Early spring is when we begin our weekly visits to local Farmer’s Markets, in our case Kits and Trout Lake Markets, that continues until the beginning of February. It’s a time to re-connect with vendors from past seasons and let them know how happy we are to see them again. We are especially looking forward to all the gorgeous produce they grow for us that we turn into wonderful meals and also they can stretch our imaginations by selling things we may not be familiar with.
Last Sunday was bountiful! There were English peas that I blanched and used in a salad, utterly delicious and so sweet, garlic scapes that will become a tart for tonight’s dinner. Then I’ll make pesto as well I’ll sauté some to include in an omelette or frittata or I can use some in a stir fry. If there are any left they will be frozen to be used in soups and stews
One of our favorite “growers” was a lovely lady named Donna who grew artichokes in the Fraser Valley. We were lucky enough to be in Rome for artichoke season two years ago and had them every day, it was heaven! Which was why having Donna at our farmer’s markets was so very special to us. Donna has retired, sadly and is missed by all us artichoke lovers.
We stopped in for a quick chat at the Stein Mountain stall to see when our favourite “Red Russian” garlic braids will be available. Fresh garlic is so juicy and wonderful. I wish we could get it all year long.
One fellow that has had a stall for a long time is Eric. We met him a years ago when he participated in a small farm market at Granville Island. Fast forward a few years and young Eric is now forty something, got married a few years ago and has two children. And we’ve seen his business become busier each year. Another person who we’ve also become fond of is Belle. Belle runs another of the stalls at the weekend markets and is so friendly and lovely it’s a pleasure to shop in her stall.
Vendors come and go and we are always disappointed and saddened when that happens. I hope they know how much we appreciated their efforts.
All I can say is shopping our farmer’s markets is definitely our happy place! If you can, find one and make it your happy place too!