The weather has turned cooler, parents are (perhaps eagerly) entering back-to-school mode, and our vendors’ shelves are bursting with a beautiful bounty. There is still a bit of summer left, and if our bustling weekends are any indication, we know you’re soaking up the harvest. So when you make your weekend trip to the market, what do you buy? Do you meander around looking for something new or beeline to your tried-and-true favorites? Are you picking up the peak produce to toss in salads, throw on the grill, and preserve for the Fall? Here’s what you should be buying right now at the market:
Top 5 Summer Picks
Direct from the farm to the market, Taber Corn is typically picked at 5am on the morning it goes to market. It doesn’t get much better than that! Fresh, crisp, sweet corn ready to grace any grill and table to wow your family and friends. And their tummies!
Join our FREE Corn Roast on Saturday, August 22nd from 10am-4pm! Yes, we’re giving away roasted-until-perfect sweet Taber corn for FREE!
Sweet, succulent, juicy peaches have been cultivated in the Okanagan for over a hundred years. They’re a member of the rose family – as you can likely tell from their delightful aroma. All varieties equally amazing, peaches are perfect for eating fresh, for baking, or for freezing and canning. Souto Family Farms has been farming peaches for 30+ years on approximately 7 acres, brought direct to the Calgary Farmers’ Market. Cherry Pit supports a neighboring farm, Panorama Orchards, by bring their stunning peaches to market each week too. Organic peaches can be found at Blush Lane Organic Market (Perimeter, Booth 6), as well.
Edgar Farms Sugar Snap Peas
Edgar Farms is most famously known in our market parts for their stunning asparagus. But their summer specialty is sweet garden peas. All of their peas (sugar snap, snow, and pea tendrils) are handpicked and chilled in a custom-made ice bath (conceived and made by Doug Edgar himself!) directly after picking. This chilling process keeps the sugars from turning to bitter tasting starch, thus retaining that fresh-from-the-garden sweetness. The sugar snap peas that fly off the shelf at Innisfail Growers are the ones that have a much thicker pod wall and develop round and firm at maturity. Pods “snap” just like a fresh green bean. These peas are excellent eaten pod and all, but our preference is to eat the whole bag raw. Did we say the whole bag?!? Yes, yes we did. Pick up your own bag at Innisfail Growers (Perimeter, Booth 22).
Most people would agree – it’s not really summer until we start seeing mounds of cherries. Cherries are one of Mother Nature’s truly seasonal crops, and we’ve learned to make the most of our time with them; eating them by the bagful, and preserving them to transport us back to the warm summer harvest during our cold winter months. The two most common varieties you can find gracing the shelves at Cherry Pit, Souto Farms, and Blush Lane Organic Market: a juicy, deep ruby red, lip staining Lapin cherry vs. the sweet, golden blush Rainier cherry. Both are equally incredible. Don’t make us choose a favorite.
Beck Farms New Carrots
Shelley Bradshaw, with her husband Rod and two sons have been crafting the art of growing carrots for over 20 years. Over the years, they have perfected planting in Alberta’s rich, dark soil to bring us their famous Nantes carrots, but also beets, parsnips, dill, hot peppers, and more! Nantes carrots are by nature a sweeter variety, but Shelly’s carrots are particularly crisp and sweet due to the unique terroir; the cool nights we experience in Alberta are key to producing sweet tasting, crisp vegetables because it prevents the naturally produced sugars from turning to bitter starch. The new crop of Beck Farms carrots hit the shelves at Innisfail Growers last week, which is particularly exciting seeing as the farm experienced severe drought; Shelly and Rod had serious concerns of having a crop at all this year. Phew!