told that the team proudly refers to themselves as the "Farmers"!

Check 'em out...


Coach Doug Mollenhauer
Assistant Coach: Eric MacNaughton

Yasin Kurji, Bohdan Lee, Luke Norman, Nathan Gill, Marcus Solbrekken, Oliver MacNaughton, Sam Coderre, Ravi Nichols, James Pesklewis, Isaac Biegel Evans, Owen Mollenhauer, Daniel Moore-Tate and Sean Gisel

We look forward to helping support the next crop of LMB champs next season!

Friday, 17 May 2013

Japanese Magazine Article

ICF featured in Coco, a Vancouver-based Japanese magazine.

The article says it all! Flip left to page 13-12.

(don't click, just image)

Wednesday, 15 May 2013

Iterative Regeneration

Our model of land 'tenure' (i.e. being invited to co-inhabit spaces with wonderful land-donors and therefore growing food on land that is not our own) comes with a few provisos:

1. We will inevitably lose a few yards each year (last year we lost 5! Heartbreaking really)
2. We will always have to find new land to convert each season (as per previous posts...)

Wednesday, 8 May 2013

More Spring Cleaning

We have been putting our new farm crew to work with sod removal and now garden revival. We sort of fizzled out last fall after the garlic plant and neglected a few of our spaces. Other plants, I have heard them called weeds, took the opportunity to enjoy some nutritious soil in the absence of other vegetative occupants. Regretfully, they new-comers have been evicted. Silver lining? They'll become compost!
Steve's backyard
Jen & Nicole plating potatoes
Rosco & Brennan & spuds
R & B and weeds
Melinda & Jen in the shade (and weeds)
Sunshine without weeds
Hosing off the mud in east East Van
Happy neighbours, Gladys & Trina, score some green garlic for dinner

Wednesday, 24 April 2013

Spring Cleaning with Michael Sider

We are fortunate to have Michael Sider working with us to help document the many stories that unfold in the gardens and in the community over the course of a growing season. Michael not only produces amazing images and videos, he's also great to have around while working the soil and tending the plants.

Here's a particularly wonderful video he produced for the Vancouver Farmers Markets Society in collaboration with Campagnolo. I don't recommend watching on an empty stomach.


And here are some images from our clean up in adjacent front-yard gardens in Mount Pleasant (courtesy of Michael Sider).
The weekend farmers
Overwintered, beautiful, but a little bit like cardboard on the plate to be honest
Sweetest carrots of the season
A mini stand of kale trees

Monday, 22 April 2013

Yard Conversions 2013

The grunt work begins! We feel very privileged to be offered access to fellow community members' spaces. Our project could not exist without their (your) generosity, so many, many thanks! We'll try to post before/after shots to document the transformation throughout the spring, summer and fall.

Here's a glimpse of our process from this weekend:
Preparing for the sod cutter

Many hands make light work
Rolling, scrapping, piling & moving
Ready for manure
Backyard action, same location
Tidy