This morning after I worked out and made juice, my mom and I drove off to the Burnaby Farmer's Market at City Hall. I'll admit that I hadn't been there in a looong time but I was very happy to be back. Everything about farmer's markets is so beautiful. The people are real, the food is locally grown with organic love (and farming practices if we're getting technical), and there's usually live music, dogs and sunshine! This Saturday was fortunately no different.
The parking lot was full and so were all the vendor spots. This makes me happy because it means that our city is doing it's part to support our local and organic farmers and artists. Visiting the farmer's market certainly brings about a deep sense of community, and that's what it's all about! It's a fulfilling feeling knowing that the people selling fruits and veggies GREW those plants, the people selling soap, yarn and bread MADE all those things, and that the money you give them supports their livelihoods, sustainable farming methods, and the health of the earth.
Mom and I bought raspberries and strawberries, raw hazelnuts, heirloom tomatoes and raw organic raspberry honey. We also got some free mini soaps! I chose vanilla, she got lavender. Oh - and she bought a cinnamon bun for my dad, the man has got to have his treats. Mom chatted with cheery vendors while I wandered around taking photos, listening to a sweet old man play his fiddle (he is there every week), petting dogs, and checking out the give-or-take book table (nothing good this week though). A small child also ran into my leg... twice.
We often spend the most time at the Greendale Herb & Vine tent, talking with Doug, who sells tea mixes, hazelnuts, almonds, honey, tomatoes, garlic, and other home grown wonders. He and his wife Katy are wonderful people who always have endless useful information to provide about gardening, cooking, and life.
The berries we bought from Neufeld Farms and I immediately ate most of them, but not before I used a few in my recipe for berry tarts with whipped coconut cream. It will be in my cookbook! We didn't buy blueberries because we have a BUTTLOAD growing on our bushes right now. Blueberry season is the BEST season. No question. Now that they are getting ripe, you can find me huddled in the berry bushes at all hours gobbling down handfuls while keeping an eye out for those who might want to take some... it's not gonna happen.
We will be using the heirloom tomatoes on our pizza tonight, along with a pesto sauce made from all our basil. Yum! My mouth is watering just typing that. Anyway - back to the farmer's market. I'd like to possibly be a vendor next summer, unless, as my mom warned, I'm "busy writing my next book". Uh oh. Foreshadowing? Let's leave that alone for now.
All-in-all (or is it all-and-all?) it was a lovely trip and I look forward to visiting next week, when I plan to buy some cherries for a raw black forest cake. Maybe there will be some better books... it's a hit-and-miss situation. Do you enjoy going to your city's farmer's market? Do you think organic, local food is important for the community and planet? I wanna know!