Join the Soil Revolution – Garden on the Wild Side

Organic Vegetable GardenOkanagan Rawsome’s mission is to awaken your taste buds to delicious RAW, SPROUTED, GLUTEN-FREE, and VEGAN living! Afke Zonderland, Chef & CEO shares how easy it is to live a whole-food philosophy and make the healthiest choices for yourself and your family.

Gardening on the Wild Sidegluten free carbon cycle

There is an extraordinary soil health revolution taking place in North America. Building new topsoil has become a primary concern as farmers are struggling to fix the broken water and carbon cycle that requires massive dosages of chemical fertilizers and biocides. Organic matter in our soil plays an important role in water-holding capacity, ground water re-charge and its ability to cycle and store nitrogen, along with other nutrients. Leaving our soil tilled and bare of any plant life for 4 to 6 months out of the year has seen massive erosion of valuable soil in the last hundred years.

 garden rowsThis had me thinking about my own gardening practices. I am quite diligent about weeding and like to see nothing but black soil between the rows of vegetables. Of course we apply compost and manure at the end or beginning of the growing season, but it seems that we can get better results by leaving some “voluntary growth” and perhaps add cover crops alongside a healthy layer of mulch for better water retention.

kale flowersI am a big fan of letting a few heads of lettuce as well as broccoli, kale, cilantro and dill flower and go to seed each summer. The tiny lettuce plants are winter hardy and provide super early greens! Two of last year’s kale plants produced a huge bouquet of yellow flowers for the bees at the moment and will provide enough seeds for half the town this fall!

I also seeded buckwheat between the rows of strawberries and the bare soil that is waiting for tomato and pepper plants. I can till the buckwheat into the soil when it gets a foot tall, or simple trample it down to provide a cool cover for the roots and keep the strawberries free from dirt.

diatomaceous earthScience has predicted that it takes 22 years to re-build soil. (Test are done in labs in potted plants and sterile soil) However recent studies in the wild are proving that miracles happen when companion planting and the addition of fungi, sea weed and diatomaceous earth are introduced to the soil.

root webApparently plant roots are spreading information to the trillions of soil microbes much like a huge world wide web! Roots are continually leaking carbon and a host of other chemical substances into the soil that feeds the soil bio dome which strengthens the plant’s health and resistance to pests and diseases.

SoilFoodwebDiagramIt sounds to me that plants need good soil bacteria to have a healthy gut to transform light and energy to what ultimately becomes food for us or life stock. Soil microbes use sugars to create, stable forms of carbon!

Perhaps organic growers should be the ones receiving get carbon credits!

My dad, the consummate dairy farmer made a statement fifty years ago that rings loud and true today: “The health of our cows depends on the health of our soil.”

Mango Sesame ChickenMango Sesame Chicken
Planet Organic Market Cookbook


  • ½ cup plain yoghurt, full fat
  • 1//3 cup Mango Chutney
  • 2 tbsp fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 4 chicken breast, organic
  • ½ cup lemon juice
  • ¾ cup sesame seeds
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced and rested
  • 4 tbsp curry powder
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper


  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees, lightly grease baking dish.
  • In a small bowl, blend chutney, yoghurt and cilantro. Cover and chill
  • Pound chicken breast to flatten them slightly and marinate them for 15 -30 min.
  • In a small bowl, combine sesame seeds, garlic, curry powder, salt and pepper and coat chicken on both sides. Bake chicken until just cooked.
  • Remove from heat and let stand 10 min. Cut chicken crosswise into ½ “strips. Place chicken strips onto a platter, decorate with fresh parsley. Serve with mango/yoghurt sauce.

Okanagan Rawsome’s nutrient-dense Crisps are a source of pure plant energy.  

These living whole food snacks are low-glycemic, promote weight-loss, reduce inflammation and are loaded with organic ingredients and local produce (click here to meet our farmers!)  It’s real food to nourish your body and soul made with carefully sourced spices, sprouted seeds, nuts and fruit. These portable power-packed crisps come in four flavors! Great gluten-free fuel for the health conscious, celiacs and athletes alike!

Afke Okanagan Rawsome

Afke Zonderland,
Raw Chef & Founder of Okanagan Rawsome

Afke Zonderland is the innovative chef behind Okanagan Rawsome.  She regularly hosts raw food workshops across Western Canada, promoting a plant-passionate lifestyle, while sharing tasty recipes that will win over your taste buds!  Read more here…

Her strategies and recipes are sure to provide you with plenty of food for thought. A shining star within the gluten-free and health conscious community in British Columbia and beyond, Afke is a Raw Food Chef and CEO of Okanagan Rawsome.

Okanagan Rawsome

Choose from sweet, savory and even spicy crisps!

Also by Afke: