Dear <<First Name>>,
How did YOU weather the cold? Two weeks of deep freeze have kept us indoors – we did not even go cross-country skiing. So much for cardio exercise... but here is a great time-saving indoor exercise that gets your heart pumping.
It’s recommended you do it 2-3 times a day. I do it when my metabolism starts crawling after extended time at the computer or while waiting for a meal to cook. It’s also great on a bathroom break at work, if you feel self-conscious in public. I have sure noticed that I don’t get out of breath as much, having worked up from 3 sets of 10 to 20. At first, it was a bit of a struggle, but what a great way to get ready for the gardening season!
Getting Ready for Spring – Seedy Events
Below are the local seed events. For all listings in Canada, visit this site.
I will have a table at the Edmonton Seedy Sunday event on March 17, so please come to say hello if you are planning to attend.
March 9, 11-4 pm, Seedy Saturday in Sherwood Park, Glory Lutheran Church, Facebook
March 17, 11-4 pm, Seedy Sunday in Edmonton, Central Lions Rec Centre, Facebook, Website
March 30, 10-3 pm, Seedy Saturday in Stony Plain, Multicultural Heritage Center, Facebook
April 27 – Edmonton Resilience Festival at the Waldorf Independent School
I have submitted a proposal to present a food growing workshop on April 27, so fingers crossed. To be notified of news about the event, you can visit the website and leave your email address.
The organizers are also hosting a special edition of Green Drinks on March 6. I will be basking in the sun away from the Edmonton winter for a few days, so I have to miss it.
Where to purchase seeds for your garden:
For a listing of Canadian seed companies, visit the Seeds of Diversity site.
I have compiled a shorter list here focusing on the prairies:
Do you have an interest in how farmers are allowed to save their seeds? The National Farmers Union has major concerns about a proposed royalty system and has started the Save Our Seed Campaign.
Water Kefir, another awesome Probiotic
Last month I featured Sauerkraut. Fermented foods support our intestinal microflora with a variety of beneficial bacteria and yeasts. Most people are now familiar with milk kefir that is sold next to yoghurt. Milk kefir is a liquid alternative to yoghurt, though the flavoured varieties still have sugar added.
Much less common is Water Kefir, a clear liquid that is not made with milk. The flavor of water kefir is somewhat similar to Kombucha (a probiotic drink made with tea and sugar).
So what is water kefir? This drink is made by adding sugar water to a jar with kefir grains; small, white clusters consisting of a number of lactic and acetic acid bacteria, and several yeasts (see specific types here). The clusters do not contain “grain”; rather, the bacteria and yeasts are held together by a polysaccharide (dextran) produced by Lactobacillus higarii.
After adding the kefir clusters (or grains) to a jar of sugar water, the bacteria and yeasts ferment the sugar. After 24-48 hours, you can consume a slightly sweet and fizzy drink packed with healthy microorganisms, enzymes and beneficial acids. Just like Kombucha, kefir contains a wee bit of alcohol, though it’s supposed to be less than 1%. The drink can be flavored with fruit juice (see bottle in photo above) or a few berries or ginger.
Personally, I have experimented with both water kefir and kombucha. I like the flavor of both but find it easier to deal with water kefir grains than with a kombucha scoby.
We have never been in the habit of drinking lots of juice or “pop”, and therefore our kefir consumption is mainly as an ingredient in morning smoothies. For those wanting to move away from sugary drinks, water kefir is a great first step, plus you get the benefit of better digestion.
Water kefir grains can be found in some health food stores (check with Blush Lane or Earth’s General Store), ordered online or purchased from local folks on kijiji. I have a small batch to share once in a while, for those willing to meet up closer to the north end of the city.
Food Forest Stewardship Initiative
Last spring, I shared some design ideas with wonderful and enthusiastic folks at a special place north of Edmonton. The Aspen Centre for Integral Living started a food forest project on a farm a few years ago. The project is now in need of new stewards. You can read more here or if you do not have access to facebook, please send me a message and I can connect you to the organization.
Claudia Bolli, Wild Green Garden Consulting, www.wildgreen.ca
If you would like help with your plans, please contact me for a consultation or design, firstname.lastname@example.org.