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Pam R

Produce in the Prairies

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I need help. The food fatigue threads have got me thinking. I'm always on the lookout for new and interesting produce. I love fresh fruits and vegetables and am always on the lookout for new things - but I never seem to find any.

Apples and oranges are wonderful. Carrots, tomatoes and cucumbers are great. But I want to mix things up. I want things from outside of my region - enough root vegetables!

I've gone to a few out-of-the-way places, only to find their hocking the same stuff as Safeway and Supervalue.

Growing things myself is not an option - condo dwelling limits growing things - as does climate. Help!

Does anybody know where to go for interesting produce? Is there such a thing in Winnipeg? Am I doomed to the same old same old?

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I can only think of Asian vegetables, but almost everything you can find at Sun Wah can also be found at Safeway/Superstore. Dong Thai sometimes has less commonly found Asian vegetables available (Thai eggplants, for example).

I always found it difficult to find interesting produce in Winnipeg. The stores, whether big or small, really do carry the same things--varying mostly in price and quality. That being said, I love going to the Farmer's Market (St. Norbert). Sometimes the Chinese vendor would have things like pea shoots, which (at least 2-3 years ago) weren't very common. And where else can you eat a Farmer's Burger while you shop for groceries?

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I just moved from Garden City - the Superstore there usually has a great selection of Asian produce. While this is great I want more!! It's frustrating.

I hate to say I have never been to the farmer's market at St. Norbert. Since I now live in LW and since I don't cater as much on the weekend as I always have - it's definately in my plans this summer - can't wait. I also heard that there's a good green grocer on Pembina - but I haven't been yet.

There's gotta be something else out there.

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I hate to say I have never been to the farmer's market at St. Norbert.  Since I now live in LW and since I don't cater as much on the weekend as I always have - it's definately in my plans this summer - can't wait.  I also heard that there's a good green grocer on Pembina - but I haven't been yet.

There's gotta be something else out there.

Never been to the St. Norbert's farmers market?!?!?!? :shock: Well, if you go this year, the first thing you must do is get a Farmer's Burger from the pork vendor on the north side of the market. Doesn't matter if it's 8am...it makes a great breakfast. He makes good sauerkraut, too. Get the burger, not the sausage. It's the same meat/flavourings, but the burger, for some reason, just tastes better to me.

(Edited to add...oops. Even though you don't keep kosher, you probably don't eat pork... :unsure: My bad! :blush:)

Then, as you meander around, you can pick up some lemon tarts from the baker at the east end of the market. He usually doesn't have them till July, though, as he starts off with strawberry tarts at the beginning of the season (but they're not so good). His lemon cookies are quite nice, as well.

Vic's Fruit Market (which I'm guessing is the one on Pembina) is not bad. I don't find it to be particularly outstanding, though.

Deen's sometimes has interesting Indian (East and West) vegetables. It's just across the street from Dong Thai (on Notre Dame?) so you could hit two places with one trip.

Ever been to the organic grocery stores on Westminster? They sometimes have more interesting produce. There's one right by Tall Grass Prairie, so you can get a fresh out of the oven whole wheat cinnamon bun while you're there.


Edited by prasantrin (log)

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prasantrin...you bad...mentioning Tall Grass Priaire cinnamon buns when I am 2.5 hours away! My neice lives on Home Street and I always pick up a doz to eat and some to bring home when we visit.

Produce: I suppose Asian vegs are different from the usual carrots, cauliflower, etc. How about chayote, taro, fennel, kale...I have been stir- frying sliced chayote with 4 peppercorn seasoning, or roasting them (and fennel) in chunks in the oven. Use taro in place of potatoes. Kale, I like to add them to curry.

Quite often, I'll make a light soup with chicken or pork and watercress or spinach. I drink the broth, but take out the veg, drizzle with some chili sesame oil to use as a side.

Soya bean sprouts (or mung bean sprouts) stir-fried with ginger and green onions. You can top with meat also.

Has anyone tried banana blossoms? How do you use them? What do they taste like?

When are you back to Canada, Prasantrin?


Dejah

www.hillmanweb.com

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I've been reading a little about CSA (community supported agriculture) in the US and wondered if there was something like that goinng on up in Canada too.

This website has a bunch of different info for Southern Manitoba (and Winnipeg)--many health food stores but also some places that might offer something different.

F.O.O.D. Fresh Option Organic Delivery. 772-1479. www.freshoption.ca. This new service seeks "to help urban eaters connect with sustainable producers in our own province and to make locally produced organic foods easy to access in one simple weekly deliver." It also offers a wide selection of nonlocal organic produce, groceries, snack foods, bulk grains and legumes, freshly baked breads, fair trade organic coffee, local hydroponic herbs, and more than the usual amount of meat and dairy alternatives for vegetarians. Call or visit their website to learn about their weekly "fresh box" sizes and options.

Does this sound interesting? (May not offer you more variety if they don't have greenhouses, but thre are some other places listed in the link like "Bread and Circus". In the one I've been to in the US, they have a pretty varied selection of produce and foodstuffs.

Also saw some info on WWOOF (Willing Workers on Organic Farms) but the webpage is kind of mysterious to me. (Seems like you have to sign up to get more info!) Can't tell if these are just for travelers that want to stay on a farm while visiting (somewhat like the Gites de France (sic)?) or if some of them are CSA's as well. Anyone know more about these?


Edited by ludja (log)

"Under the dusty almond trees, ... stalls were set up which sold banana liquor, rolls, blood puddings, chopped fried meat, meat pies, sausage, yucca breads, crullers, buns, corn breads, puff pastes, longanizas, tripes, coconut nougats, rum toddies, along with all sorts of trifles, gewgaws, trinkets, and knickknacks, and cockfights and lottery tickets."

-- Gabriel Garcia Marquez, 1962 "Big Mama's Funeral"

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Never been to the St. Norbert's farmers market?!?!?!?  :shock: 

*hangs head in shame*

I'll go this year! Promise!

Has anyone tried banana blossoms? How do you use them? What do they taste like?

What is a banana blossom? where do you get banana blossoms?? need more info!!

This website has a bunch of different info for Southern Manitoba (and Winnipeg)--many health food stores but also some places that might offer something different.
F.O.O.D. Fresh Option Organic Delivery. 772-1479. www.freshoption.ca. This new service seeks "to help urban eaters connect with sustainable producers in our own province and to make locally produced organic foods easy to access in one simple weekly deliver." It also offers a wide selection of nonlocal organic produce, groceries, snack foods, bulk grains and legumes, freshly baked breads, fair trade organic coffee, local hydroponic herbs, and more than the usual amount of meat and dairy alternatives for vegetarians. Call or visit their website to learn about their weekly "fresh box" sizes and options.

Does this sound interesting? (May not offer you more variety if they don't have greenhouses, but thre are some other places listed in the link like "Bread and Circus". In the one I've been to in the US, they have a pretty varied selection of produce and foodstuffs.

Another eG lurker emailed me one of these links -the Fresh Option link- and it looks interesting. I'm going out of town for a few days but have the sites bookmarked for when I return.

While I think organic is great - it's not my goal. I won't turn down organic ... but I want variety really... more than organic. :sad:

Some of those places listed, like Bread and Circus, are restaurants and bakeries... not quite what I'm looking for. But when I return, I'll look more closely at the links you shared.

Thanks!! :biggrin:

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Anybody know if the Farmer's Market is open yet? I am itching to go. Was going to try to get out there last weekend, but woke up and it was raining. Would rather go out there knowing it's open.

Thanks!

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Anybody know if the Farmer's Market is open yet?  I am itching to go.  Was going to try to get out there last weekend, but woke up and it was raining.  Would rather go out there knowing it's open.

Thanks!

My mother thinks not--she said she hasn't seen any signs up, yet (they usually post signs in our area when they're about to open). I think it usually opens at the end of June. I'll post again when my mother sees the signs. :smile:

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Anybody know if the Farmer's Market is open yet?  I am itching to go.  Was going to try to get out there last weekend, but woke up and it was raining.  Would rather go out there knowing it's open.

Thanks!

My mother thinks not--she said she hasn't seen any signs up, yet (they usually post signs in our area when they're about to open). I think it usually opens at the end of June. I'll post again when my mother sees the signs. :smile:

Thanks.... I want good produce.

I wonder if there will be signs in my area... it's a whole new world out here :wink:

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FYI Today is the first day of the St. Norbert Farmer's Market. And in just three more Saturdays, I'll be there scarfing my breakfast of a farmers burger with homemade sauerkraut. Yum!

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FYI  Today is the first day of the St. Norbert Farmer's Market.  And in just three more Saturdays, I'll be there scarfing my breakfast of a farmers burger with homemade sauerkraut.  Yum!

Yay!!

I'm catering bar mitzvahs today and next weekend... and we're moving - but I'll be there within the next month myself.

Thanks.

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Finally made it to the St. Norbert farmer's market yesterday. I got there rather late and there wasn't much left. What was there was rather wilted. I'm going to try to get there early next weekend.

But, on my way home, I stopped in a Crampton's Market on Waverly and Bishop Grandon. I love this shop! This is what I bought:

gallery_25849_641_123006.jpg

Great red/green onions, mixed greens, fresh basil, freshest corn I've had in years, baby potatoes, purple pepper, orange and yellow plums, shallots, garlic and a loaf of bread (that was actually 4 mini-loaves). all for $18. They're open from May to Oct. or Nov. I'll try to get some pictures when I go back. I'll definately go back.

Still have to get to Vic's.

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Finally made it to the St. Norbert farmer's market yesterday.  I got there rather late and there wasn't much left.  What was there was rather wilted.  I'm going to try to get there early next weekend. 

The farmer's market is so small, that people really must get there as early as possible in order to get what they want. Even my favourite cookie guy will sell out of lemon tarts by 9 or 10am on some days.

But, on my way home, I stopped in a Crampton's Market on Waverly and Bishop Grandon.  I love this shop!  This is what I bought:

Is that the one that's attached to a little golf course? I've never been there, but I often drive past it. Now that I know what you can get there, I'll have to stop next time!

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Is that the one that's attached to a little golf course?  I've never been there, but I often drive past it.  Now that I know what you can get there, I'll have to stop next time!

Yep. The one with the pen with the cute little sheep :wink:

I had no idea what the place was but there was a sign saying fresh corn and something... so I thought I might as well pull in and see what it was. The place was packed! Why hasn't anybody ever told me about it??

The added bonus is that it's like 4 minutes from my house. I will be a frequent costumer from now.... I'm already dreading the winter when they're closed :sad:

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I completely forgot about the Exchange District Farmer's market. It starts this weekend, Saturdays only from 9-3. It's in Old Market Square and having been there once last year I remember lots of great crafts, live entertainment, prepared foods and produce of course!

Check it out if you can't get to St. Norbert.

hmm.. they have awebsitetoo


Edited by Pam R (log)

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There used to be a Farmer's Market somewhere off Main Street, too. We never managed to find it, though. Do you know anything about it?

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There's also the Red River Ex. one, starting today. It's much too far for us (way out on Portage at Red River Ex Park), so I doubt we'll be making it out there this summer. They only allow local products, while the St. Norbert's market lets in anything (or at least used to).

edited the Midlands foods reference out--my mother tells me the stand I referenced is now completely local, so what I said no longer holds true.


Edited by prasantrin (log)

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Midland's - a name from my restaurant days. We used to get supplies from them too.

Farmer's market in Brandon, down the hill along the riverbank, and in a downtown shopping centre parkade.They have just the usual carrots, zuchinnis, etc...never any Asian vegetables...Superstore has those covered. :laugh: One of the vendors has local honey and I usually buy small jars of different flavours - great on toast on a cold winter morning.


Dejah

www.hillmanweb.com

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Free Press did a farmer's market rondup in todays paper. There's also one in Bird's Hill this year. That's 4 in the Winnipeg general area - all in different areas.

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I finally got to Vic's last weekend. They didn't have anything that i couldn't get at Superstore or Sobeys (in fact - I went to Sobeys after and I think they had a little more variety).

I keep hearing great things about Vic's - but wasn't impressed. What they had was nice - but nothing out of the ordinary. Does anybody know if it gets more interesting during the summer?

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I finally got to Vic's last weekend.  They didn't have anything that i couldn't get at Superstore or Sobeys (in fact - I went to Sobeys after and I think they had a little more variety).

I keep hearing great things about Vic's - but wasn't impressed.  What they had was nice - but nothing out of the ordinary.  Does anybody know if it gets more interesting during the summer?

I never thought Vic's was all that special (and I even said so above somewhere!). I think the quality of some of the produce might be better than at some of the larger grocery stores, but not so much better that I want to pay Vic's premium prices. They do sometimes have things not available elsewhere--I once wanted to make a berry tart and Vic's was the only place I could find raspberries and blackberries.

Just a few more weeks till St. Norbert's Farmers Market opens! I'm already thinking of farmer burgers and lemon tarts--and I still have two more months to go!

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The Saskatoon farmers market has moved outside for the summer. I've already spent many early mornings spenading all of our hard earned money from the week.

I start out at the bus mall end and stop by Wally's Urban garden, were for now they have shallots, rhurbarb, and this week spinach. Later on, they will have 10-12 varities of heirloom tomato's and a mircogreens.

Next stop is Natureworks who raise lamb, pigs, chickens, and some cattle. I ordered some pork belly to make my own bacon and I also ordered 8 whole lamb. We'll receive the lamb in Late June. There are some other pork products I ordered but I don't ahve the list in front of me.

Next on the list is, Benlock farms and 40 pounds of Triple A Angus beef trim for hamburgers.

Next there's John from Hudson Bay who has fresh fiddleheads and some other great northern mushrooms.

Beside him is a friend of the family who is a commercial fresh water fisherman. fantastic Jackfish (pike) and some wonderful whitefish, which are on the next menu.

Next stop is Grandora Gardens, tomato's, chile's, and cucumbers.

Last at the market is Simkins. 50# of Yukon gold potatos, Russett's, Sweet carrots, cabbage, green onions, and oh yah, asaparagus.

The best part of this is that it's only May. Looking forward to the rest of summer.

The market is located in front of the main library branch downton and on Tuesday and Thrusday is located as a smaller version at Elim church on 8th (Tues) and Peavey Mart on 51rst (Thrs)


Dan Walker

Chef/Owner

Weczeria Restaurant

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