Garden to Table – More Spring Inspiration

With all this beautiful sunshine we have been having its time to start using some of the  bounty from our spring gardens.

With an abundance of chamomile in my community garden plot I’ve been thinking about ways to use it other than as straight tea.  Speaking to a fellow gardener who mentioned that she loves the combination of chamomile and peach together…I immediately wanted to try this even though peaches aren’t currently in season.  Here are a few recipes that I came across that I will have to try as soon as I am able to get a hold of some frozen peaches.  Since I have an obsession with smoothies this one is on the top of the list Chamomile, Peach, & Ginger Smoothie, a refreshing drink for a warm spring (or summer) day Chamomile & Peach Iced Tea.  Wondering why you should use Chamomile for more than enjoying how beautiful it look in your garden – Uses & Benefits of Chamomile.

A quick and simple Butter and Sage Sauce can make a fresh garden inspired sauce added to pasta for a light dinner.  Use a pasta made with quinoa or red lentils which are packed full of protein and skip the addition of meat for an even quicker meal.  Learn about the Uses & Benefits of Sage.

I took some fresh cilantro over to friend’s house for dinner last night to add to taco salad and it made the dish giving it just the right pop of flavour.  Another great use for cilantro can be found with this recipe Spiced Peas with Cilantro & Lime.  And of course let’s not forget the spring salad which offers so many possibilities including Spring Lettuces with Avocado and Pistachios or Snap Pea and Radicchio Slaw.

The list of spring treats also includes artichokes, leeks, potatoes and much more.  Happy gardening and happy eating!

Next Week: Learning about garden critters!

Advertisements

The Farmer’s Market’s are Opening – time to start exploring!

Farmer’s markets are a great place to have the opportunity to chat directly with the farmers and producers of various products.  They often have some great tips and new ways of preparing foods that you never thought of previously.  It is also a good way to support local and get to learn about veggies and other local products you may have not known about before.  The first time I saw garlic scapes was at a farmer’s market and now I love this early partial harvest from hard-neck garlic.  I’ve seen everything from tea infused marshmallows, to pickled beets, specialty cheeses, local seafood and beef products, to honey and popping corn.

This article from the kitchn gives some great tips for anyone new to farmer’s markets or just looking for a better way to get the most out of them.  10 Etiquette & Shopping Tips to Help You Enjoy the Farmer’s Market. Some of these guidelines may not apply to the local market you attend so be sure to get a feel for your market.  I personally love the idea of walking the entire market before making any purchases – it’s easy to get excited and buy something at the first stall.

Here are a few local markets that are worth checking out

The Surrey Urban Farmers Market Association is located Surrey City Hall Plaza and runs Wednesdays from June 10th until October 7th.  Although I have never been to this particular market because it is closed by the time I get home from work I’ve always wanted to check it out.   Be sure to look into getting a Membership for special insider discounts and other benefits.   New to the market this year will be monthly feature that include recipe demonstrations, art displays and local vendor showcases.  Their annual general meeting is on Thursday, June 4th at 7pm at the Surrey Nature Centre – meet the board members, learn about what is happening at the market, and sign up for your membership.

The White Rock Farmer’s Market is located on Russell Avenue in White Rock and runs Sundays from 10am-2pm starting May 24th until October 11th.  This market I have been and I have to say it is fantastic.  This was a Sunday adventure that I happened to stumbled upon last summer and can’t wait to get back.  One of my favourites is that they have a vendor that offers grass-fed beef which is hard to find (I’ve only seen one independent grocery store in Surrey offer this but it’s not local).  The person who I went with also purchased some amazing hot sauce. They also have local jewelry, art, soap, fermented products, chocolate, baked goods, cheese, wine, berries, spices, jam, honey and much more!

And although not in Surrey but very easily accessible from North Surrey is the Royal City Farmers Market located at Tipperary Park in New Westminister on Thursdays from 3pm – 7pm starting on May 21st.   I have never been to the summer market again because of work timing but I have been to the winter market on several occasions.  This is a well established market that makes it a must on anyone’s list.  Like the other markets along with a music stage they have a wide variety of local goodies to try from produce to local arts.

Next Post: More Garden Inspired Recipes