Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Cedar Farmer's Market field trip

I kidnapped a friend and went off to the Cedar Farmer's Market on Sunday morning. The sky had managed to hold off looming clouds at bay for a few hours in the morning and we enjoyed a grand morning of local goodies. I love the Cedar Farmer's Market, largely because it's had what farmer's markets ought to have. Namely, farmers :P
At this time of year, the summer's bounty is spilling over and the market offers the best of the season. From a wide range of local veggies, fruits, meats, cheese and other local products, this 100 mile diet belly is enjoying island eating and living.
Here's some of the highlights of our day at the market.
George and Betty Benson from Cedar Valley Poultry. They're on their way to being certified organic! Their chickens, I mean, not them personally. Could you imagine the hoops and red tape and inspections you'd have to go through to be a certified organic human? More urine tests than the Tour de France!

This is Arata Tanaka, bread baker genius behind Flour, Water, Salt. He's the reason why I don't bake bread during the farmer's market season. He bakes his wonderful artisan bread the way it ought to be, in an outdoor wood fire brick oven at Merridale Cidery in the Cowichan Valley. If you want to get your hands on the best baguette on the island, get there early!

There was a lovely lady seling wild mushrooms including fresh yellow and white chantrelles, fresh lobster mushrooms and a variety of dried mushrooms, all foraged from local secret forest spots.

There's George again (he gets around). This time he's with Dirk Becker from Compassion Farms. Dirk offers an incredible range of fresh produce and rain barrels. He's crazy and passionate, apparently much needed ingredients for making a farmer in this day in age.

Here's some food porn shots of Dirk's produce:

At the market I also met Afton Halloran, a UBC Agriculture student. She's 1 of 2 students from Canada that have been invited to a student's conference in Tokyo. She will be presenting a paper on the 100 mile diet! Way to represent, girl!

The rest of the day was a hodgepodge of errands and events that simply found me. By late afternoon, I had managed to commit myself to whipping up large dinner party that evening. Well, it started out as a BBQ but then the sky was making some nasty threats. With a fridge full of veggies and little else, I wandered a few blocks down to Evening Cove Oysters processing plant at 1360 Stewart. They just opened up a storefront for the public and I figured this would be a great oppurtunity to see what local seaflesh they had.
They offer oysters, clams and crabs. All still in the shell and fresher than anything I've seen anywhere on this island. All their sea critters are harvested from local waters. With constant stream of fresh critters going through their plant, their storefront is always supplied with fresh goods. A neccesary element when looking for seafood.
I picked up a huge crab, which they humanely killed and cleaned for me. Within an couple of hours, it was on the table in the form of Stir-fried Crab in Black Bean Sauce.
So good. Easy peasy too!

I also made up a new batch of curry. Here it is being toasted, before grinding.

I used the curry with a mix of vegetables I got from the farmer's market, my garden and my Nanoose Edibles produce box.

Dig in everybody!

Happy Eating!


Shane said...

OMG. That crab dish looks awesome. Recipe please.

Recipe for the your curry mixture too, please.

Thanks a bunch!

k said...


Just discovered you blog while googling fibre fairs. Look like you have a lot going on and I'm really impressed with all your 100 mile efforts. I'm not quite there yet, but do grow a lot of my own produce and make efforts to buy local food. I also love buying local yarn, and am in the process of learning how to process and spin wool from my parents' sheep and alpacas. If I manage to do it successfully and then knit something from it, I'll be sure to let you know on your 100 mile fibre blog.

Keep on making lovely food and lovely knits!

Kim said...

Hello, I am the fisherman that supplies Andrew's (Evening Cove) crabs. I am a small footprint local harvester and marketer. More and more of us are realizing for seemingly obvious reasons that this is the trend for primary food production. I harvest within 30 km and sell from Nanaimo to Campbell River. Well, DFO without any science, policy or vision is threatening to basically eliminate commercial crabbing from Victoria to Campbell River from March 15- Sept. 15. This is the viable portion of the year; the crab are abundant, the local market is in full swing and the weather is safe for the small boats that can do this viably without a lot of fuel.
I am looking for public support for sustainable seafood harvesting in our communities before it is all gone and we look back at how stupid we were. I have my dock customers and Thriftys Foods as well as the David Suzuki Foundation any many others coming onboard to help. If you like to help me encourage DFO to support responsible seafood harvesting please call Kim at:
(250)618-0128. Cheers!