Posts filed under ‘100 Mile Diet’

Adventures in Canning


In an effort to eat as local as possible and savour the bounty of summer well into winter, I’ve been picking, purchasing and preserving large amounts of my favourite fruits. I’ve made strawberry jam, blueberry/raspberry jam and today my neighbour and I canned 40 lbs of peaches (20 lbs each).

The How:

1 – You can use a “syrup” to can the peaches or you can simply use water. Sugar has no preserving qualities and is used mainly for taste. I decided to use a very light sugar syrup. To 6 cups of water add 2 cups of sugar (yes this is the light version!). Heat to simmering. Next year I would like to try a honey based syrup.

2 – Wash peaches while you boil water in a large pot, enough water to cover a the peaches. Reduce water to a simmer after it boils.

3 – Dunk the peaches in the hot water for 20 – 45 seconds. Move them into a bowl of ice water. Skins will come right off after they cool for a few more seconds.

4 – Cut and pit peaches into whatever size you would like.

5 – Hopefully you have started your canner water to boil and washed your jars. If you haven’t, now is the time. Simmer the jar lids and rings, then cover and set aside. Scald the quart jars in the boiling canner water or run them through the dish washer.

6 – Pack your peach slices into the jars as tightly as possible, leaving about 1/2 inch of space at the top.

7 – Using a ladle or large spoon, fill the jar with the syrup to ½” of the jar top.

8 – Using a small spatula, try to remove as many air bubbles as possible from the jar. Slide the spatula down the sides of the jar to remove the bubbles.

9 – Remove a ring and lid from the hot water and tighten on the jar.

10 – Place in the boiling water canner and process for 20 minutes.

11 – Remove the jars and let cool overnight. In the morning, check the seals, remove the rings, label and store in a cool dark place.

I can’t wait to open a jar on a rainy day in December and think back to summer.


August 11, 2007 at 11:45 pm 1 comment

A 100 Mile Meal

Last night the hubby and I prepared a 100 Mile Meal for 25 people. It was simple, delicious, challenging and a lot of fun to prepare.

Many items came right from our Community Garden (zero miles) or the local Farmer’s Market. We went out to Driediger Farms and picked the raspberries and purchased the blueberries and potatoes. 

We served an appetizer of baked spinach balls and mushroom caps with pesto…thanks Tara for making them they were delicious. We sampled local wine from the Domaine de Chaberton Estate Winery. Dinner was local Sockeye salmon in a honey garlic glaze with scalloped potatoes, seasonal salad and a minted dill yogurt dressing. For desert we had raspberries and blueberries with whipped cream. YUMMY!

What I learned:

  • Eating within a 100 mile radius is challenging.
  • Recipes have to be altered slightly…sometimes for the better.
  • You have to really search things out and read labels.
  • You have to ask a lot of questions.
  • Knowing where your food comes from feeds the soul.

July 16, 2007 at 1:42 am 4 comments



I have great memories of heading out to pick strawberries with my Mom and brothers. Mostly I remember eating the perfectly ripe berries straight off the plant. Why has it been so long since I did this?

Well yesterday we went to a local farm and proceeded to U-Pick many yummy local (unfortunately not organic) strawberries.  Today I spent 4 hours making my very first batches of jam EVER. What I learned – making jam is easy, fun, rewarding and craaaazy delicious.  My first batch didn’t thicken up as much as I would like. The second batch looks much better.  In total I made 16 jars of jam.

We followed up the strawberry picking with a visit to the Reifel Bird Sanctuary. Here we walked along the dykes, fed ducks, spotted some baby goslings and a lone heron. We made it back to the car just in time for a huge thunderstorm to roll over head. Thunder, lightening and much rain followed.

A great afternoon spent outdoors.

June 25, 2007 at 10:14 pm 2 comments

Local Food Month


Crunch Chicken of Low Impact Week fame is at it again. This time she has christened July as Eat Local Month 

First, I should recap on my not-so-stellar Low Impact Week. In all honesty I just didn’t follow through on the challenges I set forth for myself. I chose the challenges that I have been struggling with and I simply didn’t do it. Lame, I know. I can do better.

Let’s look to the positive side. I have been successful in using my reusable bags when I go shopping and very few of their plastic counterparts have slipped into my house. I have cut our dryer use in half by hanging most of our clothing to dry. I have diligently been ordering most of my food from our local organic home delivery company where I have been focusing on making local choices and reducing my families food miles.

Crunchies new challenge is very much in line with where my passion is at the moment – local, yummy and organic food goodness. So during the month of July (and August, September….) I’m going to further increase my consumption of locally and sustainably grown food and decrease my consumption of imported and packaged food.  Specifically I’m going to: 

  • Choose only BC fruits and veggies (no more bananas, mangos, avocadoes, etc).
  • Reduce my food miles by choosing local where possible.
  • Shop at the local farmers market.
  • Limit pre-packaged food by making my own bread, pizza dough, etc.
  • Fill my pantry with jams, jellies and canned seasonal and local fruits to last through Winter.
  • I live in a cohousing community and we often share community meals. I have committed myself to preparing a 100 Mile Meal for the community on July 14th.

The great thing about Local Food Month is that you choose the level of participation you want to do. For more info visit Crunchy Chicken and read through her FAQs.

Also check out this really interesting photo essay, What the World Eats, online at Time magazine. It showcases photos of 15 families around the world and their weekly food supplies. Very visual, interesting and telling. 

June 20, 2007 at 4:05 pm 1 comment

Eating Close to Home

100_milebookcan.jpgWith the farmer’s market season almost upon us it seems like a fitting time to discuss eating local. Here is a very unsettling statistic – a typical ingredient in a modern meal has travelled 1,500 miles or more from farm to plate. Do you know where your food comes from? Is it local?  

Living on the 100 Mile Diet
On the first day of Spring in 2005, two very inspirational Vancouverites chose to reinvent how they ate through a seemingly simple experiment. For one year, they would buy or gather their food and drink from within 100 miles of their apartment in Vancouver, British Columbia. I followed their blog and just finished reading their newly release book. There idea is so simple, radical, wonderful and inspirational all at once.  

“Eating locally isn’t just a fad like the various diets advertised on late-night TV–it may be one of the most important ways we save ourselves and the planet.” – Dr. David Suzuki, chair, The David Suzuki Foundation 

So could my family and I live on the 100 Mile Diet? We can live without Gala apples from New Zealand but can we live without bananas, coffee and olive oil? What about wheat, orange juice and my favourite Danish cream cheese? I think I could do it; however, we are going to take the approach of eating as close to home as possible – with a few exceptions/indulgences.  I purchase most of my groceries through SPUD where they calculate your total food miles with every order. Our milk comes from Avalon Dairy just a few miles away. Through the Spring and Summer I’m going to stock up on local produce and begin canning and preserving for Winter.

May 16, 2007 at 5:22 pm Leave a comment


I am passionate about reducing my impact on the environment and am learning to live simply and live green. I am learning the age old arts of home food preservation and cooking from scratch. This is yet another eco-blog and a place for me to really channel my passions for writing, photography and sustainable living.
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