To Market, To Market

Our Saturday farmers' market started a couple of weeks ago. Last year some friends convinced me to sign up for a table and I enjoyed getting out and meeting the other vendors and chatting with the customers. A handful of stall holders doggedly showed up each week, even though the market was not always well attended.

This year something changed. I think it was a combination of the renewed vigor that islanders have brought to growing vegetables (influenced, no doubt,  by the times and the encouragement of our Food Program), and some hard work on the part of the market organization.

When I showed up for the opening market I noticed a whole new energy. We had 15 or 20 stalls selling fresh flowers, vegetables, island-roasted coffee, organic chai, homemade perogies, and plenty of decent crafts. There's no lack of talent on this island. One of the vendors was a founder of a well-known bakery in Vancouver, another had a popular cafe on the island for a couple of years. Those of us selling food sold out by 1 PM.

The week the market started there was very little fresh fruit in season so I made some Habanero Jelly and Lemon Ginger Marmalade (from lemons I picked when I was in California recently).

I had a dozen jars of Quince Marmalade from October's batch. The fruit came from a friend's farm in the Okanagan.

The strawberries were early this year so I had plenty of Strawberry Jam with Mint and Black Pepper on hand.

Rhubarb and Apple Confit with Alfalfa Honey and Rosemary, Fig Balsamic Vinegar, and Pickled Garlic Scapes rounded out the preserves selection.

I made a big batch of granola with organic oats, kamut, flax and almonds.

I made a batch of pita in wood-fired oven from organic white and spelt flours. After the coals were raked out I loaded 8 loaves of my house bread, made with organic white, whole wheat, rye and buckwheat flours (this is the bread that you see elsewhere on this blog).

When the temperature dropped I loaded 6 loaves of Cinnamon Raisin Oatmeal Bread. 

I had hoped to sell a dozen or so jams each market but I ended up selling everything I had (over 4 dozen). The bread and granola sold out in under an hour.