Friday, June 25, 2010

Fight Back Friday: Local Eating

If you've read my blog you have probably noticed that I'm pretty dedicated to local eating. Through the summer I grow my own fruit and veggies and I have a greenhouse where I attempt to grow produce in the fall and early spring. I'm realistic about what I can get from my land and what I need to rely on others for. I simply do not have the space for meat (except maybe a few chickens but I would raise them more for eggs then for meat). So, to ensure that the meat on my table has been organically raised and humanely treated, I only order from farms I can actually visit. My lovely organic beef is from Mill Bay, our free-range eggs come from Central Saanich, we get our chicken either from Mill Bay or from Central Saanich and our lamb from North Saanich. I also buy our seafood from a fisherman who fishes in the Queen Charlotte Islands. Our cheeses (both cow and goats) come from Saltspring Island. I love that I can serve a meal and tell you exactly where each ingredient has come from. I think it is so important that we all can identify where our food comes from. Since I've invested the time in researching how and where my food is grown and raised, I have not had a single case, even mild, of food poisoning. I can not stress how much better food tastes when it is fresh, when your meat hasn't been maltreated and stressed, when it is grown and raised in the same climate you live in.
The other bonus to local eating, is seasonal eating. Most people think of eating in season as a restriction on their menu however I think of it as a plus. Seasonal foods are always going to be less expensive than ones that are grown in hot houses and shipped great distances. Seasonal food has so much more flavor because nothing has been forced. However in my climate there is not a lot of options for winter eating so we preserve the bounty of summer and enjoy it throughout the year.
Local eating is a joy and one that you will never go back on. Once you have tried changing your diet to local and seasonal nothing will ever taste as good so you just can't go back. Take a weekend, visit local farmers markets or stands and ask questions. It's so much easier than you think.

Join the fight at

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Recipe: "Orange Julius"

I will admit that every time I walk past an Orange Julius I crave an original Julius so badly. But the reality is that I just can't afford to be constantly buying Orange Julius so I decided to make my own. They are so yummy and way cheaper than running to the mall whenever I crave one. Just in time for summer, here is the incredibly simple recipe for a original "Orange Julius"

You will need:
1 cup orange juice
1 cup milk
1 tbsp sugar or honey
1 tsp vanilla extract
10 ice cubes

Add all the above ingredients into a blender. Blend until smooth. Serve cold and enjoy. (Makes enough for two).

Sunday, June 20, 2010

In the Garden

All my tomatoes are in. I'm going to have sooo many tomatoes (looks like I will be making a lot of pasta sauce). I think I planted 4 more plants than I did last year and I'm still working on using up the frozen tomatoes from last year. I'm not sure what I was thinking.
My peas are up and making their way up the netting. They haven't been very happy this year. There is a real weed problem in my yard and some of the peas got choked out.
I have zucchini already. I picked that little zucchini the next day! This plant seems much more manageable than the Ambassador zucchini I had last year.
I have raspberries. I'm pretty excited because raspberries are one of my favorite things from the garden. When I was a child, my parents didn't have the yard space for raspberries so whenever I went to visit my grandmother in the summer she would always send me home with a little bucket of raspberries fresh from her garden. Nothing says summer like a handful of raspberries!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

2 months without Poo

It's been 2 months since I used shampoo and I love it. My hair is so shiny and my scalp isn't as itchy anymore. There were a couple rough patches when I didn't mix things right and my hair looked greasy the next day or when I accidental got the vinegar rinse in my eyes but overall I really enjoy been shampoo free.
On an totally different hair is losing it's red!!! I'm so sad. I finally appreciate my natural red hair and it fades away. Maybe the summer will help bring out the red.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Mini Harvest

Things have not been going well for me this year, garden-wise. The weather has been shitty and the weeds are a big problem this year. Still, I managed to get some things from the garden last week.
I collected some Giant Chinese Mustard Greens, Merlot lettuce and some Samish Spinach. I even got a couple strawberries.
Then a couple days later, I got some more strawberries. They aren't as sweet as they were last year but I'm hoping that a good summer will turn that around.
In terms of the garden, I had to pull out and re-seed my spinach because it bolted, I've finally planted my tomatoes, the cabbage is doing ok (I'm just trying to keep the slugs off of it) and thanks to all this wet and cold weather the slugs have eaten my chard and beets literally to the ground. I'm going to have to re-seed those too. Like I said, things are not going well.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Arbutus Cove

Last night Jon and I went back to visit a place I used to hang out at when I was in junior high school. Arbutus Cove is a beach located in Gordon Head. I honestly have not been back to that beach since I graduated.
It's not much of a work-out to visit the beach (I do rather enjoy hike-in beaches) except for the stairs in and out. The beach itself is pretty rocky but there are some sand bars to hang out on.
We were lucky enough to see a few birds during our short visit. This poor eagle was being harassed by 4 crows. But eventually the crows got bored and left, then the eagle started chasing sea gulls. It was an interesting event to watch.

Then we saw the heron. I love herons, I think they are really cool birds to watch. They just seem so mellow. This guy wasn't overly bothered by us (until I slipped on a rock and scared him). I watched him fish for his dinner. He caught about four fish while we were watching him.
It's been pretty windy here on the west coast lately do there was a lot of seaweed and debris on the shore. Jon found a rusty piece of metal from a ship and I marveled at all the different colors of seaweed.

The sun was starting to go down so we decided to head out. I forgot what a nice beach it was. I think it will be worth going back (maybe when the weather is warm and I can walk in the water!).

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Bike to Work Week

May 31st to June 6th is Bike to Work Week in BC. Normally it is the perfect time of year to host this event however with the crummy weather lately, I've noticed less riders on the road. Never-the-less people are leaving their cars at home and getting some exercise and being green on the way to work.
Bike to Work Week has set up various events to encourage people to take up riding a bike to work. Around the city there are rest stops with refreshments, information and teams to take a look at your bike (for some people it has been a while since they have taken their bike on the road). Offices have formed teams and made a group effort to reduce their carbon footprint.
The event I found to be of the most interest was the "races". There have been 14 route races this year. One person leaves in a car (and must follow speed limits, signs and lights and find parking at the end) and another leaves on a bike and they "race" to arrive at their location first. Ten out of the fourteen times the cyclists won. There were 3 cars that arrived first and 1 tie. Since I've been cycling to work, I've found that it takes generally about 12-15 mins to drive but only 7-10 minutes to cycle. I feel safer on my bike. I don't have any traffic. Victoria is filled will pathways, trails and quiet back-streets so I rarely have to ride my bike with cars. When I drive to work I encounter 5 light-controlled intersections and 2 stop signs, when I cycle there is only one light-controlled intersection and 1 stop sign. And getting out in the fresh air on my way to work really helps to wake me up for the day.
So I encourage everyone, if you haven't already given it a shot this week, ride your bike to work. You may find you actually love it. And don't forget to practice bike safety. If you want more information on Bike to Work Week visit