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:

Strength in diversity
Garlic party
Art show
Pete’s heirlooms, just starting to ripen
Right display
Left display, plus Rosco and Brennan

Karen, Jess & Chris, plus Mellifera Bees workshop way in the back
ICF gear, previous offer still stands

A recipe for the basil, sungold and heirloom tomatoes:


  • 1 pound sungold and heirloom tomatoes
  • 1/2 pound cherry bocconcini, cut into halves
  • 1 cup fresh basil leaves

Dressing ingredients

  • 1 1/2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic, chopped
  • Salt and pepper, to season

Preparation Instructions

  • In a bowl, mix together the tomatoes, bocconcini and basil leaves.
  • In a screw top jar, mix dressing ingredients together, toss through salad, enjoy.

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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

Nice size bulbs, Leningrad variety
Full load from East Van

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Process Garlic, the many ways we

Still going strong, but with a change in focus.

Task 1 – clean up the gardens, put ’em to bed for the winter. There have been few photo-suiting moments to show y’all but there’s as much opportunity left for that as there is work to be done, which is a lot.

Task 2 – learn to write more clearly.

Task 3 – form like Voltron to process and plant our garlic. We had a big session today to put the little allium ducks in a row. Here’s a preview of what we will be planting in the next week or so, a total of 4320 all within the city limits! This will be the 4th Vancouver growing season for these seeds, we believe they’re getting quite settled in to our climate.

  • Chesnok Red – 600
  • Russian Red – 600
  • Persian Star – 600
  • Yugoslavian – 600
  • Purple Glazer – 440
  • Leningrad – 435
  • Musica – 265
  • Rojo de Castro (creole) – 380
  • Burgundy (creole) – 400

We have a bit of garlic left for sale, excellent for eating and planting, and going for the outrageously low price of $10/lbs. Contact us at if you’re interested and check out our product profiles to learn about the distinguishing features of our varieties.

  • Chesnok Red – 18.5lbs
  • Persian Star – 11lbs
  • Burgundy Creole – 2lbs (rare variety price exception – $15/lbs)
  • Russian Red – 5lbs
  • Musica – 5lbs
  • Yugoslavian – 3.5lbs 

Throughout the sorting process, there is always a percentage of garlic that is perfectly edible but not quite fit for public sale. We place those cloves aside and send them home with the help. Here are a few images of one way of dealing with an excess of garlic that needs to be used up asap before it succumbs to the rot.

Materials: Garlic seconds, jars, olive oil, food processor, cutting board and knife
Picked over and peeled
Into the food processor at a 3:1 garlic to olive oil portioning
A few quick pulses
Jarred up and ready for the freezer

One note of caution, put the jars in the freezer right away. If the jars are left at room temperature, we are creating a nice habitat for botulism-causing bacteria. Here’s some more info on the risks.

We let the jar sit on the counter for a few minutes so it thaws enough to scoop some out, then we throw it right back in the freezer.

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Harverst #11 – September 16th, 2012

Lots of good pictures and anecdotes from today’s harvest. Beginning with golden mummies and plant idolatry and ending with this week’s veggie profile shots.

First, a love story. A tale of shared pasts and future dependence. For ICF, a relationship that we wish to facilitate as best we can, and like all great matchmakers, we focus on setting the context for companionship and then getting out of the way.

So, what you see below are aphids on the back of a beet leaf.  Some are grey, some are yellow, and some are yellow with little holes in them. The grey ones are alive, likely harbouring a wasp larvae that is in the process of eating its way out of its host. If this is the case, the aphid will turn yellow as it dies and the larvae will spin-up a cocoon and emerge as an adult wasp (see exit holes in some yellow aphids), which will then deposit eggs in other aphids, continuing the cycle. Rumour has it, if 10% of your aphids are yellow, affectionately called Golden Mummies, your aphid problem isn’t a problem, it’s an opportunity to enjoy the company of tiny little parasitic wasps.

Next up, nominee for ICF plant of the year! This volunteer sunflower (it’s just one plant, amazing!) is in Ron’s front yard in Mount Pleasant. It’s incredible. It’s like a tree. It’s like a sunflower patch on its own. Plants continue to blow our minds.

Waist high bush beans? 14ft sunflower? What’s in Ron’s soil?

Beautiful bouquets

Here’s this week’s set up at Le Marche:

Ready to go
A good mix of labour today

And the chalk board sign, courtesy of Rosy!

 And the close-ups:

Chesnok Red

Yellow Wax

Lemon Cukes

Mixed bag of Copia, Sungold and Cherry

Sierra Blanca

Red Ace


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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

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