August 27th, 2018

Food Notes for August 27, 2018

There’s definitely a fall chill in the air this week – I’m glad we were able to make the most of what was left of summer in the mountains last weekend for my sister’s wedding! Back with a catch-up edition of Food Notes:

  • Northern Bites has organized an event on September 4, 2018 that combines a visit to an apple orchard and a pie making lesson. Tickets are $20.
  • Eat North’s second annual Prairie Grid Dinner Series will take place in Edmonton on September 29, 2018. Tickets for the 5-course dinner start at $140.
  • Just a Little Night Market returns for a Dash of Oktoberfest October 5 and 6, 2018 at the Aviation Hangar. Expect a beer garden, food, and other vendors.
  • Market stalwart Bloom Cookie Co. has announced that they’re opening a storefront on 124 Street and 103 Avenue. Sign up for their newsletter for updates.
  • Japanese restaurant Iruka Grill & Bar is new to Old Strathcona, located at 10354 82 Avenue.
  • I just noticed the Koutouki Restaurant on the south side, at #540, 3803 Calgary Trail.
  • The Downtown Business Association released the winners of their Downtown patio contest – the Hotel Macdonald was named the best overall patio.
  • Keep abreast of the contenders in Snack Checker, Edmonton AM’s quest to find the city’s ultimate snack.
  • The Journal reviewed the brunch at Cacao 70.
  • Crystal shared reviews of DOSC and Station on Jasper.
  • Sharon was disappointed with her meal at Bottega 104’s Whyte Avenue location.
  • Graham paid visits to Vintage Fork and Cafe Linnea.
  • Vue Weekly raves about Wishbone.
  • I’ve never had an apple fritter from Hazeldean Bakery but Lillian has convinced me that I need to try one.
  • Sharon was among a group invited to attend a tour of the Old Strathcona Farmers’ Market.
  • CBC had a story about the rise of millennials purchasing local food.
  • MacEwan University is offering an urban beekeeping immersive experience on September 5, 2018. The session includes the opportunity to not only learn about beekeeping, but also to extract honey from a hive yourself! Tickets are $50.
  • Free tours of the Northlands Urban Farm continue into September – dates include September 9 and 23, 2018.
  • Voting for Sustainable Food Edmonton’s first annual Golden Wheelbarrow Awards is now live. Help select the recipients of awards including “favourite ‘locavore’ restaurant”.
  • One shot from Felicia and Jeff’s wedding – the menu, created by Chef Nicole Gomes, was as beautiful as the tablescape. I may or may not have eaten half a dozen lemon arancini on my own.



  • I enjoyed the final What the Truck?! of the season on Sunday, at the family-friendly Edmonton Ballpark venue. Among the dishes I had that day were the sopes from Calle Mexico.

What the Truck?!

Sopes from Calle Mexico

    August 13th, 2018

    Food Notes for August 13, 2018

    My sister is getting married this weekend, so a heads up that there won’t be any Food Notes next week. I hope you’re making the most of these last few weeks of summer too! On to this week’s food notes:

    • The Fringe starts later this week – if you’re curious about the food available, consider subscribing to Taproot Edmonton’s Fringe roundup. I have it on good authority that edible fare will be mentioned!
    • Why Not’s Art & Brunch Club is back with a hip-hop edition on August 26, 2018.
    • The final Eats on 118 this year takes place on August 29, 2018, and will tour four female-led businesses in the neighbourhood. Tickets are $47. I attended the first event earlier this summer and had a great time.
    • Congratulations to Biera, Bundok, and Kanto who made the long list of En Route’s annual Best New Restaurants list.
    • The Sweet Pea Cafe and Playhouse is now open at 14238 85 Avenue.
    • Smokehouse BBQ has relocated to 15960 109 Avenue.
    • The Alder Room has closed its doors, but chef/owner Ben Staley is hopeful the restaurant will return in the future in a new location.
    • Transcend Coffee’s Garneau location has undergone a makeover.
    • Graham has nothing but praise for Wildfred’s.
    • Crystal checked out the happy hour specials at Silk Bar & Kitchen.
    • The Journal reviewed Sherwood Park’s La Patrona.
    • Vue Weekly paid a visit to Sweet Mango.
    • Sustainable Food Edmonton is organizing a community bike tour of four local gardens on August 25, 2018. The activity is free, but pre-registration is required.
    • A report for the Edmonton Regional Metropolitan Board indicates that the agriculture system in the area may be “reaching a tipping point”. The board will be voting on an agricultural vision this fall.
    • The perfect opportunity to finally try Cacao 70 came in the mail – a coupon offering a free chocolate-dipped cone! The sweltering conditions also made it a great day for ice cream.

    Cacao 70

    Dark chocolate dipped cone at Cacao 70

    • I love the brunch at Meat – my go-to beef brisket benny never disappoints.


    Beef brisket benny

    • I had lunch at Wishbone for the first time today; their double beef burger is a beauty. The brioche bun and processed cheese made it stand out.


    Double beef burger at Wishbone

    August 12th, 2018

    Open House: Sundog Organic Farm

    Those who frequent the outdoor City Market on 104 Street are likely familiar with Sundog Organic Farm. Operated by Jenny Berkenbosch and James Vriend, their booth is arguably the most visually appealing at the market. Their variety of fresh produce is always artfully arranged in wooden crates, beautifully displaying what the season has to offer. Mack and I have been buying from Sundog Organic for years (one of my favourite photos from our wedding day was taken in front of their booth), and have always wanted to be able to check out the farm itself. At the end of July, an open house provided the perfect opportunity to do so.

    Sundog Organic Farm

    Sundog Organic Farm

    Although Jenny and James originally started farming on his father’s land about ten years ago, they’ve been on their current property for eight years. Located just outside of Edmonton in Sturgeon County, near Gibbons, it was a lot closer to the city than I expected – it was about a 45 minute drive from 104 Street.

    Sundog Organic Farm

    Jenny Berkenbosch

    We arrived a little late, but joined a group of about two dozen people who were already being led around the farm by Jenny and James. Their farm spans 14 acres, with about 6 of it being farmed at the moment. We learned that Sundog uses green manure practices to amend the areas they are rotating between seasons, meaning they plant crops like clover or oats to help renew and manage the health of the soil. Their property also happens to be near the Sturgeon River, which they are able to tap into for irrigation purposes.

    Sundog Organic Farm

    Gorgeous lettuce plants

    We also saw evidence of how the farm has grown over time – they used to store vegetables using a combination of a very small shed in addition to borrowing the storage capacity at James’ parents farm, but now, have been able to construct a building that is finally big enough for their current needs.

    Sundog Organic Farm

    New storage and sorting building

    It was great to be able to see their crops first hand. For me, it was especially neat to see where they grow their heirloom tomatoes, which I anxiously await the arrival of every summer.

    Sundog Organic Farm


    I’m also a sucker for berry patches of any kind, and strawberries are a particular treat! There’s really nothing like being able to eat sun-warmed  fruit straight off the vine.

    Sundog Organic Farm

    Strawberry field

    Of course, it was also nice to bring Emily along for her first farm visit! It will be one thing for her to see our very small community garden plot, but another to appreciate all of the work that goes into a farming operation. We look forward to bringing her along to more farms when she’s older, too.

    Sundog Organic Farm

    Farm selfie

    Thanks to Jenny and James for opening up your gates!

    If you’re interested in visiting a local farm, make sure to check out Alberta Open Farm Days, which runs August 18-19, 2018 this year.

    August 6th, 2018

    Food Notes for August 6, 2018

    • Get Cooking’s final Burger Club on August 8, 2018 is a Prairie on the Plate feature, with four Alberta raised proteins on the menu.
    • Alberta Local Food Week could be a good excuse as any for a road trip to check out what we can grow in the province – check out the list of events running August 12-19, 2018, including Open Farm Days, August 18-19.
    • Speaking of Open Farm Days, Northlands has consistently offered the best, most value-driven farm tours, particularly attractive for those who can’t, or would prefer not to, drive to area farms – the cost is just $5 or $10 per person. Check out the line-up of tours this year, and read about the tour I attended last year.
    • Kingsway Mall is hosting their first ever Food Truck Fare on August 17 and 18, 2018, in the parking lot by Homesense and Starbucks.
    • The last What the Truck?! of the season will take place on August 26, 2018 at RE/MAX Field (formerly known as Edmonton Ballpark), with 15 trucks to whet your appetite.
    • Great to hear that Filistix will not only continue to have a kiosk at the University of Alberta campus (in the Students’ Union Building), but they will also be opening a location Downtown at 10621 100 Avenue later this year.
    • Look for a Downtown branch of Amore Pasta to open in the Oxford Tower (100 Street & 102A Avenue) this fall.
    • Buok Fresh Korean Kitchen is now open at 10707 100 Avenue.
    • The first (but likely not last) of the “ghost kitchens” we’ll see in Edmonton – La Mision (from the folks behind Tres Carnales and Rostizado), are offering their burritos exclusively through Foodora.
    • The Fairmont Hotel Macdonald’s “hot dog cart” is the nicest such cart I’ve ever seen – hopefully it’ll be out more before summer’s end.
    • Vue Weekly casts a spotlight on the recently opened DOSC (Drunken Ox, Sober Cat).
    • Learn more about Camola, the bug-based vendor found at numerous local farmers’ markets.
    • Twyla is the latest to review Blowers & Grafton, and their menu of “Halifax street food”.
    • Graham was impressed by the “timeless, yet contemporized” menu at Halley’s Club, the 20s-inspired restaurant/dance hall at West Edmonton Mall.
    • Avenue recommends the brunch at Greenland Garden Centre in Sherwood Park, and highlights St. Albert’s Riverband Bistro.
    • Congratulations to Rogue Wave Coffee who hope to be opening up their cafe and roasterie this week at 11322 119 Street (check their social media for confirmation). We stopped by on Sunday, and though they weren’t officially open, we were welcomed into the space anyway. Check them out!

    Rogue Wave Coffee

    Rogue Wave Coffee

    • Liberia, Venezuela, and Eritrea, were recognized for their food at this year’s Heritage Festival. While I didn’t try anything from the first two countries, I can vouch for the stewed meat and lentils (served with injera) from Eritrea.

    Heritage Festival

    Stewed meat and lentils from Eritrea

    • While running errands last week on the south side, Mack and I stopped at Artistic Bake Shop for the first time. The soft pretzels have to be one of the most underrated deals in Edmonton – just $1.50 and delicious!

    Artistic Bake Shop

    Pretzel from Artistic Bake Shop

    August 4th, 2018

    Preview: 5th Annual Sabor Seafood Festival

    Sabor is known as one of Edmonton’s best seafood restaurants, and every August, they choose to highlight the freshest products and flavours with their annual Sabor Seafood Festival. In its fifth year, 2018’s iteration welcomes the collaborative touch from Hawaii. Chef Lyndon Honda (of Sheraton Maui) and Chef Tom Muromoto (of Ka’anapali Beach Hotel) worked with Sabor Chef Lino Oliveira to design a menu inspired by a wide range of tastes, reflective of the Korean, Japanese, Filipino, Puerto Rican, and Portuguese roots of Hawaiian cuisine.

    Earlier this week, I attended a media preview of the festival, which runs from August 7-31, 2018.

    Among my favourite dishes that night was the ahi tartare, served on a taro chip. Prepared poke style, this appetizer couldn’t be trendier in the city, and the taro chip itself was crunchy and addictive.

    Sabor Seafood Festival 2018

    Ahi tartare

    I loved the grilled prawns, dressed in a coconut taro leaf curry. The smoke was apparent in the plump prawn, and I enjoyed the subtle sweetness in the curry. Of all of the plates I tried, I’m pulling for this one to appear on the final festival menu!

    Sabor Seafood Festival 2018

    Grilled prawns

    I’d say Spam is under appreciated in mainstream North American culture, and Chef Lino deftly incorporated it as a chorizo substitute in his Portuguese sausage Spam ‘n clams dish. I doubt any other restaurant in Edmonton would be daring enough to serve this.

    Sabor Seafood Festival 2018

    Spam ‘n clams

    The Ko’ala lamb chops was another highlight. Prepared to a perfect medium rare, I adored the mango mint chutney underneath. The chefs weren’t wrong when they said this dish could sway anyone uncertain about lamb.

    Sabor Seafood Festival 2018

    Ko’ala lamb chops

    Doughnuts seem to be all the rage in the city at the moment, so it wasn’t a surprise that one made its way to us as dessert. But it wasn’t your typical doughnut – here, the malasada (Portuguese fried dough) was stuffed with Pinocchio’s coconut ice cream, and topped with a decadent mango cream. I may have been full, but I found room to polish off the plate.

    Sabor Seafood Festival 2018

    Coconut ice cream stuffed Malasada

    The full Seafood Festival menu is still being finalized, so check the Sabor website for details! Thanks again to Bonafide Media for the invitation, and for organizing a wonderful evening.

    August 2nd, 2018

    Ramen in #yegdt: Let’s Grill Sushi and Izakaya

    Although options abound for pho in the core (including Chinatown, of course), my other favourite noodle soup, ramen, is a bit more elusive in this area. Nomiya in Oliver Square, Kiwado near the Royal Alex and Prairie Noodle on 124 Street are the closest, but I’ve been hoping for something within closer walking distance. As such, I was happy to hear that Let’s Grill Sushi and Izakaya serves ramen before 5pm on weekdays, and was keen to try it out. A few weeks ago, I met up with Linda there for lunch.

    Although the restaurant wasn’t full, there was a steady flow of customers, including some ducking in for take-out. I liked the openness of the dining room, with a variety of seating options to choose from, including a nice sized bar for those inclined to watch the action behind the counter. I also appreciated the wide space between the tables (although I didn’t have Emily with me, I could have easily parked the stroller next to our two-top).

    Let’s Grill Sushi


    A sign outside the restaurant touts that the broth cooked for 10 hours, which seemed like a good start. At lunch, diners can choose from four types of ramen. And similar to Kiwado, which offers the option to add a side, Let’s Grill sells a $5 combo upgrade that includes a choice of three sides (3 piece chicken karaage, 4 piece tako yaki, 3 piece yellowtail sashimi) and a tea or pop. Both Linda and I opted for the combos – she added sashimi to her black garlic ramen ($14 +$5), while I ordered the tonkotsu miso ramen and chicken karaage ($13.50 +$5).

    Let’s Grill Sushi

    Black garlic ramen

    Our food arrived fairly quickly. The broth was pretty good, with a nice creaminess that I enjoyed, and the noodles were cooked well. The egg yolk wasn’t as soft boiled as I would have preferred, but I did like that the chashu pork wasn’t as fatty as others I’ve encountered.

    Let’s Grill Sushi

    Tonkotsu miso ramen

    As for the sides, the karaage was a decent sized portion, though it could have been crispier. Linda enjoyed her sashimi well enough.

    Let’s Grill Sushi

    Chicken karaage and yellowtail sashimi

    Service was friendly, perhaps so much so that it was only after we left the restaurant that Linda and I realized that we were never served our combo beverages!

    Overall, I had a positive enough experience that I wouldn’t hesitate to return to Let’s Grill for ramen again. Hurrah for more noodle options in the core!

    Let’s Grill Sushi and Izakaya
    10709 Jasper Avenue
    (780) 244-1880

    July 29th, 2018

    Food Notes for July 30, 2018

    I had it in my head that we were only at mid-July; maybe it’s just my mind trying to hold on to our fleeting summer! Hope you’re making the most of it, too. On to this week’s food notes:

    • The fifth annual Grand Taste Tour has been rescheduled to August 18, 2018. Tickets are available for the full tour, or for dinner only.
    • The Hotel Macdonald is hosting an “Around the World” dinner on August 24, 2018. The seven course meal will transport diners across the seven continents. Tickets are $100.
    • NAIT is hosting a Menu of Modern Art Four fundraising dinner on September 8, 2018, featuring chefs including Paul Shufelt, Eric Hanson, and Serge Belair, among others. Early bird tickets are $75.
    • CBC is hosting a contest to recruit an official judge for the Heritage Festival. The prize includes 140 food tickets and golf cart transportation on the grounds. You’ll have to tune in to Edmonton AM this week to enter.
    • Also from Edmonton AM, they invited Leduc to speak about his experience with the backlash that came with a negative Instagram review of The Common.
    • The folks behind Cartago are also hoping to open a deli next to their pub in Forest Heights, but residents are against relaxing the parking requirements they need.
    • Sorry to hear that Daravara has closed its doors as of July 28, 2018.
    • Vue shares how 720 Sweets sets themselves apart in the soft serve game.
    • Sharon tried the Filipino cuisine offered at Casa Laurel Kitchen.
    • The Journal hoped for more consistency with the food at Wilfred’s.
    • Cindy writes all about her go-to dishes at Kanto.
    • Vue Weekly is among the first to review Fumaca, the second Brazilian steakhouse to open in the city.
    • Twyla’s latest review brings her to KB & Company.
    • Jonny has an overview of the board game cafes in Edmonton.
    • Global interviewed Chef Blair Lebsack about their upcoming Forage to Table dinner, and the forthcoming database to be set up by the Alberta Culinary Tourism Alliance to connect foragers and chefs.
    • There’s still a couple of opportunities to learn more about the urban hives at MacEwan in August. Tours are free.
    • Mack, Emily, and I headed to Taste of Edmonton again last week to use up the remainder of our tickets. Some highlights included the mushroom risotto at Solstice (they had run out of the beef cheek at that point), the beignets at Wishbone, and the yemisir kik wot (spicy lentils) from Langano Skies.

    Taste of Edmonton

    Spicy lentils and injera from Langano Skies (a bonus of bringing your own container to the festival is that some vendors load it up!)

    • It’s been some time since my last meal at Padmanadi, but the ginger beef was just as tasty as I remembered.


    Ginger beef from Padmanadi

    • We had a fun time at Huma over the weekend to help Linda celebrate her birthday!


    Gringa from Huma

      July 23rd, 2018

      Food Notes for July 23, 2018

      • The YEG Food Crawl in Chinatown is back, running August 2, 2018. The $40 ticket includes visits to four restaurants.
      • Just in time to get you geared up for the Heritage Festival, running August 4-6, 2018, check out the latest Seconds, Please! episode all about the festival.
      • Eat Alberta will be hosting a farm-to-table dinner in partnership with Redtail Farm on August 11, 2018. Contact them for more information.
      • Workshop Eatery is again hosting a Garden Party to benefit the Canadian Culinary Fund. Tickets for the August 16, 2018 event are $100, and include a 4-course meal and wine pairing.
      • There are lots of great activities to check out during Alberta Open Farms Days, running August 18-19, 2018. One to consider is Parkland County’s Local Farm Trail; in addition to self-guided tours they’ve also organized a guided bus excursion. Early bird tickets (purchased before July 27) are $35.
      • It looks like Buok Fresh Kitchen will be open next week, located at 10707 100 Avenue.
      • Rogue Wave Coffee is on the cusp of opening their new roasterie and tasting bar at 11322 119 Street. Check their website for updates!
      • As I posted over the weekend, DOSC (Drunken Ox Sober Cat) is now open in the historic Metals Building at 10190 104 Street. The soft opening menus are now online on their Facebook page.
      • Blowers & Grafton, offering “Halifax street food” is now open at 10550 82 Avenue. Vue discusses what you can expect.
      • A new brewery called Analog Brewing is now open in Edmonton.
      • If you’re at K-Days this week, make sure to check out the local vendors in “Eat at the Grand” in the Expo Centre, which features local shops like Meuwly’s, Why Not Cafe, and Sandwich and Sons, among others.
      • K-Days has also crowned their new midway food winners – this year, the Mexican Street Style Corn placed first.
      • Should we call it cheese plate-gate? Last week, Leduc of Let’s Eat YEG was subjected to some online backlash after he shared his opinion about a recent experience at The Common.
      • Arcadia has added meat items to its menu.
      • Vue Weekly has more details about the forthcoming gluten, soy, and dairy-free restaurant, The Cave.
      • Learn more about Boyle Street Eats, a social enterprise food truck.
      • Jonny shares his brief impression of Yelo’d.
      • Graham had a disappointing experience at Volcano.
      • Linda loves the pretzels at Zwick’s, and was invited to try the new happy hour specials at The Rec Room.
      • Also from Linda, she shared her experience at the spring edition of the Shaw Conference Centre’s “Dinner with Canada’s Top Chefs”.
      • Tim Horton’s will be serving up all-day breakfast across Canada starting this Wednesday, July 25, 2018.
      • I’d never heard of “ghost kitchens” before – kitchens that operate exclusively to serve delivery customers through online apps like Uber Eats and Skip the Dishes.
      • Veg in YEG has taken over the plot at St. John’s Institute in Garneau vacated by Reclaim Farm, and is growing produce that can be purchased at a pay-what-you-want rate. Check the website for farm table dates. Thanks to Su for the heads up!
      • Sustainable Food Edmonton has launched the Golden Wheelbarrow Awards to recognize businesses and individuals who employ sustainable practices. Deadline for nominations are July 31, 2018.
      • Best of luck to Winding Road Cheese as they compete again in the American Cheese Society this week.
      • Mack and I headed to the Taste of Edmonton last week, but only had the chance to sample a few dishes that day. Our favourite was the donair taco from O2’s – made fresh to order, good portion size, and tasty meat!

      Taste of Edmonton

      Mack with Emily and a donair taco!

      July 21st, 2018

      Preview: DOSC opens on 104 Street

      Late last year, the Journal published an article about seemingly “cursed” spaces in Edmonton, where restaurants can never seem to stick. One of the storefronts included in this inventory was the historic Metals Building on 104 Street, which has seen four failed attempts in the last five years. On July 22, 2018, DOSC (the abbreviated name for Drunken Ox Sober Cat), hopes to finally reverse the trend.



      I was among a small group of people invited to a media preview on Friday, to not only sample some of their food but to also be among the first to see the product of their extensive renovations. The pedigree of the folks behind DOSC is strong. The team is led by Isaac Choi of Japonais Bistro and Dorinku, and Jake Lee of Seoul Fried Chicken. Their restaurants have been lauded for their quality and consistency, and in the case of SFC, for its economical pricing. Although these previous successes have focused on Japanese and Korean cuisines, Jake indicated that the inspiration behind the food at DOSC is pan-Canadian, with representation on the large 50+ item menu ranging from British (think liver and onions) to French Canadian (tourtiere). In the mix as well is Mexican influence from Executive Chef Israel Alvarez (of COMAL Taco Therapy fame), with items such as tostadas and barbacoa-style brisket also making appearances on the menu.


      Brisket, wrapped in banana leaves and cooked sous vide for 15 hours

      DOSC bills itself as a steakhouse, but in that labelling much about their ambitious concept is lost. Not unlike Holy Roller, they plan to be open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, an attempt to gain some of the market share in a neighbourhood already known as a coffee district, while also appealing to those venturing on to Rogers Place in the evening (the central bar is decked out in copper and blue). Notably, the restaurant has received a permit to build a new entrance facing 104 Street, which they will undertake next year.


      DOSC bar

      Walking in, diners are greeted with the “Sober Cat” concept, a beautifully rendered coffee bar surrounded by plush seating. During the day, the area will be flooded with natural light , making it an attractive space for work and meetings alike. Their coffee program was headed by Rogue Wave, who supplies the beans and led the training of their baristas. I’m perhaps most excited about their breakfast menu, with house-made breads featured alongside tableside scrambled eggs and bacon sliced and cooked to the diner’s preference (thick or thin, tender or crispy). These hot items will be supplemented by house-made pastries, yogurt, and granola.


      Sober Cat

      The “Drunken Ox” concept is comprised of a whisky lounge and the aforementioned steakhouse. The standard meat and potatoes have been given an upgrade at DOSC. While steaks can be ordered in 3, 6, and 9 oz. portions, and a variety of sides are available, it’s the type of meats available that really sets them apart.

      Diners can expect cuts not found at other steakhouses, primarily because the restaurant is committed to a nose-to-tail philosophy. Case in point was the beef tongue, cooked sous vide until tender and charred, complemented well with a salsa verde and tomatillo.


      Beef tongue, with charred salsa verde, tomatillo, smoked tongue oil

      On the higher end, DOSC is importing Miyazaki wagyu from Japan. For our taste of this luxury we were each given a slice to sear ourselves on a hot stone, dressed simply with a house made horseradish and volcanic salt. The marbling was unparalleled, and the meat melted away on the tongue.


      Miyazaki chuck wagyu, with “horse with a rash”, volcanic salt

      The sides are also elevated, with their fries, for instance, first coated with whole wheat, flash frozen, then fried to a crisp. The marrow mash that we sampled was one of the highlights of the night, rich, dense and whipped to silky smooth perfection.


      Marrow mash, with yukon gold potato, bone marrow, and wheatgrass, parsley, and arugula oil

      I happen to live in the condo next to the Metals Building, and have been impatiently waiting for a more permanent fixture to open. Only time will tell if DOSC is it, but I wish them the best of luck, and a warm welcome to 104 Street!

      Thanks again to DOSC for a wonderful evening! Check out Crystal’s blog for another perspective of the event.

      DOSC (opening July 22, 2018)
      10190 104 Street
      (780) 540-0606

      July 20th, 2018

      Embracing Community Gardening at Alex Decoteau Park

      I’ve never had much of a green thumb. I barely remember to water my house plants, and the container gardens I’ve had in the summer on our balcony have never thrived.

      However, when the chance to sign up for a plot in our new Downtown Community Garden came up in the spring, Mack and I did so. Located in Alex Decoteau Park that opened last fall at 102 Avenue and 105 Street, the garden is among several amenities that have been welcomed by residents, including a dog park, spray park, and green space.

      Alex Decoteau Park

      Alex Decoteau Park

      The desire for plots ended up being so high that the Downtown Edmonton Community League (which coordinates the garden) had to resort to a lottery system to pick from the applicants. When we found out we were selected in the first round, we had to decide whether to accept.

      Emily was the primary reason we had initially put our names forward. Knowing where our food comes from is important to us, and we were attracted to the idea that she could learn first hand how vegetables are grown. Still, with a new baby in the house, I thought the last thing I’d want to do this year is tend to a plot, especially since we are such novice gardeners.

      But giving up our chance this year might have meant being waitlisted for an unknown period, so we took the plunge. It helped too that the garden has a number of great features – most of the beds are raised, the garden itself is fenced in and locked (with a code shared only with gardeners), and there is water provided on site!

      We consulted with my Mum, gardener extraordinaire, for her recommendations on the most low maintenance vegetables to grow that wouldn’t require too much attention, and could stand being neglected now and then. She advised that we look to root vegetables like carrots and potatoes, garlic, and kale. Friends of ours who have more experience with gardening also snagged a plot, and started some plants from seed which they transplanted for us, adding tomatoes and ground cherries to our roster.

      Alex Decoteau Park Garden


      Though we didn’t know if anything would grow, soon enough, promising green shoots appeared. The kale in particular blossomed with the constant exposure to the sun, and our garlic thrived. The tomatoes, which we thought couldn’t be saved after being ravaged by a wicked wind storm, bounced back. We learned though, a little too late, that we shouldn’t have planted the carrots quite so close to the kale, as the leaves quickly overshadowed the later-blooming carrot tops.

      Alex Decoteau Park Garden


      Early on, I thought the last thing I’d want to do after putting Emily down for the night was go water some plants, but it’s become a calming, almost meditative way to end the day. And though we’ve only been able to harvest kale so far, it’s been pretty neat to be able to walk over and cut down some fresh vegetables for a quick salad or to add to our meal.

      Alex Decoteau Park Garden

      Growing like weeds!

      So although we started off as reluctant gardeners this year, it’s safe to say we’re looking forward to learning from our missteps this year and being more thoughtful with our plant selections for next spring!

      Alex Decoteau Park Garden

      First time gardeners

      If you’re interested in learning more about the Alex Decoteau Garden, consider coming to the open house, scheduled for Saturday, July 21, 2018, from 10am-3pm. There will be kids garden crafts, and you can help yourself to some of the vegetables being grown in the community plot!