Exploring, eating and writing about good food on Canada's west coast

header photo

Blog posts : "Kitchen Garden"

Urban Garden 2015 and a 'Grate' Little Giveaway

It's finally summer here on the west coast, and we went straight to the hot and dry stage early this year. Lawns are brown and crispy and unfortunately there are forest fires burning from Saskatchewan all the way west to Vancouver Island. The only things getting watered these days at my house ar…

Read more

Ugly vegetables are coming to Canada

Back in July a video from a French grocery store chain went viral around the world as Intermarche launched an Eat Ugly Vegetables campaign, encouraging people to purchase and eat blemished and misshapen fruits and vegetables (at a discount) to reduce food waste. And now Canada is joining in the …

Read more

Five Herbs to Grow Indoors This Winter

I've enjoyed partnering with Food Bloggers of Canada this year with articles on learning how to grow your own food at home, and I'm back again this month with a feature on growing herbs indoors during the winter.

As someone who loves to use fresh herbs year-round in my cooking, growing herbs inside…

Read more

Stop the madness and eat ugly vegetables!

We are lucky to have such a vast variety of fruits and vegetables in our North America grocery stores and markets. Perfect, ripe, shining produce with eye appeal to help convince you to buy it as far as the eye can see.

But what about the ugly, rejected ones? The weirdly shaped vegetables? Th…

Read more

Springtime in my urban kitchen garden


 I've been so busy with digging out, preparing and replanted my entire backyard edible kitchen garden for the past month that I haven't sat down to write about it. I have been taking lots of pictures, though, and now I can take a few minutes to share what I've decided to grow this year (some exp…

Read more

Creating your own edible small space garden

Can we finally officially call it spring across the country? I know we've had it easy on the west coast as snow persisted across much of Canada, but the great white north is finally melting back to a soft spring green hue, so it's time to start thinking about getting some edible plants growing at …

Read more

Almost Spring... A winter kitchen garden update

Spring is close (right?!). It's been one hell of a winter for much of North America and I'm sure I'm not the only one who is craving warm sun, blue skies, fresh buds and green shoots. Vancouver Island is starting to grow again after what I hope is the last of the snow and new plant shoots are appe…

Read more

Foraging for wild Chanterelle mushrooms

One of my favourite things about fall on Vancouver Island is my annual wild mushroom forage with a great friend who has lived here his whole life. He and his family have been kind enough to share their fall mushroom hunts with me for the past few years, and I look forward to the search with much c…

Read more

Growing oyster mushrooms at home, Day 4

As I mentioned in my last kitchen garden post, I have finally decided to try out the Grow Your Own Oyster Mushroom kit I got back in June at Eat Write Retreat. There are lots of these little boxes popping up in stores across North America, and I've been very curious to see how one works at growing…

Read more

October in the Kitchen Garden

The harvest has started winding down on Vancouver Island, and my backyard kitchen garden was looking a little empty and sad.

That unexpected hit of Late Blight tomato fungus that killed my entire tomato crop (along with many of my friends and neighbours) was a pretty big bummer. It was also a good…

Read more

There's a fungus among us tomatoes

I haven't done a kitchen garden update in a while, and quite a bit has been going on outside my office window lately. Cucumbers exploding off vines, brussel sprouts, uh... brusselling, and three different kinds of peppers starting to ripen.

Funny enough, had I written this post a week ago, it wou…

Read more

Fried Green Confessions

I have a confession. A tomato-related confession. I just don't get what everyone loves about fried green tomatoes.

This is somewhat frustrating for someone who has a glut of green tomatoes coming out of my kitchen garden each year. Last year I successfully made a fabulous Green Tomato & Tomatillo…

Read more

Food appears and Spike returns - a mid-July kitchen garden update

After a busy June full of travel, it's been nice to have a few weeks back at home, working and enjoying summer on Vancouver Island. And it's also been nice to be able to keep an eye (and hands) on how my backyard kitchen garden is doing.

It's starting to look like the hot weather we're getting …

Read more

Snakes & Lettuce

I mentioned on the Devour & Conquer Facebook Page the other day that I was happy to see that a local Garter snake that was considering adopting my garden as home. I went out to do some weeding today, and there she was (no idea if it's male or female, but she looks like a 'she' for some reason and …

Read more

Checking up on the backyard kitchen garden


I've been traveling so much over the past few months that my backyard kitchen garden has been pretty much left to its own devices. When I've been home I'm rushed out to throw a few new plants in the ground, feed, stake, water, then off I go again. It's been interesting to see what flourishes wit…

Read more

Early morning dew on Strawberries

I took a mug of coffee out into my garden this morning and discovered all my newly planted strawberries artistically dotted with dew. 

Although I am a life-long lover of berries of all sorts, I've never actually grown any of my own until this year. Some good friends had to hack out all their baby…

Read more

Evolution of a $1 packet of salad seeds

On the very last day of the Qualicum Beach Farmer's Market in late October of 2012, I walked by the Omega Blue Farms booth and noticed a sign saying "All Seeds - $1.00", their end of the year sell-off. Between the price and the potential growing challenge, I couldn't help stopping to investigate.


Read more

An abundance of home-grown garlic...

I always gratefully accept when someone offers me fruits or vegetables they have grown themselves and have a surplus of, and some of my most interesting recipes have come from suddenly having an unexpected large quantity of something. It was a friend letting me pick all her extra backyard apples w…

Read more

One of my Vancouver Island Local Food Heroes


Bon Vivant on Vancouver Island recently launched a great promotion to show some love to the local food heroes of Vancouver Island. From chefs and restaurants to farmers and seafood providers, there are so many different people on the Island who make the western edge of Canada such an amazing loc…

Read more

How to save tomato seeds

I came across an heirloom tomato farmer at the Penticton Farmer's Market selling a beautiful variety of heirloom tomatoes grown in the area. I asked him if he had any advice for saving my own seeds and he gave immediately offered me and other market shoppers an impromptu demonstration of how to pr…

Read more

20 Blog Posts