Category Archives: Blog

Getting Creative with Kale

 

 

Chelsie Anderson, Garden Expert

I had a bumper crop of kale and garlic this year, so I got creative in the kitchen and made “kale pesto”.

 

 

 

Garlic
www.GrowFoodCalgary.com

I blended up kale, olive oil, 2 garlic bulbs, lemon juice, salt, nutritional yeast and a handful of basil (for pesto’y flavour).

 

 

 

Kale
www.GrowFoodCalgary.com

I stirred this into my morning steamed veggies, on noodles and potatoes for the kids and managed to use up a ton of kale in the process!

Kale Pesto
www.GrowFoodCalgary.com

 

 

How do you cope with your produce windfalls?

Send us your stories, pictures and recipes.

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The Bittersweet End of Summer

How’s it Growing, Grow Food Calgary Gardeners?

August 31, 2017

As the growing season ends, a new era in the garden begins. Like late-summer lettuce it can be bittersweet!

Harvest is upon us.

Tomatoes on every plate at every meal.

The green beans have finally relented!

And salads with a true mix of greens (kale, beets, three lettuces, arugula, basil, chives, violets, nasturtiums and more) are the highlight of each meal.

While we enjoy the fruits of our summer efforts, we also know it’s time to wind down the garden and begin planning for next year.

We have an exciting program lined up for our September 23 Grow Food Calgary Session. Here’s what you need to know:

  1. Garden Pictures: We’ll present a slide show of all our gardens. Please share pictures of your garden (send to: Shelley@ShelleyGoldbeck.com). They don’t have to be pretty. We want to learn from the things that didn’t do well too. Deadline for submitting photos is September 15, 2017. See Lisa’s photos here: http://growfoodcalgary.com/gardeners-gallery-lisa
    2.  Harvest Fair and Share:
    Bring samples of your produce to show off. Petite prizes will be awarded for the produce, presentation, passion, and pleasure you convey! If you have an abundance of zucchini or bushels of apples, we encourage you to bring your excess for sharing.
    3. Our guest speaker this month is Malika the mushroom lady who will show us how easy it is to grow our own mushrooms.
    4. We’ll be talking about collecting seeds from the garden, planting fall crops, and bedding down your garden for winter.5. After class Bonus! Sharp’s Farm Tour: From 1 to 2PM. Tour a working veggie patch. No kids or pets. More information to come, including car-pooling options. Pencil it in your schedule.Invite your friends. Tickets are available at: www.growfoodcalgary.com/register

As always, we welcome your questions. We look forward to sharing your garden experiences.

Watch for our next program update coming next week.

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Community Crops

 

 

 

Chelsie Anderson, Garden Expert

In Calgary we have an abundance of space as we are a sprawly city.

We also have amazing soil, tons of sunshine and I happen to know of crops that will succeed with very little effort in this city of ours.

I made up a bed on my front lawn, my son painted a sign and came up with the alliteration “Calgary Community Crops” (can be found on Facebook), and we started to spread the word that these crops were intended for anyone to harvest.

Community Crops
www.GrowFoodCalgary.com

What I noticed?

People knew what to do with kale and lettuce, but they weren’t as certain about how to pick root crops; beets, radishes.

No one seemed to notice the beans or zucchini until I pointed them out.

Some people were too shy to harvest from my garden, so I started bagging up produce and delivering it to neighbours I thought would be grateful. This was always well received.

I have made up a laminated booklet which I will hang from my sign next year explaining when and how to harvest the crops.  I realize I need to help educate people on harvesting… people who access my crops don’t know how things grow.

Garden Kids
www.GrowFoodCalgary.com

The most special moments for me with these crops were when I’d hear kids laughing out front, only to find they were harvesting peas with friends and dogs while the parents chatted on the sidewalk.

My front lawn started to become a local activity/hand out spot for young families, and this made my heart swell!

I am hoping to inspire others to do the same next year and will provide signage for anyone interested in turning their front yard into a community crops site.

Contact me via Facebook or at this email address for more info.

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Volunteer Squash

Chelsie Anderson, Garden Expert

It is hard to compost seeds, and me, being an impatient composter, I tend to spread my compost before it is totally finished.

As a result I get some volunteer veggies every year.

This year it was primarily squash and tomatoes.

Baby squash
www.GrowFoodCalgary.com

While I generally weed out most of these babies, I left the squash as they were filling a bare spot in garden and there was mulch covering the soil (perfect to keep squash from rotting!)

Almost ready to eat squash
www.GrowFoodCalgary.com

 

They grew better than any of the plants I deliberately seeded.

Did you have any volunteers in your garden this year?

Tell us your stories.

 

Volunteer Squash
www.GrowFoodCalgary.com

Tickets for the next session of Grow Food Calgary are now available.

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Malika’s Mushrooms

 

Malika

Our guest speaker at the September 2017 Grow Food Calgary session is Malika Hamel.

Malika runs a start-up business that is called Malika’s Mushrooms.

Malika obtained her masters degree in chemical engineering from the University of Algeria and has more than ten years of experience working on her family mushroom farm .

When Malika moved to Canada she was searching for a job. She decided to go back to what she knows: growing mushrooms.

Malika Hamel wins Venture Quest for her mushroom growing business.

Malika was the  winner of Venture Quest at Bow Valley College in 2015 for the best business idea.

We are pleased to have Malika teach us how easily we can grow our own mushrooms.

Currently she is involved in growing mushrooms. She sells mushroom kits and spawn and she will have these available for purchase at our next Grow Food Calgary event.

Register today!

 

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