July 2014 Blogs

Soil: is it just dirt?

courtesy of Bob McMahon

 

 

Good soil is alive with the sound of…music? earth worms? bacteria? fungi? amoeba?

Seriously - healthy, well-prepared and balanced soil is alive. In fact a spoonful of soil may contain over five thousand species of bacteria plus other microorganisms. 

 

Read more from Bob.  Bob attended the Agricultural College in Truro, and managed his family farm after graduation before going on to own his own shop.  Bob hails from a family with multiple generations of dietitians.  Bob now resides in Waterville, Nova Scotia, with his wife Connie, and spends much of his time gardening and writing. 

You Are What 'They' Eat:  the world of probiotics

by Sarah Campbell-Bligh, R.D.

 

 

Did you know that you have more bacterial cells in and on your body than you have your own human cells? Don’t let that scare you – most of these bacteria are helpful. They make up what we call the human microbiome. Current research is showing that our relationship with good bacteria can have a big impact on our health. 

Canning: preserving the harvest 

courtesy of Colleen Joice, P.Dt

 

Long sunny days, cool evening breezes and night time showers are characteristic of Nova Scotia summers and provide the perfect climate that fosters our rich agriculture heritage. Farms and fields are busy as vegetable and berry plots emerge from our rich Nova Scotia soil.

 

Summer and fall is a time to eat fresh and to think about how best to preserve the goodness of our fields and orchards and to enjoy the freshness of our bountiful harvest throughout the remainder of the year. The idea of extending the availability of vegetables and fruits throughout the year, beyond their season, is a perfect fit with the eat local movement that is becoming part of our Nova Scotia lifestyle.

 

So, how can we best preserve the harvest? Looking back into our Nova Scotia history, canning has long been a method of food preservation that is linked to our heritage and traditions. 

Freezing:  preserving the harvest

courtesy of Colleen Joice, P.Dt

Many Nova Scotians prefer freezing as an option to canning. Freezing is quick and easy and does not require a lot of specialized equipment, so if you have a freezer or even space enough for a few bags of vegetable or fruit, then freezing may be the option that you would like to consider for putting away a bountiful harvest.  Most crops, such as asparagus, broccoli, green beans, peppers, summer squash, dark leafy greens and all types of juicy berries will be preserved very well by freezing. Putting a few bags of various vegetables and fruits away as the season changes from one crop to another, is an easy and less work intensive way of savouring our harvest into the winter months.

 

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