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St. Norbert Farmer’s Market

August 1, 2006

It’s all about the food today – no wine until later.

Actually, I intend to change the focus of this blog a bit and will be branching out into some food writing as well. So today’s post is all about Winnipeg’s best-kept secret, the St. Norbert Farmer’s Market, which is open all day Saturday from July to October. In July and August the market is also open on Wednesday evenings, but the pickings are slim compared to Saturday.

After weeks of missing out, we finally made it down there this weekend. The Saturday morning trip to the market is one of my favourite summertime rituals.The market has expanded a lot from last year, and there was lots of great produce on display.

I missed out on strawberries (which are over by now anyways and apparently didn’t like the heat and dryness of this summer) and I didn’t see any fresh peas around. But there were still green and yellow beans for sale, along with beautiful lettuce, raspberries, lots of herbs, onions, baby potatoes, baby leeks (early) lots of zucchini, summer squash and (my favourite) patty pan squash. There were even a few field tomatoes out, but those won’t be in full swing for another few weeks.

Highlights of the trip included the delicious purple carrots and red lettuce from the Weins Family Farms stand, some chipotle pepper cornbread from a bakery stall (the name of which escapes me – but it’s good) and the fabulous turkey-apple sausages from Pembina Valley Meats.

(Note – the photo to the left is by Janice Lukes and was taken from the market’s photo gallery)

Parking isn’t too much a hassle and there are usually spots available in the arena lot. And although it was packed, the lines were short.

We didn’t get out there until nearly 10:00, which is the peak time. I prefer to arrive a bit earlier as a lot of the good stuff is picked through by 10. If you can, 8:30 is the perfect time to arrive. Bring your own coffee and have one of the JT Spring Rolls for breakfast.

I noticed that a few of the vendors now have certificates stating that they have grown the produce they are selling. It’s about time. I’ve always wondered about the stalls with suspiciously perfect produce which is mysteriously re-filled from cardboard boxes with BC labels of origin…

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