Springtime in Vancouver is a good time to…

enjoy the tulips, cherry blossoms and all the other beautiful bright flowers lining the streets. The Vancouver cherry blossom festival just ended on April 28 with its Bike the Blossoms ride through the streets. It is a wonderful time to visit the city. Here are some spots which are known to be great places to see the last of the blossoms in spring.

  • West Side: Dunbar Street between W. 17th Avenue and King Edward Avenue
  • West Side: W. 16th Avenue between Trafalgar and Arbutus streets
  • False Creek: National Avenue between Quebec and Main streets
  • Chinatown: Union Street from Jackson to Gore
  • East Vancouver: Vernon Drive at E. Hastings St.
  • East Vancouver: Charles Street from Salsbury to Lakewood
  • East Vancouver: Templeton Drive from E. 1st to E. 4th
  • East Vancouver: Prince Albert Street, south of E. Broadway
  • East Vancouver: E. 19th Avenue between Glen Drive and Dumfries Street

I was really interested in how the Japanese cherry blossoms were planted to flourish and become so glorious all over the city. This website on the festival talks all about the history of how it all began. http://www.vcbf.ca/the-cherry-tree/history-of-our-cherry-trees

It’s a really pleasant time to enjoy in the parks of Vancouver, or in Stanley Park biking, enjoying a picnic or just simply walking around and admiring the beauty.

[ The one that got away]…Springtime is also a great time to enjoy all the fresh fish, seafood the northern american waters have to offer. However, over-fishing is the number one problem facing the world’s oceans. An incredibly big movement I’ve noticed here in BC, is the number of programs to educate and empower consumers about the issues surrounding sustainable seafood. Ocean Wise is a Vancouver Aquarium conservation program. Ocean Wise works directly with restaurants, markets, food services and suppliers ensuring they have the most current scientific information regarding seafood and helping them make ocean-friendly buying decisions.

Many of the grocery stores have adopted a sustainable seafood approach, in some cases by no longer selling red rated/overfished varieties on their shelves. Whole Foods Market is one such example that have eliminated many of the fish species that fall into those categories as of Earth Day this year in April. So that the ones who got away or should be able to get away from being overfished are: Atlantic Salmon, Bluefin Tuna, Mahi Mahi, Pacific Snapper/Rockfish, Chilean Sea Bass, Atlantic Cod, Swordfish, Shark and Farmed Shrimp. Many of these species I was consuming recently in Australia, making the most of the last days of Summer before leaving. I feel now as I create change to do my little bit to save this extraordinary planet we live on I might grieve a little that I will be saying goodbye to some of those much loved fish and seeking out new flavours and tastes that are ‘Best Choice’ green rated.

Save on Foods and Choices have also embraced options that are sustainable via SeaChoice.

I love seafood, and I love preparing many delicious recipes for my family. It is an adventure discovering the best of what’s on offer in the Northern Hemisphere; Halibut, BC spot prawns, cod, kusshi oysters (they are a real treat with their ultra clean fresh taste). I enjoyed them recently at the fabulous downtown restaurant ‘Ensemble’ – view menu at http://www.ensemblerestaurant.com

So with this in mind, I will enjoy all the abundant seafood available in stores now as well as being conscious of at least my top 5 ‘Best Choices’ from the list according to SeaChoice.org. (Best Choice seafood is well managed, abundant, and caught or farmed in environmentally sustainable ways.

1. Halibut (Alaska) – 2. Oysters farmed- 3. Salmon Wild (Alaska) or CoHo land farmed (US) – 4. Prawns Spot (BC) – 5. Tuna Bigeye Ahi (US Atlantic)

4. Fourth green action – BUY ONLY SUSTAINABLE SEAFOOD CHOICES AVAILABLE.

Seafood on the menu at Ensemble Restaurant, Vancouver BC.

Seafood on the menu at Ensemble Restaurant – 850 Thurlow Street, Vancouver BC.