Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Shake the hand that feeds you....

When I read the above quote in Michael Pollan's book, In Defense of Food, it was one of many inspiring comments that woke me up a bit more about the decisions I make when I buy food. If you are like me and you have only picked up this book recently, don't feel badly that you are jumping on the Pollan bandwagon a little later than some.
If you eat, you should read this book.
I plan to move on to The Omnivore's Dilemma although I think he wrote that one first...I'm going backwards.

However backwards I may be in my library of literature, I can say that I am taking more and more steps forward when it comes to local food. Who would guess that I would find a cute little farmer's market in my own backyard? Well, technically not in my backyard, but if you've ever been to Arnprior you'll know what I mean! The Arnprior Farmer's Market is held every Wednesday on Elgin Street until 2 pm and it features some of the Ottawa Valley's freshest produce and handmade food products.

I made some delicious purchases and enjoyed chatting with some of the local vendors. It is very inspiring to see this going on in my own little town! It is my hope that more people in the area will stop by and support these local farmers and food producers.

My purchases included a jar of pear and ginger jam from Chridomar Gardens & Tasty Treats. The jars were almost as cute as the name of this small business: Chri-do-mar stands for Chris, Dominique and Mark, the names of their children!

I also picked up an organic zucchini and a beautiful raw food dessert from Yesim Gumus, who is a natural foods cook in the area. She and her Mom were both there, and they showed off their homemade food along with local produce they picked themselves at organic farms in the area. It is inspiring to see a mother and daughter sharing their love of food and health and educating others on natural ways of eating.
You can check out Yesim's blog here.

On to Straw Hat Farms, where I picked up a patty pan squash, that eventually made it into a salad with my previously mentioned zucchini, some tomato, red onion and fresh basil. Yum!

How to end a healthy lunchtime shopping spree at the market?
With something sweet!
I opted for some wildflower honey from Ottawa Valley Honey. Mike the honey guy was a friendly dude who really showed a passion for his product. He even brought his own honeybees for an added visual effect.

Mike is also at the Landsdowne Farmer's Market as well, look out for him there if you are in Ottawa.

I bought my gorgeous, fresh raspberries from Laura at McGregor's Produce. They will definitely be joining that wildlower honey in my yogurt and granola tomorrow morning!

Having thoroughly enjoyed the fruits of my local farmers' labour, I suggest you also hit your local farmer's market and see what colourful, fresh and tasty things call out to you! You might also meet some colourful characters! Happy shopping!

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