Market News

The Weekend Starts Now - July 13

The Weekend Starts Now!

Planning on spending your lunch hour enjoying the CBC Musical Nooners? Swing by the Downtown Farmers Market on way and pick up some lunch and market fresh food! We’ve got delicious options for you. Check out Cheeses Crust, Old Country Pierogi & El Coroto for quick lunch options!

Don’t forget to pick up a Loyalty Lunch Card from the market info tent and every 8th lunch is on us!

OR… make your own lunch and stock up for the weekend with a little tour around the market! Cherries, berries, and peas make for easy to eat items while carrots & cucumbers are great ways to enjoy hummus! How about some kale chips for a healthy snack? Grab a drinkable yogurt or coffee. We will even have croissants, cookies, brownies and refreshing popsicles to keep you cool! Rumour has it we will see the first peaches this week too.


In Season: July

Peaches | Blueberries | Raspberries | Cherries | Beets | Garlic | Peas | Turnips | Spinach | Salad Greens | Fennel | Carrots | Eggplant | Broccoli | Cucumbers | Tomato’s | Zucchini

CHECK OUT OUR IN SEASON AT THE MARKETS BLOG FOR A FULL MARKET FRESH GUIDE.

GET A COMPLETE LIST OF THIS WEEK’S DOWNTOWN MARKET VENDORS HERE


Downtown Farmers Market Fresh Box

No time to shop? Order a FreshBox! With a Downtown Farmers Market FreshBox you’ll get a market shopping trip done in 5 minutes. Pickup is Thursday at the Downtown Farmers Market.

For $25 per week, you get a 5-7 items packed and ready to go home with you! Here’s what was in last weeks fresh box: BasilMixed Kale BunchMini Romaine LettuceBroccoliniMini Zucchini, Yellow Squash and Patty Pan Squash, cherriesTomatoes, Strawberry Jam

NEW! Customize your FreshBox with an option of adding eggs or bread!

ORDER YOUR FRESHBOX FOR JULY 20 NOW


Help us spread the word! Print out a Downtown Farmers Market poster for your lunch room, and help promote the market on your social media channels with these handy sample posts and market photos!

VISIT US AT THE QUEEN ELIZABETH THEATRE PLAZA (650 HAMILTON ST.), EVERY THURSDAY, 11AM-3PM, UNTIL OCTOBER 5TH

FIND MORE INFORMATION ON THE DOWNTOWN LOCATION HERE

DISCOVER OUR SIX OTHER SUMMER MARKET LOCATIONS ON OUR MARKETS PAGE.


Q & A with Jasbir of Mandair Farms

Jasbir cooking up her famous veggie pakoras onsite at the market

Jasbir Mandair has been coming to VFM markets since early 2016, and currently sells her berries, mixed vegetables, and hot pakoras at Riley Park, Trout Lake, Kitsilano, Mount Pleasant, and Main St. Station Markets.

She has been growing commercially in British Columbia since 1983, but her farming roots go much deeper to a childhood spent on her family’s farm in the Punjab. VFM staffers recently had the opportunity to talk with her and tour the farm she runs with her son Sajan in Abbotsford.

 

 

Q: Both you and your husband Surinder were born into farming in India. Can you tell us what part of India you’re from, and what kinds of crops your families grew?

A: We farmed in the Punjab. My village was a place called Akara in district Jhalandar, and my husband was from Ghari Baksha. We grew corn, wheat, rice, and sugar cane.

Q: How does farming in India differ from farming in BC?

A: Farming in India was different for two reasons. First, the technology of the time period back in the 60s meant everything was still done by hand and animals such as oxen. Even the watering was done manually – we used to have big wells and the water was drawn by a chain attached to a bucket.

The second difference was the crops themselves – they are completely different from growing and harvesting berries. You cut the wheat at the base and put into bundles; the grain was used for food and the straw remaining was used for feed for the animals. With berries, you pick it and pack it into boxes, but you leave the plant untouched.

Q: What is the most difficult thing about farming in BC?

A: BC is the best place for farming, there is no real difficulty… the weather is good, land is good, water is absolutely the best.

The difficulty is in the work of the farm and finding labor, since the new generation isn’t interested to work on the farm. The other difficulty is selling the product to actually make a living. We can have a really good crop but the price that is paid from the cannery is sometimes not even enough to make ends meet. The profit margin isn’t there – the blueberry can be absolutely amazing but the processor barely pays anything for them.

Q: How many family members are involved in the Mandair operation?

A: There are about 5-30, very dependent on the crop and how much it is producing, and the time of the year. We currently have 5 core “staff members” – my son Sajan, his fiancé Veerpal Kingra and her sister Ramneek, Dildar Virdi, and myself. Now that we have raspberry, we have about 20-25 pickers that come to pick by hand.

Q: What’s your favourite crop to grow?

A: I love all three berries (strawberries, blueberries, raspberries) that we grow but if I had to pick a favourite, I would say strawberries!


Mandair Farms are also known for their great selection of market vegetables, including the popular Punjabi ingredient called Tinde, or apple gourd. Here’s how Jasbir prepares them at home…

Tinde, aka apple gourd
© FoodFellas4You

Mandair Farms-style Tinde

Ingredients

6 apple gourds, cut into 4-6 pieces

1 onion, sliced thin

1 tomato, diced

1 tsp. cooking oil

1 tsp. fresh ginger, minced

2 cloves garlic, cut fine or minced

1 tsp. cumin

1 tsp. tumeric

Salt and pepper to taste

 

Directions

  1. Sauté onion, garlic, ginger, and cumin on medium heat for one minute in a teaspoon of cooking oil.
  2. Add the tomato, tumeric, salt and pepper into the sauté mix and cook for 5-6 minutes on medium low heat.
  3. Add in the apple gourd and cook until they are soft. For a more pasty sauce, add 1/4-1/2 cup of water.
  4. Garnish with chopped cilantro and serve hot with rice or roti. Also try stuffing it into a tortilla with some sour cream for a delicious, plant-based lunch.

You can find Mandair Farms weekly at Main St. Station, Riley Park, Trout Lake, Kitsilano, and Mount Pleasant Markets. To search for their complete market schedule, click here.


Downtown Market Fresh Box - July 6

This week’s Fresh Box contained:

Basil – Nature Village Farm, Richmond

Mixed Kale Bunch – Abundant Acre Farm, Abbotsford

Mini Romaine Lettuce – One Love Farm, Lillooet

Broccolini – One Love Farm – cook like broccoli or like most greens,  sauté with garlic and olive oil

Mini Zucchini, Yellow Squash and Patty Pan Squash – Abundant Acre Farm

Cherries – Rai Farms, Osoyoos

Tomatoes – Campari, red cherry or mini Romas – Taves Family Farm, Abbotsford

Strawberry Jam – Jordan’s Jam, Burnaby

It’s too hot to cook!  Make some tomato, basil and mozzarella skewers or a fresh salad with the romaine lettuce and perhaps a strawberry vinaigrette.

Headed on a road trip around BC this summer?  We included a brochure listing farmers across the province – a great piece to keep in the glove compartment.

 

 


The Weekend Starts Now - July 6

The Weekend Starts Now!

What are your weekend plans? Hiking? Spending time at the park? Staying home? Whether you have another busy weekend ahead or planning a relaxing one at home, we have everything you need to make your weekend just right! Start your weekend on Thursday at the Downtown Farmers Market!

Going for a hike? Grab Applebarn’s mini cucumbers and dip them in Spread’Em Kitchens cashew cream cheese spread! Flavours that are nourishing and refreshing! You might as well grab some cherries too!

Hanging out in the park? Pick up a loaf of naturally leavened sourdough bread from Lakehouse Foods, some cheese from The Farm House Natural Cheeses and a basket of blueberries and you’re ready for a picnic!

Hosting a BBQ? Get grilling! Salmon from Blue Comet Seafoods, and garlic scapes from One Love Farm and Zucchini from Abundant Acres all go great on the grill! Impress your guests with refreshing cider from Left Field Cider!

We’ve got great lunch options at the market this week and many items that make great snacks to take back to the office too. Lunch this week includes Old Country Pierogi & Cheese Me! Make sure to pick up a Loyalty Lunch Card from the market info tent and every 8th lunch is on us!


In Season:

Blueberries from Maan Farms

Blueberries | Raspberries | Strawberries | Cherries | Peas | Garlic Scapes | Turnips | Spinach | Salad Greens | Fennel | Carrots | Eggplant | Cucumbers | Tomato’s | Zucchini

Check out what else your local farmers are expecting to bring to market HERE!


Member Appreciation Day!

The first market of the month is member day where market members will find a host of exclusive discounts at the market! Don’t forget to bring your card to take advantage of all the savings! Not a member? Swing by the red information tent or sign up online.

  • Abundant Acre Family Farm – 50 cents Off­ Vegetables (max savings $1)
  • Applebarn Pumpkin Farm – $1 Off­ $6 Pepper Challenge Bags, 50 cents o­ff $3 Pepper Challenge Bags, $2 off­ 5lb Boxes of Roma Tomatoes
  • Blue Comet Seafoods – 10% Off­ Keta Salmon Filets
  • Cheese Me – $1 O­ff Iced Tea
  • Johnny Pops – $3 Pops
  • Le Bouledogue – 15% Off­ All Purchases
  • One Love Farm – Free Garlic Scape Bunch with Purchase
  • Rai Produce – Buy Two Boxes, get $1 Off­
  • Rockweld Farm – Buy 2 Rock Cornish Get 1 Free
  • Shady Acre Farm – 15% Off­ All Purchases
  • Sole Food Street Farms – 15% off­ Any Purchase Over $10
  • The Good Stu­ff – Buy One Smoothie Get One 50% O­ff

GET A COMPLETE LIST OF THIS WEEK’S DOWNTOWN MARKET VENDORS HERE


Downtown Farmers Market Fresh Box

No time to shop? Order a FreshBox! With a Downtown Farmers Market FreshBox you’ll get a market shopping trip done in 5 minutes. Pickup is Thursday at the Downtown Farmers Market.

For $25 per week, you get a 5-7 items packed and ready to go home with you! Here’s what was in last weeks fresh box: Heirloom Tomatoes, Mini Cukes, Buttercrunch Lettuce, English Peas, French Breakfast Radishes, Fennel, Strawberries 

NEW! You can customize your FreshBox by adding eggs or bread!

ORDER YOUR FRESHBOX FOR JULY 13 NOW


Help us spread the word! Print out a Downtown Farmers Market poster for your lunch room, and help promote the market on your social media channels with these handy sample posts and market photos!

VISIT US AT THE QUEEN ELIZABETH THEATRE PLAZA (650 HAMILTON ST.), EVERY THURSDAY, 11AM-3PM, UNTIL OCTOBER 5TH

FIND MORE INFORMATION ON THE DOWNTOWN LOCATION HERE

DISCOVER OUR SIX OTHER SUMMER MARKET LOCATIONS ON OUR MARKETS PAGE.


The Weekend Starts Now - June 29

The Weekend Starts Now!

Start your long weekend off with a visit to the market this Thursday! Stock up on all your farm fresh Canada Day weekend supplies. Whether you’re having a BBQ, going to the beach or attending other festivities we’ve got you covered!

For the BBQ – Craft beverages: Wayward Distillation House brings their popular Unruly Vodka and Unruly Gin from the Comox Valley and BC Wine Studio will be will have their signature Siren’s Call from the Okanagan.

For the beach – Prepare easy & health snacks: Grab some carrots from Sole Food and dip from BobAli Hummus, Pestos and Tapenades. Cherries & snap peas are some other favourites!

For other festivities – Consider building a sandwich: A slice of The Farm House Natural Cheeses award winning heidi goes great with Rising Knead Sourdough bread and a slice of an Applebarn’s heirloom tomato to create a tasty sandwich for those on the go!

We’ve got great lunch options at the food trucks this week and lots of items that make great snacks to take back to the office. The food tuck lineup this week includes Gaia Ma, Disco Cheetah & Cheeses Crust bringing you a variety of tasty lunch options! Make sure to pick up a Loyalty Lunch Card from the market info tent and every 8th lunch is on us!


In Season:

Strawberries | Cherries | Garlic Scapes | Snap Peas | Turnips | Spinach | Salad Greens | Fennel | Check out what else your local farmers are expecting to bring to market HERE!


Meet our Farmers:

Maan Farms – Started in 1977, Maan Farms began by producing cole crops, but soon shifted to growing the delicious strawberries, raspberries and blueberries. Swing by their stall for a sample and have a taste of these juicy berries!

BC Garlic Growers – is a certified organic family owned operation that strives to bring the best garlic flavours to you! The harvest season starts with delicious green garlic scapes used for soups, stews, stir-fries and pesto. Find scapes at the market now but get them while you can – they are only in season for a short time.

GET A COMPLETE LIST OF THIS WEEK’S DOWNTOWN MARKET VENDORS HERE


Downtown Farmers Market Fresh Box

No time to shop? Order a FreshBox! With a Downtown Farmers Market FreshBox you’ll get a market shopping trip done in 5 minutes. Pickup is Thursday at the Downtown Farmers Market.

For $25 per week, you get a 5-7 items packed and ready to go home with you! Here’s what was in last weeks fresh box: Salad Mix, Kohlrabi, Apple Cider, Garlic Scapes, Cherries, Cherry Tomatoes, Baby Bok Choy, Carrots

NEW! You can customize your FreshBox by adding eggs or bread!

ORDER YOUR FRESHBOX FOR JULY 6 NOW


Help us spread the word! Print out a Downtown Farmers Market poster for your lunch room, and help promote the market on your social media channels with these handy sample posts and market photos!

VISIT US AT THE QUEEN ELIZABETH THEATRE PLAZA (650 HAMILTON ST.), EVERY THURSDAY, 11AM-3PM, UNTIL OCTOBER 5TH

FIND MORE INFORMATION ON THE DOWNTOWN LOCATION HERE

DISCOVER OUR SIX OTHER SUMMER MARKET LOCATIONS ON OUR MARKETS PAGE.