While record snow was a boon for local ski hills this winter, it’s been a long, hard season for our farmers, many of whom are still struggling to dig themselves out. A number of VFM growers have reported heavy snow and collapsed greenhouses damaging their winter plantings and early seedlings – plus cold, wet weather across the province is making for a slow start to the spring season.
Add to this the mysterious norovirus currently plaguing BC’s shellfish industry, and it has resulted in lost product and cancelled market dates impacting the businesses of many. But as fresh spring things like arugula, spinach, radicchio and tulips return to the markets, it looks like we’ve finally turned the corner on winter.
The Winter Markets continue for another five weeks – come out and support our local producers who, despite the weather, still have a great selection of seasonal produce and other amazing food on offer.
Produce: acorn squash, apples, asian pears, beets, bok choi, broccoli, brussels sprouts, butternut squash, cabbage, carrots, celeriac, chard, collards, daikon, delicata squash, endive, fennel, garlic, herbs, kale, kiwi, kohlrabi, leafy greens, leeks, mushrooms, napa cabbage, onions, parsnips, potatoes, pears, radishes, rutabaga, salad mix, spinach, shallots, sprouts, stinging nettles, sunchokes, turnips, wild mushrooms, winter squash, wheatgrass
Meats, Seafood, Dairy: Beef, Bison, Halibut, Pork, Duck, Salmon, Turkey, Chicken, Cod, Cheese, Eggs, Tuna
Other: Dried Fruit, Honey, Frozen Berries, Juice, Pickles, Yogurt, Preserves
Member Appreciation Day! It’s the first market of the month and VFM members will enjoy free market money transactions and discounts at various vendors around the market.
Learn more about our membership program and how you can support our non-profit organization HERE. Be sure to keep an eye out for the member special signs for deals all around the market such as these (and don’t forget that member card!):
- A Bread Affair – $1 Organic Baguettes
- Blue Comet Seafoods – 20% off Sockeye Salmon Patties and White Spring Salmon Kebobs
- Lita’s Mexican Foods – 1$ off Packs of White or Whole Wheat Tortillas
- Nancy Esworthy Design – 25% off All Leather Jewellery
And much more, see the list of member specials here.
Visit the folks at Fuud this Saturday at the market and find out how you can get signed up! Fuud is an awesome local company that provides weekly chef prepared meals that get delivered right to your doorstep. Their focus is supporting initiatives that strengthen local agriculture. Whenever possible, they source fresh, local, organic ingredients that are sustainably and ethically produced all because they have an appetite for earth-friendly eating. Check them out and show them some love.
Evo Car Share will have a booth set up at Nat Bailey this weekend. Take advantage of their great sign up promo for market shoppers – free membership + 30 mins driving!
New This Week
Warmerdam Flowers – Beautiful Tulips will make their first appearance of the season at Nat Bailey market this weekend. Check out all the pretty colours and brighten your day by getting some yourself.
We are aware at VFM of how harsh of a winter we’ve had this year. With all the snow and frost it’s unfortunately effected farmers crops and the ability to bring greens to the markets. With that being said there are an abundance of root vegetables available and an infinite amount of options to do with them! Here’s an easy recipe to hopefully bring some inspiration in the current cold times.
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 large onion or 2 leeks (white and light green part only), chopped
- 2 to 3 celery stalks, diced
- 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 3 rosemary or thyme branches
- 2 bay leaves
- 3 ½ pounds mixed root vegetables (carrot, parsnip, celery root, turnip, rutabaga, sweet or regular potato), peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks
- 2 teaspoons fine sea salt, more as needed
- ½ teaspoon black pepper, more as needed
- Juice of 1/2 lemon, more for serving
- Extra-virgin olive oil
- Flaky sea salt
- Crushed Aleppo, Urfa or other chile flakes, optional
- Grated Parmesan or pecorino, optional
- Melt butter in a large, heavy-bottomed pot. Stir in onion and celery. Cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are tender, about 10 minutes. Stir in garlic, rosemary and bay leaves; cook 1 minute more. Add root vegetables, 8 cups water, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil; reduce heat to medium and simmer, covered, until vegetables are tender, 30 to 40 minutes.
- Remove and discard rosemary branches and bay leaves. Using an immersion blender, purée soup until smooth. (Alternatively, you can purée the soup in batches in a blender or food processor.) If the soup is too thick, add a little water. Season with lemon juice and more salt to taste.
- To serve, ladle soup into bowls and top with a drizzle of olive oil, a few drops of lemon juice, flaky salt and crushed chile or grated cheese, if desired.
Click HERE for this week’s full Nat Bailey vendor list
Hastings Park Winter Market
If you miss Nat Bailey, be sure to head to the east side to pick up your weekly groceries! Every Sunday the Hastings Park Winter Farmers Market runs 10-2pm until the end of April. It has lots of FREE parking and more vendors than ever before! *Details here*
Visit us at Nat Bailey Stadium (4601 Ontario St.), Saturdays, 10am-2pm
Attention shoppers! This weekend is your last opportunity to shop local at the Winter Markets before we close for the holidays. Be sure to stock up on all your festive supplies and regular market staples – we don’t return until January 7th! Looking for last minute gift and entertaining ideas? Read on for this week’s top picks…
Meyer lemon & lavender, pineapple habanero, and roasted plum & lemongrass are just a few of the unique and delicious cordials that frost bites produces. Mix them in seltzer or with your fave spirit, and get the holiday party started! Find them this Saturday at Nat Bailey and Sunday at Hastings Park.
T-shirts, dish towels and tote bags are truly useful gifts that everyone can appreciate. The Hive Printing produces their line of Vancouver-inspired locally printed goods in their small artisan studio on the east side. Check them out this Saturday at Nat Bailey and Sunday at Hastings Park.
It’s back! Limited run barrel aged vodka from Odd Society Spirits makes a sophisticated stocking stuffer for the spirits connoisseur in your life. Pick up a bottle from them this Saturday at Nat Bailey and Sunday at Hastings Park.
Put a little sparkle under the tree for someone special this year with a set of sterling silver and labradorite drop earrings from Ildiko Jewelry. She also makes bracelets, pendants, and necklaces using silver and semi precious stones. Find her this Saturday at Nat Bailey.
Looking for some holiday baking with a serious wow factor? Check out the offerings from Livia Sweets this Sunday at Hastings Park. Her scrumptious and stylish baked goods will be sure to impress your guests (or your host) at the festivities this season!
Fable Naturals makes a line of fair trade certified bath and body products, including bar soaps, lip balms, facial oils, and moisturizers. They donate a portion of each sale to The School Fund, a program that provides scholarships to students in developing countries. Find them this Sunday at Hastings Park.
Want a change from the usual hummus offerings for your holiday snack platter this year? Spice it up with some unique varieties like Curried Carrot, Orange & Ginger or Thai Green Coconut Curry from BobAli. They’ll be at Nat Bailey this Saturday and Hastings Park on Sunday.
Got a beer lover on your holiday gift list? You can’t go wrong with a Bomber Brewing Winter Warmer Pack, which includes a 650ml bottle of their new Old Fat Heater Winter Ale, a Bomber glass and toque. Find them this Saturday at Nat Bailey.
Get some shrub love in your life this season from Mixers & Elixirs, producers of locally-inspired drinking vinegars that incorporate BC fruits from the markets. A fantastic addition to cocktails – get some at Nat Bailey this Saturday and Hastings Park on Sunday.
North Pacific Kelp Foods are a brand new vendor with us this season at Hastings Park. Wild harvesters of Haida Gwaii seaweeds, sea asparagus, and mushrooms, North Pacific dry and package a selection of products including seaweed lasagne, kombu, wakame, and kelp. Pick up some stocking stuffers from them for the foodie on your list this Sunday at Hastings Park.
We’re back with the second instalment of Gifts to Get at the Markets – your guide to local, sustainable holiday shopping with BC farms and producers this season! Don’t miss these vendors at Nat Bailey and Hastings Park this weekend…
Put some award-winning cheese in your loved one’s stocking this year! Heidi from The Farm House Natural Cheeses is a gruyere-like French table cheese made from milk produced on the summer pasture. It’s just one of Farm House’s amazing grass-fed dairy products – they make a wide selection of cow and goat cheese, along with cultured butter for your holiday baking. Find them at Nat Bailey Dec 10, 17.
Looking for a unique gift for the jewelry lover on your list? Nancy Esworthy produces a range of sophisticated and edgy designs made from precious metals, wood, resin, and leather. Find her on one date only at Nat Bailey Dec 10.
Let the cocktail making begin! The Booze Witch (a.k.a Kelly Gillespie of Gillespie’s Fine Spirits) makes a range of flavourful and aromatic shrubs to pair with her artisan spirits, which include vodka, gin, and signature liqueurs made with BC grain. Look out for her Dec 10 at Nat Bailey.
Japanese chocolatiers Coconama produce single origin tasting chocolate made simply from cocoa beans and cane sugar. For the chocolate connoisseur on your list, the Coco-Labo tasting squares are for melting slowly on your tongue so to experience the range of flavours they release. Pick them up at Nat Bailey Dec 10.
Take some authentic Ukrainian sour cherry buns to your next holiday party! Solodko Ukrainian Bakery in New Westminster makes a variety of Ukrainian specialities from scratch – like pierogies, cabbage rolls, borscht, and a variety of breads and sweet baked goods. Look for them Dec 10 at Nat Bailey and Dec 18 at Hastings Park.
Light up your holiday season with the natural warmth and beauty of von Hardenberg Candles. Available in a wide selection of shapes and sizes, each candle is handmade at their studio in Maple Ridge from 100% beeswax. Find them Dec 10 at Nat Bailey.
Copper Pot Preserves creates artisan small batch jams and preserves from the seasonal bounty found at local farmers markets. With flavours ranging from Raspberry & Chipotle to Blueberry, Lemon & Thyme, Copper Pot’s jams make great stocking stuffers for the jam and toast fans in your life, or a yummy addition to your holiday charcuterie board. Find them on one market date only – Dec 10 at Nat Bailey.
Your holiday baking can go local this year with organic grains and flours from Cedar Isle Farm. Grown in the rich and fertile soil of the Fraser Valley near Agassiz, BC, Cedar Isle’s products include certified organic oats, wheat, and rye that is rolled and milled into whole grain flour. Get some at Hastings Park on Dec 11 & 18.
Local woodcrafter Don Asperin produces a line of clean and contemporary wood designs including cutting boards, jewelry boxes, and serving trays. Affordably priced in a wide range of options, Don’s work makes for a stylish holiday party host or hostess gift. Find him at Nat Bailey Dec 10.
Dogwood Brewing offers a selection of their organic brews in growler fills and cans at the markets. Pick some up for gifts or holiday entertaining at Nat Bailey Dec 10 and Hastings Park Dec 11 & 18.
When you’re done with all that holiday baking and shopping and gift wrapping, take a break from making dinner with one of Real Meal‘s take home dishes. Made from scratch with local and organic ingredients, these hearty meals will make sure you and your family are eating well during the busy festive season. Gift cards are also available for the people in your life who love to eat but not to cook! Load up on the goodness this Sunday, Dec 11 at Hastings Park.
Looking for local gifts for your friends and loved ones this holiday season? Skip the mall and head to one of our weekly Winter Farmers Markets!
Whether it’s artisanal food products, handmade craft, festive farm and nursery items, or craft beer, wine, and spirits on your list, there are hundreds of possibilities to find each week at Nat Bailey and Hastings Park. Check out our weekly Gifts to Get List and make your holiday gift shopping and entertaining a no-brainer this season!
Holiday heat… hot sauce is good on everything, right? Vancouver-based hot sauce makers Roasters Hot Sauce make theirs in three different flavours that include unexpected ingredients like carrot and pineapple. Pick some up this Sunday, Dec 4 at Hastings Park.
Kale power… we think raw kale chips would make a fine stocking stuffer and provide a healthy chaser to all the decadent food and drink you’re sure to be having. The Raw Guy makes a great selection of kale chips and krunchies, raw granola, macaroons, and crackers – find him at Nat Bailey Dec 3, 10, and 17 and Hastings Park Dec 4 and 18.
Lemon heaven… good things come in small, stylish packages, right? At least from The Lemon Square they do! Pick up some of these sweet and tangy lemony goodies exclusively at Hastings Park this Sunday, Dec 4.
A gift that lasts… looking for a useful gift for that pottery fan on your list? Pottery by Dave & Family produces an affordable line of handmade pots, mugs, and vases that range from retro/speckled glazes to wood and salt-fired pieces. Find them this Saturday, Dec 3 at Nat Bailey.
Warm up from the inside… we’re pretty sure that anything produced from BC honey would be great, but Wayward Distillation House from the Comox Valley takes it to the next level with a complete line of craft spirits made from local hives. Their Krupnik Spiced Honey Liqueur sounds particularly festive and warming – find them exclusively at Hasting Park on December 4!
Chocolate, chocolate, chocolate… who doesn’t love chocolate? Take a Fancy Bean to Bar Chocolate makes theirs from ethical, organic cacao beans to produce a range of chocolate and sweets that incorporate local ingredients like dried fruit, nuts, and even cayenne pepper. Load up on the goods at Nat Bailey on Dec 3, 10, and 17 and at Hastings Park on Dec 18.
Easy peasy holiday entertaining… we know you can cook but save your energy for the main event and take a break on the appies. Pâté Pastiche makes four flavours of gourmet, vegan and nut-free French-style terrines that are sure to look lovely on your table. Get them weekly at Nat Bailey between now and Dec 17.
Deck the halls… the folks at Lowland Herb Farm makes gorgeous, rustic bouquets and wreaths from aromatic herbs and flowers grown on their bio-dynamic farm in Chilliwack. Find them at Nat Bailey on Dec 3, 10, and 17.
Try a new tradition… ever had an authentic Slavic-style roll straight out of the oven from East European Dessert? Caramel-crusty on the outside, soft and doughy on the inside – with six different flavours to choose from! Get some this December 3 at Nat Bailey and be the hit at your next holiday party.