Meditations

Harvesting funds for the Farmers Market


RIPE-sunchokes

Sunchokes.

To be truthful, I’d never really spent much time at farmer’s markets until I moved about five blocks away from the one at Trout Lake. And, until I’d read books like Michael Pollan’s Ominvore’s Dilemma and especially Barbara Kingsolver’s Animal Vegetable Miracle, wasn’t fully invested in eating organic, in-season and local produce. To a degree, over the last few years and following the birth of my daughter, I’ve developed a real aversion to supermarket and processed foods. Sure, they still have a place in our diet somewhat and I would find it hard to invest $17 for nine cups of almond milk (all due respect to health reasons aside), but there’s no question our food decisions at home are being made with more than our wallets and pure convenience.

So there I was last Thursday night at RIPE, The Vancouver Farmers Market 1st annual fundraiser, billed as “a cocktail-style night of mingling, enjoying local food, drink and live entertainment with Vancouver foodie and farm friends.” That it was.

I was there with fellow Foodists Karen Hamilton, she armed with her DSLR and baby on board, me with an appetite and her drink ticket!

I had no expectations for the event really, though there was the promise of some interesting food supplied by local farmers and prepared by chefs Quang Dang and Robert Clark of C Restaurant. Being as into food as I am, sometimes it’s a little difficult to carry on a conversation with tasty morsels being circulated. Maybe it’s a combination of hunger and being afraid to miss something on the menu? Here’s a look:

  • Roasted Chilliwack corn with chive creme fraiche
  • Rare seared albacore tuna, green onion & granville island sake emulsion
  • Pickled beetroot, gratin of alpindon cheese
  • Braised beef shortrib, sweet & spicy, stonefruit chutney
  • Rare seared beef with marinated radish, sweet onion dressing
  • Smoked sablefish, pickled shallot & fava bean relish
  • Cherry tomatoes stuffed with fresh goat cheese and thyme
  • Spot prawn and tomato salad, marinated cucumbers
  • Herb cured salmon with slow roasted peppers
  • Sunchokes
  • Blueberry financier
  • Roasted peach shortbread
  • Raspberry flan

Keep in mind these were all small bites so we had to have several of each! Karen’s culinary highlights of the evening were the watermelon cubes with chili jelly and the raspberry marshmallows. I concur about the watermelon, enjoyed the beetroot with alpidon cheese, the sablefish and although it didn’t look like much on the platter, the blueberry financier. Also deserving of a special mention is the new and sustainable Turning Point Brewing Company pouring their Stanley Park 1897 Amber. I wish I’d known about it earlier this summer! Oh and next time I’m at Les Amis or see them at the market, I’m going to grab some of the Kootenay Alpine Cheese Co.’s Alpindon handcrafted organic cheese that is modeled after French Beaufort d’Alpage. Fabulous!

The silent auction did more than just fundraise – introducing us to several interesting businesses such as Home Grow-In and an artisan bakery that does lessons. Also on hand, Jamie Maw, MCing and signing copies of the just-released Vancouver Cooks 2 cookbook.

Proposed New City Vancouver Farmers Market permanent home. From the RIPE blog.

Proposed New City Vancouver Farmers Market permanent home. From the RIPE blog.

All this food and fun launches fundraising efforts to build a permanent, year-round home for the Farmers Market. It’s at least four plus years away from any kind of reality (though I think the City should partially fund it). Sure, there are a number of things that can be improved for future events, but hey, it was a decent start. Next time I’m walking through the parking lot at Trout Lake, or crammed into Wise Hall for the winter market I’m going to be dreaming of this wonderful new building that’s for sure.

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