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We are having an epic summer this year in Vancouver. Our garden plot is loving the weather so I thought I’d give you all a little update on a few highlights and share a recipe.

I got to pitch-in and design some old fashioned-y (but fashionably contemporary?) new garden signs for the community.

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Yes, they are. Crazy dark purple heirloom tomatoes. They look really cool, but are taking forever to fully ripen.

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1/2lb Red Russian garlic bulb. This is NOT elephant garlic. My secret is a bit of ground flax seed in the spring and a bit of vermicompost–now you know, go grow.

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Hops are looking good! There was a full-on lady bug vs. aphid war on the plants in the spring, but thankfully the lady bugs were victorious and now the hops are ready to be made into an organic fresh hop West Coast IPA. Here’s the recipe if you’re interested:

David’s Fresh Hop IPA:

Grain (courtesy of Dan’s Homebrew, RIP Dan)

  • 11 lb – Gambrinus Organic Pale Malt
  • 3 lb – Gambrinus Vienna Malt
  • 1 lb – Cara 8 (or Crystal 10 if you can get it)

Hops

  • 1 oz – Magnum hops @ 90 minutes
  • Then from 20 minutes to 0 add A LOT of your fresh hops. I’m using Chinook & Centennial.
  • Dry hop with freshly picked Cascade hops.

Yeast

Wyeast 1272

6 gallon / 23 liter batch. Mash-in around 66/67c for a medium bodied beer. 90 minute boil time. Ferment for 3 weeks around 20-22c for a bit of fruity ester development. I add a bit of gypsum in the kettle to help make the hop flavour stand out.

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Zucchini season means way more zucchini than you can deal with. Julia made a recipe for some pretty awesome muffins though I must say:

Julia’s Awesome Organic Zucchini Muffins:

Makes one dozen muffins

Ingredients:

  • 2 1/4 cups – spelt flour
  • 1/4 teaspoons – salt
  • 1 tablespoon – baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon – cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon – nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon – ground ginger
  • 1 cup – freshly grated zucchini, grated as tiny as possible
  • 1/2 cup – almond milk
  • 1/2 cup – olive oil
  • 1/2 cup – pure maple syrup or honey (use local honey from happy bees)
  • 1 tablespoon – molasses
  • 1/4 cup – pecans or other seeds or nuts
  • 1/4 cup – chocolate chips

Instructions:

  • Preheat oven to 400f / 200c. Oil muffin tray, set aside.
  • In a large bowl stir together flour, baking powder, salt, and spices. In a separate bowl, whisk together zucchini, maple syrup or honey, almond milk, oil and molasses. Mix the wet ingredients into the dry, stirring until combined. Add in nuts and chocolate chips.
  • Evenly fill the muffin cups and bake for 18 to 20 minutes. Let them cool for 15 minutes before removing from the pan then transfer to a wire cooling rack.

Note: If you are looking for zucchini, ask someone with a garden-it’s one vegetable they will always be happy to share.

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