What’s On at the Farmers Market in February
Published on January 23, 2018
The days are getting longer and we all wait in bated breath for a new growing season to begin. To warm you up during the shortest month in the year, click through to celebrate all the fun things happening in February. From Groundhog Day to Valentine’s Day to the Lunar New Year, the shortest month is certainly not short on celebrations!
Saturday, February 3 | Sweet Potatoes & Groundhog Day
Every February we wait with bated breath for Wiarton Willie, our Ontarian groundhog representative, to let us know if winter will last another 6 weeks or if spring will come early. Let us hope for cloudy skies and no shadow, so that spring will spring early! Wiarton Willie is so famous that Wiarton, ON hosts an annual week-long Wiarton Willie Festival to celebrate the famous weather-predicting white woodchuck!
Now, what do Wiarton Willie and our ingredient of the week have in common? They both come out of the ground, of course! Sweet potatoes are rich in fibre, iron, calcium, selenium, vitamin B, vitamin C, and beta-carotene, which our bodies convert to vitamin A.
Although you may be most familiar with the orange variety, they also come in white, purple, or yellow. Purple sweet potatoes (also known as Okinawan sweet potatoes) are highest in antioxidants, but they can be harder to find compared to the more common orange variety.
Come visit Round Plains Plantation and try some of their baked goods using this orange superfood! Alternatively, you can also buy some whole and try the recipe below.
Hasselback Sweet Potatoes
- 4 medium sweet potatoes
- 5 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tsp finely chopped fresh thyme leaves
- 1 clove garlic, finely grated
- ¼ tsp salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Preheat the oven to 218°C (425°F).
- Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.
- Make a series of 5 mm slices along each sweet potato, slicing 2/3 of the way through
- Stir together olive oil, thyme, garlic, 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper in a small bowl. Rub the potatoes all over with the mixture, getting in between the slices.
- Place on the baking sheet and roast for 30 minutes.
- Remove the potatoes from the oven and run a fork gently across the tops of the potatoes, using light pressure, to fan the slices and separate them from one another.
- Roast for another 20-30 minutes, until the centre of the potatoes are tender and the outside is crisp.
Recipe adapted from The Food Network.
Saturday, February 10 | Valentine’s Day
Love is in the air! Whether you decide to celebrate Valentine’s Day as a single person, a couple, or a family, the Farmers Market is the perfect place to pick up a treat (or four!) for the occasion.
What is our top pick? Aside from preparing a scrumptious meal for your loved ones with wholesome ingredients from the market, another great way to celebrate is with chocolate!
Stop by Chocosol Traders to get your hands on their limited-release Mon Cherry D’Amour. Made with their best-selling 65% Vanilla Sea Salt chocolate, each square contains an organic dried cherry from Quebec. These cherries are soaked in apple juice before being dried, so they are extra sweet, extra juicy, and absolutely delicious.
Saturday, February 17 | Lunar New Year!
The Lunar New Year takes place on Friday, February 16 this year. You may be more familiar with the term ‘Chinese New Year’, but Lunar New Year in its various forms is celebrated as a holiday all over Asia!
The gathering together of loved ones and sharing in an abundance of food is a common theme, and specific dishes often have special meanings attached to them. Similar to a ‘Thanksgiving Turkey’ or a ‘Christmas Ham’, there is a variety of traditional dishes served during the holiday season. Here are 8 lucky foods to ring in the Chinese New Year.
In Tibet, where they celebrate Losar over the course of 3 days, momos are often served at Losar parties. One of the most well-known Tibetan dishes, making momos is often a family activity, emphasizing its importance as a dish during Losar. Celebrate the Lunar New Year with us and stop by the Local Food Court to pick up some momos from TCs Tibetan Momo! You can buy them freshly prepared or take a pack of frozen momos home with you.
February 24th | Wild Rice
Native to the Great Lakes region, Canadian wild rice grows in the shallow lakes and paddies of Northern Ontario, Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba. Wild Rice is low in fat and high in protein, fibre, vitamin B and minerals.
In Ojibwe, it is called manomin, or ‘gift from the creator’, and is a staple food for the Anishinaabe peoples. Even though we call it a rice, it is technically a grass. The edible grains grow on large stalks that can reach 3m tall; when ripe, these grains are easy to shake off the stalk. Traditionally, harvesters guide canoes under stalks and shake them loose to harvest. Visit this external website to learn more about Canadian Wild Rice.
At the Saturday Farmers Market, Forbes Wild Foods carries certified organic Saskatchewan Wild Rice, and Earth Haven Farm brings in wild rice throughout the winter. Check out the recipe below for tips from The Kitchn on how to cook the perfect wild rice on stovetop, and delight in its nutty flavour.
Stovetop Wild Rice
- 1 cup wild rice
- 4 cups stock
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- Place wild rice in a fine-mesh strainer and rinse in sink under cold running water. Shake to drain.
- Place rice in saucepan and add 4 cups of stock and salt (unless stock is already salted). Bring to a boil over high heat.
- When water has reached a boil, lower the heat to maintain a slow but steady simmer and cover the pan.
- Cook at a simmer for 45 minutes. Check the rice. It should be chewy and some of the grains will have burst open. It may need an additional 10 to 15 minutes — stop cooking when grains are tender.
- When rice is cooked, pour into a strainer to drain off any remaining liquid.
- Fluff the rice with a fork and serve.
Recipe adapted from The Kitchn.
We are also excited to share some great news from Aric at Earth Haven Farm. Last December, Aric won the Carrot Cache Innovation Prize for his garlic bed preparation tool. Made by repurposing a large old spool and dowels, Aric shows us that innovation does not necessitate expensive, and can be eco-friendly as well!