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Power to the People – Growing Our Own Food

Ever wondered what you, personally, could do to feel more empowered? Or considered doing something powerful in response to climate change and all the other things that are making our children and our futures less secure? As they say, “Making a difference starts at home” and it starts with what we put into our bodies. [...]

Ever wondered what you, personally, could do to feel more empowered? Or considered doing something powerful in response to climate change and all the other things that are making our children and our futures less secure?

As they say, “Making a difference starts at home” and it starts with what we put into our bodies.

Learn how easy it can be to assert more control over the food that we eat by growing it ourselves. Don’t let limited space, insufficient knowledge, or a tight budget deter you. You’ll see how to integrate affordable, easy and compact growing systems and approaches into your life no matter where you live. Take things one step further and you may soon find yourself selling or gifting your surpluses to the people around you. Wallah! – Community.

Saturday, October 22nd, 2011
6:15pm – 9:45pm
The HiVE Vancouver
128 West Hastings (half a block east of Cambie Street)

Enjoy music, beer, pizza and fabulous company.
Contribute what you can: Recommended $12 – $20

Reserve your spot

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Growing Garlic Begins in the Fall

Always good for tasty bite of pizza, now you can learn how to grow garlic at the Garlic Sale & Fundraiser by Rocky Mountain Flatbread. Tuesday, October 5th, 2010 5:00 pm onwards Garlic planting season has arrived and Sharon Hanna, Urban Gardener, will be selling organic garlic from Rivendale Farm on Salt Spring Island at [...]

Always good for tasty bite of pizza, now you can learn how to grow garlic at the Garlic Sale & Fundraiser by Rocky Mountain Flatbread.

Tuesday, October 5th, 2010
5:00 pm onwards

Garlic planting season has arrived and Sharon Hanna, Urban Gardener, will be selling organic garlic from Rivendale Farm on Salt Spring Island at Rocky Mountain Flatbread in Kitsilano, Vancouver, BC.

Sharon will be selling Persian Star, Evans and Music Garlic and will be on hand to answer any questions you may have about growing big beautiful garlic.

Rocky Mountain Flatbread will also be donating 10% of all restaurant sales to their Education Society which works hands-on in local schools teaching kids how grow their own food, create their own nutritious snacks &
meals, and how to create their own eco business! They work with over 500 Vancouver students a year.

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Indendent Grocer Stocks Local Food

I love Famous Foods grocery on Kingsway in Vancouver, BC. I like that they have such a great variety of locally produced food. I like that the staff are always friendly and helpful – they are friendly with each other, too, which is a good sign. They always offer carry out when I purchase by [...]

I love Famous Foods grocery on Kingsway in Vancouver, BC. I like that they have such a great variety of locally produced food. I like that the staff are always friendly and helpful – they are friendly with each other, too, which is a good sign. They always offer carry out when I purchase by the case.

And I love that I always find interesting, local, and healthy food there. Most recently it was a cashew and date snack bar. That’s all it had in it. Nothing else. Especially no added sugar. Yum.

I love that I can buy lots of whole foods in bulk. One of the many fringe benefits of eating local is a focus on eating more healthfully. The bulk products may not all be local, but food that is unprocessed is a healthy option to have and that works for me.

Hemp Seed Hearts

I’ve “discovered” a few local products at Famous Foods that have become regulars on my shopping list, including Golda’s Cilantro Pesto and Spring Creek natural beef (no hormones or antibiotics).

And I found a new supplier of hemp hearts, Canada Hemp Foods, based in Gibsons, BC and sourced from Manitoba. As a Prairie girl at heart, I’m happy to be supporting my country’s farmers. Frankly, that’s damn cool.

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Local Food and Recycling

One of the many great fringe benefits of buying local food is that it can often lead to reduced packaging and therefore a reduced need for recycling. Buying producer-direct at a farmers market is a prime example of this. You buy from a bin, you bring your own reusable bag and bingo, no extra packaging [...]

One of the many great fringe benefits of buying local food is that it can often lead to reduced packaging and therefore a reduced need for recycling. Buying producer-direct at a farmers market is a prime example of this. You buy from a bin, you bring your own reusable bag and bingo, no extra packaging necessary.

That’s ideal, but not always possible. For me that means I’m looking for reduced (or reduced-impact) packaging when no-packaging options aren’t an option. Confused?

Freden Fine Foods

A couple of weeks ago I mentioned having discovered that the meat I’d purchased to make my Liz’s World Famous Pizza came on a non-recyclable tray. (From the label I had surmised that the product would have a Canadian processing plant, and therefore be more locally produced than a product from the US — Johnsonville is a US company. Having looked at the website, I’m not so sure.)

Anyway, I asked Johnsonville about the non-recyclable trays they use, but never got a response. I’m not really surprised. So I did what I said I’d do and bought truly local, this time from Freden Fine Foods. Turns out Freden wholesales to my local grocery store and the store uses recyclable trays for their meat.

It’s not no packaging, but it is reduced-impact packaging. Sweet.

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Liz’s World Famous Pizza

I made my “world famous pizza” again today — world famous because it’s on the Internet so theoretically anyone in the whole world could know about it. And famous because…well… my friends know and love it. When I made it this past summer with my 17 year old niece, Falisha, she was skeptical, but after [...]

I made my “world famous pizza” again today — world famous because it’s on the Internet so theoretically anyone in the whole world could know about it. And famous because…well… my friends know and love it.

When I made it this past summer with my 17 year old niece, Falisha, she was skeptical, but after the fact she conceded that I had a point. (That’s as much credit as you’re going to get from a super cool teen on her way to graduating high school.) This despite that fact that she doesn’t like zucchini or sweet peppers. Kudos to her, she was “willing to try anything once” and ended up liking the veggies in their lightly cooked state. The fact that it was also actually healthy, slipped right by her.

My pizza is a favourite when I have guests coming for dinner. The whatever-I-have-in-the-fridge-and-garden recipe allows me to prep a variety of ingredients and let each guest make-your-own to suit individual tastes, including vegetarian.

Liz’s World Famous, No Guilt Pizza

So, here is my recipe for über delicious, world famous, healthy pizza. The beauty is, in summer even more of the ingredients can be local, straight from the garden:

  • Lebanese flat bread — local producer Kandoo Bakery (looks like the restaurant gets rave reviews too)
  • Pesto base — my favourite is Golda’s Cilantro Pesto but you can mix it up for variety
  • Spicy Italian sausage, removed from casing, browned — local producer Freden Fine Foods, made fresh daily
  • Zucchini, shredded, sliced, diced or however you like it
  • Sweet peppers, any/every colour, diced small
  • Tomatoes, cherry, grape or other — when I can get them fresh from the garden
  • Fresh herbs — available from the balcony garden, I pick an assortment and mix/match
  • Shredded Parmesan cheese, to taste — I don’t like a lot of dairy, but if I have it I want the good stuff
  • Crumbled feta cheese, to taste — ditto above, a sprinkling is perfect to add a bit of zip

The instructions are pretty complicated, so pay attention here:

  1. Cut a slab of flat bread
  2. Slather on some base
  3. Layer on an assortment of ingredients, to taste
  4. Heat in the oven at 350 till the cheese melts, about 10-15 minutes

Here are some additional tips:

  • All veggies can be optional; mix, match and add depending on what’s readily available. But just so you know, it won’t officially be Liz’s World Famous Pizza if you mess with the above.
  • The flat bread comes in a big long flat and freezes extremely well. I cut it into sections before I freeze it, then pull out just what I need. It thaws lightening fast.
  • Ground beef, chicken, or turkey work as well. Ditto the rule about messing with the recipe, noted above.
  • I prefer pesto, but I guess a traditionalist could use tomato paste. Do I need to repeat the Messing with Recipe rule?

Mmmm, aren’t you hungry just thinking about it?! Oh, and if you don’t tell the kids it’s healthy they’ll love it.

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Consumer Advocate: That’s Me and You

I was royally ticked off today by the customer service at Hallmark Cards. I believe in the power of the collective consumer voice, so when later today I discovered that Johnsonville, the sausage people with the irritating commercials, sell products on non-recyclable meat trays, I dropped them an email as follows: How come you don’t [...]

I was royally ticked off today by the customer service at Hallmark Cards. I believe in the power of the collective consumer voice, so when later today I discovered that Johnsonville, the sausage people with the irritating commercials, sell products on non-recyclable meat trays, I dropped them an email as follows:

How come you don’t use recyclable trays for your meat products?

I prefer the hot Italian sausage without the skins which I brown for homemade pizza, but I’m thinking of switching to the grocery store brand, because their trays are recyclable. It’s more hassle for me, but worth it when I think that you must go through a mountain of trays every single day in your production facility.

It doesn’t make sense to me that so many trays are making the trip to the dump when there are alternatives.

Let me know…

I’ll let you know what they say.

As for Hallmark, their 1-800 number is by the phone. I’ll be giving them a call tomorrow morning, first thing.

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