Tag Archives: Farmers Market

Delicious Baskets of Food From Local Farmers

Does that sound too good to be true, “Delicious Baskets of Food From Local Farmers”?

I get tired of all the super-hype headlines that entice us to click on links. You’ve seen it, “You’ll never believe…!” Or, “You’ll never guess what happens next!” and my least favourite, “This will change your life!!” Just for the record this claim isn’t all about hype, it is true, just might be of interest, and may even change a wee part of your life–the cooking and eating part.

Watering CanDid you know there are programs were you can get food from local farmers delivered (almost) to your door? Located all over BC, Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) programs offer access to delicious, home grown goodies without you having to do any of the weeding. Continue reading

Farmers Market Alternative

On my daily walk-about last week I found myself at Home Grow-In, a corner store just 2 blocks west of Cambie that stocks only natural and/or organic BC grown produce and BC made products. The plentiful produce from around the province looked absolutely delicious.

For those days you just can’t make it to your farmers market, chances are Home Grow-In has what you need. And you might just decide to join their buyer’s co-op, similar to a community supported agriculture program (CSA) but with a wider selection of products.

196 West 18th Avenue, Vancouver
Open 7 days a week to 8:00 pm

Fresh, Gabriola Lettuce

Fresh LettuceCheck out the pics my friend Peggy sent from the Gabriola Island weekend Farmers Market.

“Check out this lettuce I bought this AM at the farmer’s market: the blackest I’ve ever seen! It’s not really red on the outer edges – it truly is black, and neon green at the center.”

Thanks for the delicious pics!

Check out your local farmers market for funky food that tastes amazing.

The Fresh Face of Farming

<b>Hanley Homegrown<b/>

Hanley Homegrown

I think the face of farming is changing.

I was in a little town outside Cleveland, OH recently and took in the weekend farmers market. It was a small event by booth numbers, but bustling, and in talking with many of the vendors it became clear that it was also a highly successful event. It usually takes several years to pick up a following, I was told, but the Chagrin Falls Sunday farmers market was an instant success when it started last year and was immediately profitable for the farmers involved.

I spent some time chatting with various vendors and was intrigued by what I found. First, there are lots of old farms and experienced farmers in the area. At one booth, the second and third generation of farmers with a 50+ year old farm was manning the booth. That is a lot of history right there! Another family affair had two generations and 12 years behind their banner.

<b>Hanley Homegrown T-shirt Bag</b>

Hanley Homegrown T-shirt Bag

In contrast, I also met a couple of young, newbie farmers. One with only a year and another with two years behind them respectively. Kelli at Hanley Homegrown particularly stood out, both with her enthusiasm and her innovation. She’s growing assorted greens. And making delicious, unique jams. And making shopping bags from old t-shirts (we share an interest in the concept of reuse before recycle). Oh, and when the appropriate greens start popping up, she’ll be putting bundles of herbs together and selling them in soon-to-be salsa packages.

Kelli stood out not only because of her energy and creativity, it was also her fresh approach. I’m a marketing specialist by trade — well, really, it courses through my veins and I can’t stop myself — and I couldn’t help wondering what kind of havoc she’s going to wreck on the staid, old produce-piled-on-tables image some people have of farmers markets. And I smile. It’s about time.

See, Kelli is her target market. Like her contemporaries she’s young, engaged, creative and knows what she wants: local, delicious, healthy, sustainably farmed food. I suspect she’s going to make that happen.

Cooking With Farmers Market Finds

Sometimes when I wander the farmers market I see interesting food, but I’m not always sure how to cook it or how to incorporate it into my menu plan.

Pork lover, foodie, and newly launched food blogger Chris Flett of The Hanging Pig instead let his finds at the local farmers market inspire his culinary capers.

After a recent visit to the Vancouver West End Farmers Market, Flett’s inspiration for a fabulous-looking pork roast came from the dried fruit and fresh herbs he found there. His most recent post, Minor Surgery on a Major Pork Roast, shows step by delicious step instructions on the making of a feast.

Pork lovers of the world unite.

Minneapolis Farmers Markets

Minneapolis Farmers Market Downtown

Minneapolis Farmers Market Downtown

A recent business trip found me in Minneapolis where I took in both the weekly and daily farmers markets.

I love that the Minneapolis Farmers Market comes to town once a week, right in the midst of the business district. The weekly market stretches for several blocks along Nicollett Mall, a lengthy pedestrian/transit-only street, making it easy for workers to access on breaks and lunch. Which they did, in droves. The stalls were full of fabulous produce, fresh flowers, and a variety of local food products bison jerky, honey and salsa.

If you want to take a quick trip, there is also the daily farmers market, about a mile outside the downtown core. It is much larger and offers a huge selection of produce, food products, crafts, clothing, and jewelry. The Saturday market is not as easily accessible by transit, but the multitude of stalls and sheer volume of goods make it worth the trip.

Minneapolis Daily Farmers Market

Minneapolis Daily Farmers Market

While the Vancouver Farmers Market is restricted to local products, the Minneapolis versions also allow resellers with non-local produce and wares. While it may fly in the face of a more narrow definition, the larger overall size and greater number of options at the Minneapolis market draws out many, many more vendors and attendees than I’ve seen at a Vancouver market and the season is 26 weeks long. In giving consumers so much choice, the market is more mainstream and therefore more accessible to Joe Public.

The benefit may be that even people who may not normally think about eating local do, because it’s there. And that can only help support the local agricultural economy.