Month: March 2016

Minnekhada Park

Best Ways to Explore Your Local Parks

No matter where you live, you’re likely within a short drive to a Municipal, Regional, Provincial, or National (if you’re really lucky) park. With warmer weather and longer days ahead there is no reason not to get out and enjoy what these parks have to offer. Municipal and Regional parks are a great place to spend the day picnicking and recreating. Bring food, re-useable non-single use plastic supplies for a BBQ, and your appetite. Most parks have fire pits for cooking or allow propane based camp stoves (briquette fires not allowed). Bring a football, soccer ball, baseball and mitt, or volleyball net, and some friends for a friendly game. Even a tube of bubbles or water guns can provide endless hours of outdoor fun for the wee kids. No supplies or on a budget? Games like freeze tag, capture the flag, hide-and-seek, kick-the-can are all free ways for kids and even adults to get outdoors and play. I recently played freeze tag on a school field trip and it was so much fun to run around and …

Green Gift Wrapping

Gift Wrapping Au Naturel

I need to start off by saying I hate gift bags. It is time to stop relying on those cheesy store purchase bags and start using beautiful compostable, reusable materials. Not only is it eco-friendly but you will look like a gift-giving super star. Step 1 Cut a previously used paper bag to the size you need to wrap the gift. Need a box? Have a look in your pantry and use a cracker box or any box that is almost empty. When using boxes from your pantry make sure the person you’re giving your gift to knows it’s not food. My nephew once put his gift in the pantry because he thought I got him a box of cereal. Wrap the gift in the plain brown paper and tie a piece of used garden twine around it. I save all my used garden twine for this purpose just be careful not to pull on it too hard as it loses strength. Step 2 Go out to the garden and see what you can find. You don’t need much …

Jungle Path

Voluntourism – Know Before You Go

My first experience with voluntourism was in Costa Rica at an off-grid turtle camp, La Tortuga Feliz. It was founded by the late Paul Lepourtre after he studied the sea turtles in the area and is now run by long-term international volunteers and the local community. The program generates income for the locals through volunteer fees- providing another way to make a living other than poaching. The local guides take the volunteers out on night-time beach patrols, collecting recently laid turtle eggs and bringing them back to the hatchery where they are protected from poachers. I showed up after a few bumps in the road not really knowing what to expect. We’d come in at dawn, the noise of the boat waking up the howler monkeys, sending them into yelling fits in the jungle overhead. It was unreal, the area was so untouched and so full of wildlife. The locals are very inspiring in that they make use of any material to build what they need and are some of the most cheerful, friendly people I’ve ever met. I knew this would …

Celiac Vegan Diet

Life As A Celiac Vegan

“You’re allergic to dairy and eggs”…. Next to being told I was celiac five years ago, this is probably the worst thing my doctor has told me. Not only did I have to give up the gluten deliciousness of beer, bread, pasta, and pastries now I had to give up cheese?! Guess I should count my lucky stars that the only bad medical news I have received relates to my diet, but come on! A celiac vegan! This has brought my “hangriness” to new and previously unknown levels. I ate constantly without every feeling satisfied. True I mopped about this for a few weeks, but since talking to coworkers, friends, my naturopath, and reading a few cookbooks I’ve learned a lot. A bit of background – I became a vegetarian about two years ago when our mom got pet chickens for eggs while at the same time I had to dissect various animals in a zoology class. I could no longer look at meat and not see flesh. Especially fish and chicken, both turned my …

The First Ever Camp Suzuki

I went to summer camp for adults, we played capture the flag. And did some serious stuff too. Going to camp is weird. I never went as a kid but as an adult it’s like lets throw all these strangers together and make them do stuff that will probably be super awkward at first. But once you’re past that point it gets really rad. This camp was extra awesome because it was put on by the David Suzuki Foundation for young adult environmental stewards in the Howe Sound region. BC’s southernmost fjord has been having a comeback after years of industrial damage but it is once again facing many proposed industry projects. I went in feeling like I’d probably be the least relatable but little did I know everyone was feeling the same way. They’d chosen a very diverse 50 of us. I don’t know how they did it or if it was absolute fluke but it was an incredible group dynamic. The Squamish Nation welcomed us to Cha7elknech (Gambier Island), their traditional and unceeded territory. They taught us songs and dance, breaking the …

Rasberry Stalks

Prepare For Rasberry Season

Not sure what to do with the mess of all those Raspberry canes and shoots jumping up all over the place? It’s easy and important to do the necessary pruning and thinning; this ensures good air circulation, better production and bigger berries. TOOLS NEEDED: PRUNERS  |  LOPPERS  |  CRAFT BEER   Look closely at all the canes just above the soil level; you will notice some are large, others are thin and some will be dead Remove at soil level the largest canes and the dead canes Now remove any canes which are growing in a weird direction, crossing or rubbing on other canes and any that are pencil size or smaller in diameter You should be left with lots of healthy, straight canes ranging in size from the thickness of your baby finger to your thumb as long as your thumb is not gianormus. Now have a good look at the canes that are left and you should see good spacing and a whole lot fewer canes. If you have more than one cane about …