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(I apologize if this should be a 'blog' instead of a 'discussion'... feel free to move it)
I am interested in getting in-season produce (yes, in December). I recently moved here, but in places I've lived this could include the following:
-root/storage vegetables (beets, potatoes, carrots, parsnips,kohlrabi, rutabaga)
-cabbage, napa cabbage
-radishes (including daikon)
-apples (if proper variety and stored well, as with everything)
-dried or fermented fruits/vegetables (I moved here in late fall and missed harvest season both home and here...)
I imagine the Winter Farmer's Market at Nat Bailey would be good, but I haven't been able to make one yet and I assume they are not holding one on Christmas Day, so I'm out a couple weeks on that.
I checked out NOWBC and they didn't have any of this. In fact I think garlic was the only BC produce listed.
I'd like to ferment some of this stuff (home-made kim chee is the best!).
I could offer a basic class on fermenting if anyone's interested.
Anyone has any ideas, let me know. I'd prefer to meet the farmers and be able to visit the farm (eventually), but since it's the middle of winter right now, I'll settle for local, and organic (preferably biodynamic, but does not have to be 'certified').
This is a fine place to raise this question. It may be more visible than a discussion.
NOWBC does in fact also carry local and organic beets, cabbage, carrots, potatoes, squash, pumpkin, leeks, onions, and apples, almost everything on your list. The current chard being offered is Californian, and I bought lettuce last week but didn't see it just now. I do not know of a better source of local and usually organic produce of the kind you mention. The Winter Farmer's Market is also excellent, but more catch-as-catch-can.
As to fermentation, this would be an excellent educational resource for VV. I'll ask our Learning Opportunities group what they currently are offering and whether they'd like to partner with you on teaching us more about it. Kimchee is awesome, and healthy, and I'd love to trying burying some cabbage, etc. in my yard to see if I could make it the traditional way. Home kimchee makers are on the market, but few of us need another electric appliance.
Thanks for writing this!
You absolutely do not need an electric appliance to make kim chee! All you need is veggies, salt, spices, and a jar! Room temp and fridge or cooler/root cellar temp, and patience. :-) I don't know why you'd bury it, but maybe it has something to do with the climate over there.
You go girl! There is definitely still BC organic produce to be had and will be all winter, and its TOTALLY worth finding because its yummy and nutritious. Greens are the only thing on your list that I do have trouble finding locally in winter here, I personally am experimenting with growing a little shady variety lettuce in my livingroom in place of house plants, will let you know how this turns out!!
While the farmers market is the best way to actually MEET local farmers and get a feel for who is who, I have a really hard time making it to the market too, so I have a couple other ideas for you:
1) Definitely have a look at NOWBC Co-op again (www.nowbc.ca > go to On-line Farmers Market > Browse) as Randy suggests, not sure you found the right place before, I volunteer with them and that's where I get most all of my local fruits and veggies this time of year--they have a ton. They also have a weekly order pick-up spot on Thursdays near 1st and Nanaimo if that's closer to you than Riley Park. Note, Forstbauer Natural Food Farm is biodynamic and has frozen blueberries in the NOWBC market right now--also look for Forstbauer at the farmers market should you make it there in the new year, they're a good farm. And I have to make a plug for Klipper's Organic Acres who have dried apricots, cherries, peaches, plums and tomatoes in the dried section this winter that are simply incredibly delicious.
2) If you get out around Cambie St much, Home Growin (www.home-growin.com) is another place that I haven't tried personally yet, but have heard lots of great things. You can look them up at www.home-growin.com, and I know they have a winter harvest box you can subscribe to even, which may be full by now but definitely worth checking in with them as I don't think that's all they do.
Good luck and happy eating!
Thanks so much! I can't find any info on the hours for that Cambie Market. Does anyone know what their hours are?
I will check out NOWBC again too. Maybe if I volunteer a shift or two I could get more familiar. (It would have to be evening or weekend though). Let me know.