Can the camellia sinensis, as the evergreen tea plant is named, grow on Canada’s west coast? Members of the BC Tea Growers Association think so. The non-profit society, founded in 2011 by tea enthusiasts Adrian Sinclair and Karlis Kalnins, aims to promote the local cultivation of tea. Their website includes a history of local tea growing, dating back more than half a century to St. Vincent’s Tea Plantation in the Fraser Valley.
This is usually the time of year when I begin to suspect that my tomatoes are going to fail me again. If the plants haven’t collapsed from late blight, a wet-weather-induced fungal disease that is the plant equivalent of the bubonic plague, then they’ve born only a few fruit, and mealy ones at that. Vancouver is not an easy place to grow Solanum lycopersicum.
How to make the most of your relationship with strawberries
By Jane Macdougall - Photos by Ariel Patrich
THE STRAWBERRY CAN BE A DISSEMBLING TEMPTRESS. Come June, you’ll see these ruby-red coquettes on every street corner, their incomparable fragrance promising every good thing that is summer. It is impossible not to be smitten. We’ve waited for this moment all year: local strawberries!
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.
Last summer, my family and I left our home of nearly seven years. Even though we moved only two blocks away, it was a big move. We left a tight-knit group of neighbours that had, over the years, become close friends. Although I was excited about our new home, I lamented the loss of that neighbourliness. Of being able to run next door in my PJs to borrow an egg or that proverbial cup of sugar. Of feeling comfortable exchanging keys, and asking the neighbour to feed the cat.
Edible Vancouver knows that you have two winter stories. There’s the one where you’re all dressed up in your finery, sipping from flutes of bubbly and nibbling on canapés, and maybe watching delicate snowflakes fall like sifted icing sugar. Then there’s the story where you slog home through a dark, soupy commute to arrive in desperate need of comfort. This is our prescription for the latter situation.
If winter is not your favourite season, perhaps you need to meet The Hermannator. Vancouver Island Brewinghas been making this seasonal treat for 25 years, a Bavarian-style Ice Bock that annually warms the hearts of beer lovers throughout our region. (When we purchased a six-pack at Brewery Creek Liquor Storewithin a day of the October release, the cashier’s face lit up with happiness, as if she’d just caught sight of an old friend.) We call this one big and beefy not just because it’s 9.5% alcohol but because it’s a chewy beer you’ll be tempted to attack with a knife and fork. Next time the skies open up, hunker down by the fire and count on Hermannator to offer all the comfort of a caramel bread pudding.
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