Archive for the ‘Veggies & Edibles’ Category

The latest from Edible Vancouver: In Anticipation of Summer
Andrea Bellamy |


The latest Edible Vancouver is out, and with it, “In Anticipation of Summer,” my article on peaks and valleys, and the inevitable excesses of summer. It’s my favourite Edible Gardens column yet. I’d love you to read it and let me know what you think. Here’s a teaser:

There’s a rule among gardeners that no matter when someone visits your garden, it always looked better the week before. The week before, the roses were in full bloom. The week before, the mustard greens weren’t riddled with flea beetle buckshot. The week before, the weeds hadn’t yet surpassed the growth of your plants.

Read the rest of the article on the Edible Vancouver website.

Photo credit:


The latest from Edible Vancouver: The Virtuous Vegetable
Andrea Bellamy |


The latest Edible Vancouver is out, and with it, “The Virtuous Vegetable,” my article on getting drunk in Athens and my stint as a holier-than-thou vegetarian. It’s also about kale. Here’s a teaser:

I had a run-in with vegetarianism that started during tenth grade and ended, abruptly, in front of a fried-chicken counter in Athens. (It was carnival. There had been retsina.) Months later, back at university, I promised myself I’d once again forswear meat. And this time I’d do it right: I’d break my dependence on peanut butter and banana, mac and cheese. I’d actually eat—gasp!—vegetables.

Read the rest of the article on the Edible Vancouver website.

Photo credit: Sue Salisbury.


The Latest from Edible Vancouver: Nurturing Neighbourhoods
Andrea Bellamy |

Mrs. Mie Ma

Mie Ma is my new neighbour. Meet her in “Nurturing Neighbourhoods: It’s as Simple as Sharing.”

Hey there.

I know it’s been a little — okay, very — quiet over here. Most of you probably gave up checking in months ago in favour of pinning cute earrings on Pinterest and obsessively checking Instagram. I know I have. You can’t spend all day online, after all. So to save all of us the time, I’m not going to get into why I’ve been a bad blogger, or promise to write more, or say any of the things I’d typically say when returning to my blog after a long absence.

Instead, I’ll just say happy (almost) spring! And share this article with you. It’s called “Nurturing Neighbourhoods,” and it’s my latest article from Edible Vancouver. Enjoy.


The latest from Edible Vancouver: Making Friends with Favas
Andrea Bellamy |

crimson-flowered favas

Crimson-flowered favas

The latest Edible Vancouver is out, and with it, “Making Friends with Favas,” my article on growing and enjoying fava beans. Favas (aka broad beans) are one of the few things you can actually sow in November. Plant ‘em now for a spring harvest.


The latest from Edible Vancouver: Hardy and Uncommon Fall Greens
Andrea Bellamy |

The latest Edible Vancouver is out, and with it, my article: “Hardy and Uncommon Fall Greens,” which is, you know, all about fall greens. In it, I provide tips on growing kale, collards, and arugula – the fall salad garden’s usual suspects – but also some of the lesser-known greens: claytonia, mache, and komatsuna, to name a few. Check it out – and plant a fall salad garden of your own!


Harvesting and cooking with garlic scapes
Andrea Bellamy |

garlic scapes - growing

Does your garlic look like this? Like it’s decided to shed its trustworthy girl-next-door image in favour of something a little more loose and blowzy?

Don’t worry: it’s cool. Just means it’s garlic scape time. If you planted a hardneck variety of garlic last fall, you’ll see a looping central stalk emerging right about now. Those stalks are called scapes, and they’re delicious steamed, stir-fried, or—my personal favourite—made into a pesto.

garlic scapes - clipping

Instead of letting the scapes form a bulbil, lop them off just above the topmost leaf: not only can you eat them, but losing the scape forces the plant’s energy into producing a bigger bulb.

Ta-da! A garlic scape harvest (and all from a container on my balcony). There are about 10 scapes here: the perfect number for whizzing in the food processor with a little olive oil, Parmesan, and nuts (I use pine nuts or walnuts). Toss over warm new potatoes, or stir into pasta. Perfect.

Want to try your hand at growing garlic? Check out my article on successful garlic planting and growing.


The latest from Edible Vancouver: It’s a Snap
Andrea Bellamy |

Beans growing up a trellisThe latest Edible Vancouver is out, and with it, my article: “It’s a Snap: Bean Basics.” Beans really are incredibly easy to grow, and you probably don’t need me to tell you how. But if you’re looking for reassurance, check it out for the lowdown on how-when-where of bean growing, as well as tips on what to do in your garden now. Happy almost-summer!


The latest from Edible Vancouver: Salad Days
Andrea Bellamy |

Garden Babies butterhead lettuce

The latest Edible Vancouver is out, and with it, my article: “Salad Days.” Check it out for tips on what to plant now through late summer for a continuous supply of fresh lettuce and salad greens. Happy Spring!

Photo: Jackie Connelly.


How to grow leeks and make potato leek soup
Andrea Bellamy |

potatoes, leeks, and garlic

Every month, Heavy Petal collaborates with Willowtree — a website for those with food sensitivities who want to find their culinary bliss — to bring you a celebration of an in-season edible. I’ll tell you how to grow it; they’ll tell you how to eat it. Yay!

Although spring feels like it’s just around the corner, it’s still wet and chilly enough for me to be craving comfort foods like soup and starches. This classic soup serves up both in no time flat.

Potato Leek Soup

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Makes: Four servings


1/2 large red onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, chopped
splash of extra virgin olive oil
2 large russet potatoes
2 large leeks
6 cups of organic vegetable or chicken stock
salt & pepper to taste
white truffle oil


In a large pot combine red onion, garlic, and olive oil over medium heat. Continuously stir until onion is translucent, about 5-6 minutes, being careful not to let the garlic burn.

Chop your potatoes in quarters. Chop the whites of your leeks, including about a inch of the green portion. Add the potatoes, leeks and stock of choice to your pot and gently give everything a stir.  Let simmer over medium heat, stirring occasionally until potatoes are soft (stick a fork in one to test).

Blend with hand mixer until desired consistency is reached; the potatoes will keep this a thicker soup, but ideally you want to blend until everything is entirely pureed.

Add salt & pepper to taste, and a small splash of white truffle oil as a garnish in each individual bowl for a special occasion (or because you’re a truffle oil addict, like Jackie).

Serve hot, or keep in the fridge to easily warm up for the following days lunches.

potato leek soup

How to grow leeks:

Frost-hardy leeks are the rock stars of the winter garden. Start them indoors in early spring (or purchase seedlings) and transplant them out after the last frost. Leeks want full sun and fertile soil. Plant seedlings in furrows, burying them to just below the first leaf. The furrow will fill in over the season, blanching the bottom of the leek stalk and giving it its familiar white colour and mild flavour. Harvest when stems are 1cm thick or larger. If the ground’s not frozen, you can harvest them all winter long!


How to grow kale and make a kale smoothie
Andrea Bellamy |

curly kale

Every month, Heavy Petal collaborates with Willowtree — a website for those with food sensitivities who want to find their culinary bliss — to bring you a celebration of an in-season edible. I’ll tell you how to grow it; they’ll tell you how to eat it. Yay!

If you haven’t already succumbed to kale’s seductions, now is the time to try it. This hardy, healthy leafy green can be found in gardens and markets throughout the fall and winter, and the Willowtree gals recommend trying it in a smoothie.

If the idea of a kale smoothie makes your gag reflex spasm, I do understand. Until very recently, I’d be right there with you, running for the bag of refined sugar. But then I tried this recipe, and not only is it tolerable, it’s good. I especially appreciate the license I feel it’s given me to eat like crap for the rest of the day.

Kale Smoothie

Cook Time: 10 mins
Makes: 2 cups


2 cups organic kale (ribs removed)
1/2 banana
1 apple (peeled & chopped)
1” piece of ginger, chopped
1/2 tsp raw organic agave syrup
1/2 cup almond milk

Method: Add all ingredients to food processor or blender; set on high and blend until smooth.

kale smoothie

How to grow kale

Kale should be a staple of every healthy-food-lover’s garden. It’s attractive, easy to grow, and frost tolerant (so makes a great winter-garden crop!). Plant in early spring and again in midsummer, harvesting outer leaves as the plants reach 4 in. (10cm) tall. Kale likes full sun and rich, fertile soil (though it will tolerate a little shade). Help it along with a nitrogen-rich organic fertilizer such as fish fertilizer. Kale will overwinter in all but the coldest climates; harvest all winter, then eat the flowers that emerge in spring. My favourite kales are ‘Lacinato’ (aka Black Tuscan, or Dinosaur kale) and ‘Red Russian.’


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