Sunday, July 18, 2010

Elderkin's U-Pick: Strawberry fields forever

Strawberry 023"Let me take you down, 'cause I'm going to Strawberry Fields. Nothing is real and nothing to get hung about. Strawberry Fields forever."
The Beatles.

I was told it was too late in the season for picking strawberries.

I never was all that good at listening.

Strawberry 016So my foodie friend Kristen (of With Bite) and I went to Wolfville for the day anyway. After a visit to the Farmers Market, we stopped at one of three u-picks open that day. Our u-pick pick was Elderkins. We went to the store, grabbed our crate and wooden quart-sized boxes and made for the field across the way.

The occasional rain shower was a reprieve from the 30C hot and humid day. Not that it mattered much, those red dots peeking out of the bushes were beckoning.

We picked along, turning back leaves to reveal plump red juicy strawberries. The bigger berries could be found at the bottom due to their weight.

Strawberry 010Row upon row...roaming from patch to patch, it didn't take long before Kristen and I were at opposite ends of the field. Once in a while we'd shout out to one another, "oh boy, hit the jackpot here!" or "hello over-sized strawberry, of course you can come home with me!"

I was a good girl, I only popped three in my mouth (sorry Mr. Elderkin).

It was hard to pull away but one hour got us our bounty and the clouds looked like they were going to burst again.

There were still lots of unripe strawberries everywhere and Kristen and I figured there was still at least one week left of picking.

Glad I didn't listen.

See more photos on The Right Coast NS' Flickr page

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Wolfville Farmers' Market

Wolfville Farmers MarketOn a grey Saturday morning, with travel mugs perched in their cup holders, my friend Kristen of "with bite" drove highway 101 from Halifax to Wolfville. Valley girls, for the day.

Before passing by Domaine de Grand Pré and the beautiful Victorian homes just outside Wolfville, we made a pit stop at Just Us! Coffee Roasters for a re-fill. This coffee is my fav and there is always a bag in my cupboard.

The Wolfville Farmers' Market is pretty easy to find. Just follow the smells, the live music or anybody carrying canvas shopping bags.

Wolfville Farmers MarketThis is a market where fresh produce doesn't have to travel far. It is, after all, the Annapolis Valley, where those apples were picked in an orchard just down the road.

Last week, the Info Booth's featured item of the week was fennel. Fennel was just starting it's first week in season and samples of fresh fennel vichyssoise were available to taste. You could pick up a copy of fennel recipes with an ingredient checklist of items available right there at the market. Clever thinking.

Wolfville Farmers MarketAfter chowing down in one of the yummy cookies pictured above, Kristen and I watched Chef Michael Howell prepare a fabulous drink called Raspberry Lime Rickey (lime simple syrup, raspberry puree and soda water). You see, raspberries were also in season and a u-pick had recently opened nearby.

I was on a quest to find lavender jelly (August 2008 blog post) since I was down to my last teaspoon but was told the ladies weren't there that week. Kristen started her Christmas shopping at a jewelery booth.

Next, it was time for these two valley girls to find a strawberry u-pick. That blog post is coming up next.

For more information:
* Wolfville Farmers' Market
* Find them on Facebook
* See more Farmers Market photos on The Right Coast NS' Flickr page

About Wolfville:
Wolfville is the first fair trade town in Canada. The town is separated from the Minas Basin (part of the Bay of Fundy) by agricultural dykes which were built by Acadians in the 17th century. Wolfville Harbour is the smallest harbour in the world. It's the home of Acadia University. Go Axemen! (That was tough for me to type because I went to St. F.X.)