4 posts tagged with “farming”

  • Greenhouse turns over new leaf with Niagara Lettuce Co.

    The team at Niagara Lettuce Co. in Vineland.

    My column, Eating Niagara, runs every second Wednesday in the St. Catharines Standard, Niagara Falls Review and Welland Tribune.

    Eat healthier. Cut food waste. Be kinder to the planet.

    They’re a common refrain at this time of year, the height of resolution season.

    If they’re your goals for the new year, there’s an easy way to spare yourself resolution remorse for any tumbles off the proverbial wagon: Eat a salad. Just make sure it’s made with leaves grown by Niagara Lettuce Co.

    The Vineland greens machine that’s a division of Sunrise Greenhouses grows between 1,300 and 1,500 heads of Boston, green and red oak leaf lettuce each week — even now in the greyest and coldest depths of January. So if eating local is also on your to-do list, you really have no excuses.

    Dennis Sengsavang, who grows the heads of tender greens for Niagara Lettuce Co., will confirm how easy it is to make friends with salad.

    “I became a big salad guy,” he said. “I’ll be honest, it’s a passion for growing. I love seeing it from the beginning to end.”

    Still, this isn’t just any salad that Sengsavang grows.

    Sunrise Greenhouses is better known for being early adopters of new and niche houseplant production. For years potted flowers, such as campanula, rather than food have been Sunrise’s bread and butter.

    The operation began branching into edibles when it worked with the Vineland Research and Innovation Centre to develop the pixie grape, a popular and petite ornamental wine grapevine that comes in Pinot Meunier, and soon Merlot, Riesling and Cab Franc.

    But Sunrise general manager Rodney Bierhuizen knows tastes change when it comes to the plants we place in our living rooms. Salad, by contrast, is a relative constant in our kitchens, and a more sustainable business plan than that stylish succulent sitting on my coffee table.

    Read the rest of the story

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    Category Food Finds, On the Farm


  • Peach Tree
  • Like buttah: Sweet potato chipotle dip

    I feel like I’m about to go into Mike Myers à la Coffee Talk with Linda Richman-mode as I type this.

    What makes hummus hummus?

    Is it the chickpeas? The tahini? Both?


    Considering hummus is Arabic for chickpea, I’m thinking the garbanzo is critical to hummus being hummus. According to the mighty Wikipedia, hummus’s full name is hummus bi tahina, so I’m leaning toward sesame paste being equally as important to its identity.

    So when is hummus not hummus and just a dip? Sorry if you’re getting a brain cramp here. These are the philosophical questions I’ve been asking as I’ve been plotting what I thought would be sweet potato hummus but swapping the chickpeas for red lentils and the tahini for pumpkin seed butter.

    Continue reading

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    Category On the Farm, Recipes


  • Peach Tree
  • Get yourself in a CSA and love thy rutabaga

    An early-season CSA basket from Tree and Twig Heirloom Vegetable Farm.

    I have a rutabaga the size of a human head in my living room.

    Perhaps you are unimpressed by this revelation. Perhaps you’ve seen bigger rutabagas. That’s cool but I find its girth a little overwhelming. I’ve been eating rutabaga nearly every week for the past couple of months.

    Again, you might find this unimpressive. But for someone who has maybe eaten it as many times in her whole life prior to this gorge-fest, this is big for me. So I might just name my human-head-sized rutabaga Vlad and hang with him a while longer before breaking out my vegetable peeler. You know, get a feel for him, chat him up and see what he’s about before turning  him into soup or fries. Or turning into a rutabaga myself since I’ve eaten so many… Continue reading

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    Category Food Finds, On the Farm


  • Peach Tree
  • The arrival of you-know-what and a book launch

    There's no ignoring the signs that summer is getting ready to call it quits.

    A choir of crickets sings a chorus outside my window. They’re competing for the background noise win against the hum of my neighbour’s air conditioning unit spewing cacophonous white noise. Felix, the dog from two doors down, adds a well-timed, high-pitched bark that, like a staccato beat, keeps time while the fleeting crescendo and decrescendo of passing cars adds another layer to the soundtrack of summer in north-end St. Catharines.

    It’s a seasonal anthem on heavy rotation these glorious August nights when temperatures slip to a threshold that ushers us to the nearest window so we can fling it open and surround ourselves with summer’s offerings for all our senses. Continue reading

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