We recently caught up with Roberta LaQuaglia, Operations Manager at Vancouver Farmers Markets to get the latest scoop on the local farmers markets scene.
BLEN: Farmers Markets season is upon us. What are some new markets that are on the scene this year?
RQ: Our newest market is Kerrisdale Village which will start July 7th on Saturdays on East Boulevard between 37th & 41st Avenue. We’re always on the look out into for opportunities for new markets around the city and welcome suggestions from citizens!
BLEN: Can you tell us about any of the perhaps more surprising items at Farmers Markets, that people wouldn’t necessarily think grown in BC?
RQ: We grow so much in BC that, other than citrus and tropical fruits, you’re likely to find it at a farmers market. One of my favourites right now is asparagus. Most asparagus you’ll find in the grocery stores is coming from California or Mexico.
If you’ve never had BC big leaf maple syrup, you’ve got to try it! We have a vendor harvesting local maple syrup which is unique & delicious.
And people are always surprised to see watermelons at our markets. We have growers from the Okanagan & Similkimeen Valleys who grow delicious watermelons. Look for them in late August through September.
BLEN: The Kits and Trout Lake markets open this weekend. What are some of the in-season fruits and veggies on your own grocery list?
RQ: I’ve become a canning and pickling enthusiast over the last few years so I am always on the lookout for produce to preserve. I really like making quick pickled radishes – radishes are plentiful right now and pickled ones are great added to tacos, salads and sandwiches for a change of pace.
I also can’t leave the market without rhubarb & spinach these days. I love adding spinach to lasagna or other pasta and rice dishes. Rhubarb freezes so well, I chop it and stock up for pies and crisps when I’m not so busy getting markets started.
Thanks Roberta! For more information on Vancouver Farmers Markets, visit eatlocal.org