Friday, May 1, 2015

Find Something New at a Farmer's Market

At long last spring seems to have finally arrived. The fat robins are pulling worms from the ground, birds are singing, or scolding me, depending on what I'm doing, and the fields are absolutely full of geese.  The crocuses bloomed and now it's daffodil time, and I even see the buds on the trilliums are developing nicely. Nothing says spring like being able to go outside to enjoy nature, without having to bundle up first.

Something else we have had to live with out all winter will also be back soon too.  In fact, I found one at what used to be Landsdowne Park in Ottawa  last weekend.  A Farmer's Market was open inside the Aberdeen Pavilion. That building is just about all I recognized from the old exhibition grounds. All kinds of new, modern buildings have sprung up recently.  I am so glad they didn't tear down the old Cattle Castle.

We discovered there was new parking below ground, just as you turn off Bank Street into this new Landowne project. There was lots of space and while it cost us $6, that isn't bad when you consider what the hospital parking lots in that city dare to charge.
I had discovered there was going to be a maple festival at that location on Sunday, and since we missed attending both the one in Delta and Perth this year due to other commitments, we decided to take this in.  As it turned out, it just meant that several of the vendors at the Farmer's Market were featuring their maple products.

While there I discovered an area tea company  that I never knew about before. DiversiTea has some interesting flavours.  The Salted Toffee one is calling to me. That would be like having dessert without the calories.

The Milkhouse Farm and Dairy from the Smiths Falls area was selling cheese, lamb and wool. Obviously the cheese also came from sheep. We also sampled some buffalo cheese from Canreg Station Farm & Pasture Dairy located in the Finch area. That was a new experience for me. Some of it was really good too. I especially liked the Elderberry Cheese.  I had intended to bring some home but got distracted by one of the most beautiful displays of baking I've ever seen. Savoury Pursuits had so many wonderful choices and well, one cannot go home without a treat of some sort, right? 

We made off with some Strawberry Brownie Cheesecake Squares.  These were the most impressive looking brownies you can imagine and would be perfect for serving to special company. 

As for other Farmer's Markets in the area, Brockville kicks off the season by opening this weekend, on May 2nd.  Carleton Place and Perth follow by opening on May 9th, Carp on May 10th,  Chesterville on May 23rd, Kemptville on May 24 and my favorite market, at North Gower, opens on May 30th.

Take the $10 Challenge this year by visiting your local Farmers Markets and buying from local producers.  It keeps the money in the area, which is good for our economy.  Explore what the vendors have to offer.  I'm sure you will find something special to bring home.

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