Harvest #13 – September 30, 2012

First off, a quick reminder to our shareholders that there will be a harvest next Sunday! Come early so that the ICF veggies can be incorporated into your Thanksgiving meal. We are usually set up and ready to go right at 2:30pm, just in time for turkey.

Thanks again to Owen, Naomi and everyone else involved in last night’s Railway Moonshiner. The food was excellent, the drinks were incredible (both the R & B cask and the ‘Hoppy Hemingway’ cocktail) and the space was inspirational. Met a number of interesting folks too and had great conversations about food and farming. My iPhone photography doesn’t do it justice but here’s a glimpse of the transformed working space at Union Wood Co.

The space cleans up nicely.

 We had lots of bodies out for today’s harvest which was perfect for combing through the bush beans. This freed up sometime for pollinator stalking. Our volunteer sunflowers were attracting some native and honey bees, the former looking a little shaky but still out and about in the late season.

Beautiful little Bombus
Still punching the clock as we head into Fall

r = c sqrt{n},
theta = n times 137.5^{circ},

Here’s the crew in the beans, beneath the Helianthus tree.

Reflecting on mixed bunches of kale

As the season wanes, the weekly shares tend to get a little smaller. Here’s today’s harvest line-up:

  • Carrots, scarlett nantes 
  • Mixed bag of tomatoes (copia, green zebra, sungolds, cherries, orange russian, and Siebenbürgen)
  • Green wax beans
  • Persian star garlic
  • Mixed kale, winterbor & redbor
  • Lemon cucumbers
Some phenomenal carrots this week
Killer kale
Siebenbürgen tomato
Orange Russians
Green beans still holding on
The Drill on patrol

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Railway Moonshiner

Plans for Saturday evening? If you like cask beer, appreciate hand crafted woodwork and dig fine cuisine using Vancouver-grown veggies (ours), join us at the Railway Moonshiner!

This is a special collaboration put together by the fine folks of Butter on the Endive accompanied by the head brewer from R & B Brewing Company and located at Union Wood and Supply CO’s digs. For a glimpse of the woodworking artistry, check out this article from Scout magazine – pretty amazing. You can get a preview of Chef Owen Lightly’s menu for the evening here, but you have to be present on Saturday night to experience Todd Graham’s cask.

Hope to see y’all there!

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MONTECRISTO Magazine Article on Urban Ag

This Week’s Oppenheimer Harvest

Because a portion of the cost of each CSA share is earmarked for Oppenheimer Community Kitchen harvests, we like to keep y’all updated on what their share looks like.

Here’s this week’s harvest, featuring beautiful Copia tomatoes, Red Ace beets, Chesnok Red garlic, Redbor kale and sweet Sierra Blanca onions. These veggies will help make a beautiful, nutritious soup!

Thanks to all of our shareholders for helping make this harvest possible

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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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Harverst #10 – September 9th, 2012

Hey hey,

It’s always nice to see everyone after the long weekend gap. The gardens are doing well – veggies and farmers alike were relieved with last night’s rain.

This week’s share:

  • Yellow Wax Beans
  • Rosemary
  • Sage
  • Garlic, Yugoslavian
  • Assorted Summer Squash/Zucchini
  • Collard Greens
  • Swiss Chard
  • Carrots, Scarlett Nantes & Purple Haze
  • Lemon Cukes
  • Mix Bag of Onions: Candy, Redwing & Sierra Blanca 

Here are some images from Le Marche. Lots of family and friends out for a Sunday afternoon coffee. Plus, garlic sales! We will have more garlic for sale by the pound and half-pound denomination, $10 and $5 respectively, next Sunday at Le Marche. Varieties that you can’t find else where (and definitely not for the price).

Some of the goods this week

Will, Drill, Chris & the next generation of producers

The previous generation of farmers and on-going inspiration

Weekly check-in with the ladies – look for Mellifera Honey in shops around the city

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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.

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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

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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

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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!

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