Category Archives: Uncategorized

COOL MATCHBOX ADVENT CALENDER

At Rocky Mountain Flatbread we are joining the handmade revolution this holiday season! Over the next few weeks we will share with you some of our favourite handmade holiday gifts, green gift ideas and fun crafty projects. 

Today we are featuring homemade advent calendars!

Here is a great easy craft we found from Country Living.

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Match Box Advent Calender from Country Living

Use ordinary grocery-store matchboxes to count down the days till Christmas. Just hot-glue the tops of empty boxes to one another to form rows (start with nine boxes for the base, and decrease by two until you have a single box). Cut wrapping paper to cover each section; secure with hot glue. Next, hot-glue the rows in a pyramid shape as shown. Use number stamps (available at craft stores) to mark the boxes 1 through 25, then fill with candy and trinkets.

For fun take a peak at these 50 cool different advent calender ideas http://www.shelterness.com/50-cool-diy-advent-calendars/

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ROASTED GARLIC HUMMUS

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We are serving up our roasted garlic hummus dip at our Main Street location tonight for our garlic workshop.  Here is the recipe for you to whip up at home!

INGREDIENTS

2 cups of cooked chickpeas (or canned)

2 – 3 garlic bulbs

4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

1 lemon (juice of)

4 tbsp water

2 tbsp tahini

Fresh parsley (for garnish)

Directions

Preheat oen to 400F.  Slice off the tops of the garlic so each cloe is slightly exposed.  Baste with olive oil and bake in a muffin tin for 35 – 45 minutes, until the cloes are golden.  Remoe and cool.

Squeeze our roasted garlic into a food processor.  Add chickpeas and pulse so they are chopped up.  Add lemon juice, olive oil, salt and tahini

Open the food processor periodically and scrape the sides so that everything is mixes.  Add the water 1 tbsp each time until desired consistency is reached.

Garnish with fresh parsley.

FALL ACTIVITIES IN THE CLASSROOM

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Fall is already here & school gardens are transitioning to fall!  School gardens are a wonderful space teachers can give their students a break from the desk & allow them to do some exploring and learning outside.  Here are a few ideas from Erin, our urban agriculture educator from EarthBites (A Rocky Mountain Education Society Project), who works with teachers and students in Vancouver school gardens.  Hope some of these ideas provide you with some inspiration.

SEARCH FOR SEEDS: Many of the plants in the garden will be completing their lifecycle now. Look at the different ways and places plants produce seeds. You might find radishes, arugula and lettuces going to seed (they will shoot straight up, producing a tall stalk with smaller leaves that will flower at the tip). Many flowers will be losing their petals and revealing seed heads. Fall harvest plants like pumpkin, winter squash and beans have seeds inside that are still maturing. Look to see if some beans have already started to dry down on the plant. Some of the herbs will also have gone to seed – the cilantro plant will produce thousands of round seeds. When they are brown, they are used as the spice coriander.

TRANSITIONING TO FALL:  as we are transition from summer to fall, you can use the garden to talk about seasons. Children can discuss how our distance from the equator determines our seasons, and day length in general, and how these affect growing plants in the garden. How is this different in other parts of the world closer to and farther from the equator?

LOOK FOR BUGS! As we move into fall, the soil will start cooling down, and microbial life will be less visible. Discuss how different animals deal with the transition into winter, such as hibernation or migration.

RECORD THE END OF THE HARVEST SEASON WITH DRAWINGS: Choose a plant to draw and describe where you think it is in its lifecycle. Are there still flowers that haven’t opened? Are leaves starting to brown? Is there still fruit on the plant? If this is done over multiple sessions, the students can watch and capture the process of plants going through the end of their lifecycle. 

DISCUSS THE FOOD PLANTS WE TRADITIONALLY ASSOCIATE WITH THANKSGIVING. Have students research the history of the harvest and harvest celebrations around the world

GARDEN ART: Collect the last flowers and leaves, or collect fallen tree leaves in a variety of colours, and press them to make cards.

ENJOY THE LAST OF THE SUN.  Take your class outside for activities like silent reading.

SUMMER TIME FUN WITH THE KIDS

Vancouver in the summer time is the best ever!  Some is a list of some of my favorite things to do with the kids Imageduring summer break: 

Growing food in the garden – snap peas, raspberries, salad greens, carrots, cucumbers, herbs and watching the kids go and forage!  

Hanging out in the back lane with the neighbours while the kids bike & scooter race

Biking down to Jericho beach and wallowing in the ocean.

Visiting the Jericho Beach Sailing Club COOP & renting a paddle board.  And for afternoon snack ice cream! http://jsca.bc.ca/aboutus/about-the-jericho-sailing-centre/

Buying my veggies & bread at Vancouver Farmers Market. http://www.eatlocal.org/markets.html

Searching for crabs at the dog walking beach on Spanish Banks with Alfie the family dog. http://vancouver.ca/parks/rec/beaches/jericho.htm

Playing tennis with the kids

Busing down to Kitsilano Pool and competing with the kids down the slide. http://cfapp.vancouver.ca/parkfinder_wa/index.cfm?fuseaction=FAC.PoolDetail2&fac_id=738

Watching the fire works from Trimble Park.

And at the end of a long day popping to that very family friendly restaurant … Rocky Mountain Flatbread … where I can enjoy my glass of White Bear wine & a farmers market pizza and the kids can order the fav … chicken noodle soup, mac and cheese and a mozza pizza with mango!

Share what your favorite list of summer things to do is before visiting Rocky Mountain Flatbread.

 

If you build it…bees will come.

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If you live in Vancouver, you are privileged to experience the thirteenth month here. I call her “June-uary”. Don’t get me wrong. I love the rain and I know September more than makes up for the lack of sun in what is laughingly called “summer”. But really, we are blessed because Spring is a time for new beginnings and growth and where we plant things to be enjoyed the following year. So if we are lucky enough to have a longer period of that, than sign me up. With all the latest organic trends and local farmers markets becoming busier, it’s important to take this time and do our part to ensure the next season is more fruitful than the last. What better way to do that, than with BEES!!!

There is a lot of buzz on bees lately. As scared as we are of this magnificent creature, they are so heavily depended on for pollination in this season of growth especially. Those tiny insects are responsible for pollinating over 30% of our fruits and vegetables. Their little hairy bodies retain pollen and promote successful fertilization. It’s the species of Masonry Bees that are so integral to our ecosystem. Unlike honeybees or bumble bees, the Masonry Bee is a solitary bee. It has no queen or worker bees. They don’t produce honey or beeswax. Other than mating, their soul purpose is to pollinate. I have a great summer project that you can do at home to help promote a healthy population of masonry bees in your neighborhood. Before everyone gets nervous about attracting bees near their yards. It should be noted that Mason Bees are not aggressive and are not known to defend their nests. Rather when disturbed they simply flee to continue their work. They are tireless creatures that only stop to rest when the sun goes down. A single female can pollinate up to 60,000 blossoms in their lifetime, which is an average of 4 – 6 weeks. You are probably wondering what you can do to help bring these wonderfully misunderstood creatures to your garden. Well, I have just the summer project for you and the kids. Masonry bee’s ideal homes are often woodpecker drillings or other insect holes found in trees and wood. If you want to improve your garden and promote large harvests, create your own Masonry Bee Block and watch the little critters get to work. Your fruits, vegetables and flowers will thank you.

How to create your own Bee Block:

  1. Ask your local timber yard to cut you a foot long 4×4 piece of wood. A log or piece of driftwood looks pretty cool.
  2. Drill lots of 5/16 inch holes
  3. Drill one in the back to hang in a sunny spot. Ideally the best location is on the South or East side, where the sun will wake them up each day.

You can even paint and decorate the sides to brighten it up.

A few tips once you have your bees working for you:

a) When weeding, try to avoid herbicides and pesticides. These harsh chemicals can kill mason bees and disrupt their reproductive cycle.

b) consider mowing your lawn in the evening, near dusk. Often then the bees are done their work for the day and have settled in for the night.

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GROW YOUR OWN PEA SHOOTS, by Suzanne Fielden

Pea shoots are packed full of vitamin A, C and folic acid.  They are easy to super easy & fast to grow & are delicious to top salads, sandwiches & pastas with.  And they can be grown indoors or outdoors!  I have a tray in our kitchen and have found our kids just graze on them for a snack!

We have been experimenting growing pea shoots & sunflower shoots at our Kits restaurant.   We found sunflower seeds tricky but pea shoots – super easy!!  We have been using the pea shoots to top salads, pasta specials and flatbread pizza specials.  They also look so cool growing up front in the restaurant.  Here is our secret recipe:

Ingredients:

Masonary jar

Pea shoot seeds.  You can order them from Mumms. http://sprouting.com/canstore/contents/en-ca/p61.html

2 seed trays

Potting soil

“Kelp Man” fertilzer

Water

Sunlight

Recipe:

  1. Fill your 500 ml masonary jar half with pea seeds & top with water. Let it soak for 24 hours.  Empty water from the jar and rinse peas with water.
  1. Cover the bottom of your tray with about 1 ½ inches of potting soil.
  1. Empty all of the peas from the jar onto the tray and spread the peas out evenly so they make a “pea carpet.”
  1. Water the soil so it is damp but not drenched.
  1. Cover the tray with another tray so the peas can sprout in darkness for about 5 days.
  1. Check peas daily and add a little water if needed.
  1. After about 5 days the peas sprouts will be about 3 inches high take off the tray cover and expose to sunlight for a few days.
  1. To harvest cut with sissors and use to top salads, sandwiches, pastas and more.  It’s that easy!

Grow More Kale by Suzanne Fielden

What is easy to grow all year round in our Vancouver climate – KALE, KALE, KALE!  What  is more it is one of the most nutrient dense veggies you can get your hands on –  boasting high levels of beta carotene, Vit C & Calcium .  It can be used for juicing and in salads, stir fries, soups, dips and more.  So here are some top tips on growing more kale this year.

Growing Kale

1. Buying  seeds or seedlings:  Just pop to Choices supermarket or your local garden center and buy some kale seeds or kale transplants – there are lots of fun varieties to choose from.  My favorite is Red Russian  – it is sooo productive.  You can also order your kale seeds on line with West Coast Seeds. http://www.westcoastseeds.com/productdetail/vegetable-seeds/Kale-and-Collards/Red-Russian/

2. When to sow your kale seeds/ transplants:  You can sow your kale seeds or plant your transplants anytime in the Spring after the last frost and in September about 6 weeks before the first frost.

To give your Kale seeds a head start you can also start them inside or in a green house.

3. Sowing & maintaining your kale seeds:  If you are planting your seeds directly outside – dig a small trench in a sunny area of your food garden about 1/2 inch deep and pop in 1 kale seed every 16 inches.

Keep well watered and if you want to give it some extra love – fertilise it with some “Kelp Man” every month.

4. Harvesting your kale – Kale matures quickly and can be harvested in 2 months.   You can use the young leaves to create delicious and nutricious salads and juices.  More mature kale is great for cooked greens in stir fries, soups and dips.

Kale tastes sweeter after a touch of our winter frost and can be a little bitter in summer – you can create your own frost by popping it in the freezer a little.

To learn more about growing kale join Sharon Hanna “kale evalgelist” at our Main Street location this Wednesday April 18th at our Main Street location 5.30 – 6.30 pm.    And if you can’t get there you can pick up “The Book on Kale” by Sharon Hanna – coming out in early May.

So go on out and have lots of fun growing more kale!!