Spring Gillard

Jar Jamboree

I’ve been cleaning out cupboards. I have accumulated a lot of jars. Those wonderful Classico tomato sauce jars especially. I know, I know, I should make my own sauce, but their tomato basil variety is really good, and of course very convenient. These Mason jars are 750 ml with the measurement levels marked on the […]

Bring Back My Bus Stop

Our local government is installing separated bike lanes around the city as part of their goal to become the Greenest City in the world by 2010. I’m a recreational cyclist and I’m all for the new bike lanes, which make me feel much safer. I applaud the efforts, especially the trial lanes on the Burrard […]

The Arctic Apple

When I was growing up in the Okanagan, we used to visit the Summerland Research Station. They had a cow with a glass stomach there. I kid you not. In addition to turning cows into circus acts, the scientists developed plants that were adaptable to local conditions. But in the mid 1990s, they abdicated their […]

Something’s Myth-ing

I came across a Greek myth that captures the current state of the world, in particular the global food crisis, and one that carries a harsh warning: it is not a good idea to piss off the gods. The vengeance can be quite macabre. Nevertheless, mere mortals manage to do it; some even relish it. […]

Earth Tub Education

The Vancouver School Board has gotten serious about reducing waste at its schools. They recently purchased three Earth Tubs, an automated, mid-scale composting system and have now set them up at three Vancouver schools: Windermere; David Thompson; and Grandview. The schools will process food waste from their cafeterias and some from the community. Windermere has […]

Notch Hill Organics

Susan Moore tells me she is an “above average” farmer. “Meaning I’m older than the average age of farmer,” she laughed. I laughed too, but the aging farming population is a growing concern. The average age of farmers in BC is fifty-eight now.

“I look at the farms around me and there’s a guy who […]

The Artistic Life

In his book, In Defense of Food: An Eater’s Manifesto, (Penguin Press, 2008), Michael Pollan recommends: “Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.” I need to work on the middle part. But what else can we ordinary citizens do to counteract this culture of greed, particularly in the food system? In The Compassionate Universe (Nilgiri […]

Family Album

My whole family spent this past Christmas at my brother’s condo on Apex Mountain in the Okanagan. I grew up skiing there, and it’s still my favourite mountain, even though it has changed a lot. Back then we used to slide down the bunny hill in the evenings, on trays from the cafeteria. Now they […]

Soaking Beans

When the bottom fell out of the global economy at the end of 2008, my contract work in the non-profit world dried up. I was impelled to be a lot more careful about how I was spending my money. I began eating at home more, making soups and stews, baking muffins, joined a community garden […]