Thursday, September 15, 2011

Fall Harvest 2011

Wow. The last couple of weeks has been great for the garden harvest.
The harvest of fall beauties has begun! The tomatoes and onion above quickly became a fresh salsa.
The purple carrots (novelty) and the orange ones above quickly became snacks.
Also, I recently roasted a beet. Sweet. Very nice. And... perhaps my favourite way to enjoy beets. In a smoothie or soup, they just take over the entire taste of the dish.
Plus I have some pumpkins coming along.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Grow Your Own CRON Diet With Aquaponics

The CRON Diet or lifestyle is a very self-sufficient and environmentally conscious approach to longevity - whether practitioners realize this or not. It was in this same vain of being self sufficient and environmentally friendly that I got excited about Aquaponics. This approach can provide year round fresh fish and green veggies in an ultra fresh and low maintenance manner while being incredibly good for the environment.

Some of the highlights that hooked me were things like this paragraph from Backyard Aquaponics:

According to university studies in Canada, aquaponic plant growth has been
found to exceed normal hydroponic growth rates. And aquaponic fish have been
found to have less health problems than fish grown in intensive aquaculture
systems Aquaponics is the most water efficient method of food production
available today, requiring only about 1/10th of the water used for ground
grown vegetables.

So it was an incredibly neat and highly effective approach to agriculture - and relatively new too. But could it be done at home, easily and cheaply?

Well, here is one of a huge number of Aquaponics related YouTube videos:

So, just seeing this setup my mind started to whir with activity. Indeed, there are folks around the world who are selling home aquaponics kits.

Essentially one feeds the fish and the fish almost entirely feed the nutrients needed for the plants.

There is a huge range of fish species, prawns, crayfish, and more that are being used in these kinds of systems and even more varieties of plants and crops.

Some are suggesting this new "green revolution" may solve many of the Earth's pending problems with faminine due to overpopulation.

Ultimately, I wasn't so selfless in my thoughts about Aquaponics. If I can convince my significant other to let me have one I am going to ensure I have fresh veggies year round. It would also be less likely for the dogs to dig up radishes and carrots from my Aquaponic garden.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Yay - Summer is over!

I know this isn't going to be popular with some people: I don't really like Summer. Yes it is nice to be on vacation and spontaneous in the warm weather but that really makes CRON harder too.

The Summers are rather short here in Edmonton and one feels compelled to make the most of them while they are here by soaking up the sun, maximizing outside activities, and generally being spontaneous. Indeed I'm sure that Canadians as a whole are better defined as making as much as they can out of their Summers than they are by lengthy Winters. It's like we instinctively know that we need to soak up the sun and recharge our batteries while we are able to.

Beginning in August there was a family funeral and the food and visiting that naturally goes along with that. Then there was vacation in small town BC with a strong meat and potatoes side of the family that doesn't understand my catch and release fishing let alone my CRON lifestyle. Many other backyard BBQs and events with friends unseen for months also occured in August. As did a number of marathon festivals like Bluesfest. This Labour Day weekend there is a wedding and all the food that might entail.

Needless to say. I have actually managed to gain weight in August. More than I care to reveal.

Now that September is here I have been getting into more of a regular routine and I am grateful for that. I feel more centred already. Sigh.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Garden Hit Hard by Radish Thief

The last week has been hard with the heat. I guess the dogs decided that with all of us spending more time in the back yard that they would help us garden... unfortunately that included eating radish greens and pulling up radishes for their own personal enjoyment.
Note: Guess who got blamed for this? Me! Apparently my feeding the dogs vegetables during the week when I'm preparing meals and salads was building temptation for them. And their being unsuperivsed by the garden around juicy radishes was too much for them. Lol. Too funny. I hope they enjoyed themselves but I am happy they didn't chew through too many of the plants.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Wheat Germ

A while back I bought some wheat germ to boost my vitamin E and zinc intake on occasions when they seem to be staying a bit low. It wasn't until yesterday though that I had a chance to taste it.

Wheat germ is pleasantly tasty and nutty flavored. I've been having mine with yogurt or a bit of milk. I am very glad I tried this food item as I almost didn't.

Speaking of adventure in food. Have any of you tried vegemite? That just may be my next adventure if I can find some in my local area.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Mustard Greens

Organic mustard greens were available at the local supermarket. Curious as ever, I decided to try them and I am very glad I did.

I prepared half the mustard greens in a salad. The greens were more salad like than kale and very spicy in a pleasant way. The warmth they produce is very nice to fix up what can sometimes become boring salads. Plus the texture is a nice change too.

The other half of the mustard greens were wilted with oil, garlic, and some soya sauce. These were excellent. I went out of my way to cut out the stems as many a recipe had suggested the stems don't wilt and can impact the consistency of the dish - they were right. Prepared this way the greens were similar to spinach. However, the taste was far superior.

I will definitely be getting more mustard greens in the future. However, although mine did not last long due to my appetite and curiosity, apparently mustard greens do not last as long as other greens or salad type items.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Canada Day... pancakes?

Happy Canada Day everyone!

This July 1st I am getting dragged to the Alberta Legislature grounds for a free pancake breakfast by friends and family... Why is it that so many things you get for free aren't really that great? I was trying to think what CRON compliant foods might be there and quickly gave up. I guess I will have to "smooth" out the calories elsewhere and keep my portions to a minimum. Actually, there is something appealing about a pancake breakfast... something. Maybe it's the sugar high from the maple syrup?