Category Archives: Pender Island Life

Bokashi prawn heads

My Bokashi Experiment – Update 3

We’re two months into our new composting regimen using Bokashi, a hundreds year old system that uses the power of fermentation to reduce ALL of your kitchen waste to rich, black soil ready for the garden, and I am impressed.

I haven’t held back in the first 60 days – our regional landfill no longer accepts kitchen waste of any kind, so I really don’t have a choice – I’ve thrown in bones, raw meat trimmings, fat used for frying, and most recently, the biggest test yet, a pound of prawn heads that missed their chance to become bisque when I accidentally buried them at the bottom of the freezer downstairs. They had been sitting there since last April, leaving them freezer-burned beyond use.

I opened the bucket about 24 hours after I had added the prawn heads and a healthy layer of Bokashi bran, and to my surprise, there was ABSOLUTELY NO SMELL. And by no smell, I mean our perpetually hungry little dog was standing right beside me when I opened it, and his nose didn’t even twitch.

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Bokashi experiment bucket

My Bokashi Experiment – Week 1

Recently, the residents of the Southern Gulf Islands, including Pender, as well as everyone living in the Greater Victoria Area (aka the Capital Regional District), were given notice that as of January, 2015, The Hartland Landfill, depository for our region’s garbage will no longer accept kitchen waste of any kind.

While big city/island residents will have the option to have their kitchen waste picked up by a third party service provider, solutions aren’t quite so easy here on the smaller islands. The result has been a passionate, much-needed discussion about how and where we will handle our waste now, and in the future.

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Pender Island Bistro

Pender Island’s newest eatery has been open at the Driftwood Village since early June, and has quickly become my favourite place for lunch and dinner.

Chef Gernot and his partner, front-of-house manager Amanda, have lived on the west coast for many years, and their offerings reflect their extensive knowledge of this corner of the world’s people and our palates.

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Eat That Pumpkin, PLEASE


If you’ve been around Island Vittles for a while, especially if you’re a fan of my Facebook page, you’ll probably know that I’m not a huge fan of pumpkins as an edible.  Oh, I have couple of favouites — my Mom’s pumpkin pie at Thanksgiving, and a pumpkin/peanut soup warms my soul — but I have to say that, as a food blogger, I’ve come to dread October and the “creativity” of some bloggers who work it into everything from coffee to a dessert dip made with puree and cookie dough. (The single most disgusting recipe I have come across in 3 years of blogging — no, I’m not sharing the link here, cause that would just be mean.)

Aside from the fact that too much of anything always becomes vomit-worthy in the end, the other reason for my pumpkin despair is the amount of farmland North Americans take up growing jack o’ lantern pumpkins.  Land that could be used to grow food, not ornamentals.

I wrote the following article a couple of years ago, for a local Pender magazine that has since folded, but I’ve pulled it out of my archives to nag encourage you to recycle that pumpkin into your favourite dish. Continue reading