Thursday, July 2, 2015

Shop Local, Eat Fresh!

Welcome to the Denman Island Farmer's Market!
Seeing as my garden is drastically downsized this year, I am often asked, "where will your fresh produce come from?" My answer, "I'm going to shop local and support the Denman economy ... at the Saturday Denman Island Farmer's Market!" 

Growing up on the family market garden farm in Alberta, one of my 'jobs' was going to the Edmonton Saturday Market with my Uncle. For a kid, the 5am wake up call on Saturday was a real grind, but I loved the Market! I guess you can say it's in my blood.

Summer Markets dot Canada's landscape with an abundance of fresh produce, interesting goodies and great conversation. Simply do a Google search for 'farmer's market with your area' and you are sure to find a venue near you. Beyond fresh produce and meats, you will most likely find; baking, preserves, jewellery, munchies, wine, plants, woodwork and who knows what else!
My only warning; be there as soon as the market opens! I have been to numerous markets in different towns and the same advice holds true for every one of them! The first small harvest of crunchy snow peas or the last crop of scarlet runner beans in the fall are a limited supply and disappear quickly.
 Denman Island Market, Recycling Center and Free Store

For the Canada Day long weekend I went to the Denman Saturday Market. With our recent extreme heat, it was lovely to have the row of picnic tables with large umbrellas to escape the scorching rays. Located at the Old School site on Denman Road it is a one stop shop on Saturday, where you can also visit the Free Store and do your Recycling in one trip.

I had a lovely day on June 27th shopping the market. I arrived early, brought a good amount of small cash so as not to drain the vendors 'change' supply, had my cloth shopping bag, an appetite and a sun hat. It has been a few years since I was a vendor at the Denman Market, so I had a bit of catching up to do. It was great to see all my friends and neighbors and the many new vendors. After about an hour of shopping, nibbling and chatting I quickly realized that one cloth bag was not quite enough for my haul.
Pat and Selwyn Jones of Corlan Vineyard and Farm
I was lucky to scoop up one of the last bottles of 2014 Chrome Island Red wine from Pat and Selwyn Jones of "Corlan Vineyard and Farm". To that I added, a bottle of their 2014 Sandy Island White, and a piece of Pat's Rhubarb Coffee Cake that was still warm!
From 20 feet away, the air was filled with yummy baking aroma that drew me to Heather Berrigan's table where a delicate, fresh Apricot Fruit Scone became my breakfast. I managed to actually get one of them home to savor with the Rose Petal Jelly from Karin Anglos. Made from beautiful, fragrant roses in her yard.
Seigi and Rudy Froehlich were my market neighbors when I was a vendor, and I know their produce sells out fast. A bag of snow peas, cherries, blueberries and a few zucchini for the grill were all ticked off my list at their tent.
With my Perfect Pickler and dilling cukes in full swing, I was in desperate need of more fresh dillweed and thankfully found it with Tracy of "Ruby Slipper Ranch". Jeremy and Kerri of "Rhubarb Ranch" had smaller, single-serving sized zucchini and delicious Pickled Garlic Scapes to sample. 
Sue from "Three Corners", produces Organic Raw Apple Scrap Vinegar in 1L glass bottles... by now I was in need of a second cloth bag. If you are looking for Jen Meyer's Oso Negro Coffee, you'll find her at the market!
A big shout out to a few of my past, fellow vendors ... Lee Andra, Robin, Magda, Veronique, I know I have forgotten some of you ... apologies the many others I have not mentioned.

Till next week, see you at the Market ... Bon App├ętit!

Photos by Sally Rae

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