Up here in Canada, we wait all winter for summer and then summer just zips on by and we wonder where it went. We are too busy running hither and tither to take the time to smell the roses (or little purple weedy flowers) and pick the goodness from the earth while abundant and ripe. I am ashamed to say it but I have not yet been on a proper shop at my local Farmer's Markets. I blame it on the fact that I have been teaching cooking classes once or twice a week for the past eight weeks. With my classes, I always need a certain list of things and though I try and roll on the local train as much as possible, it's a bit tough when sticking with a set menu plan and recipes.
My classes, however, are done for the season and it is now time to make hay while the sun is shining... or get the local goodies while they are growing. Last weekend, before I headed up to see Melanie, I spent the afternoon with Josh, walking through the woods, trying to identify the plants and daring each other to eat potentially poisonous mushrooms (since mushrooms can really do one of three things- kill us, heal us or make us hallucinate- I thought the odds were in our favour. Josh wasn't buying what I was selling).
That would be Josh looking at the red-ant infested flowers, that I had just dived straight into to smell and admire.
We did come upon a beautiful patch of wild strawberries that we picked and ate- fresh out of the woods... One of us may have completely spazzed at the site of the bumble-bee (hint: it wasn't me).
The moral of the story here is to get out this summer, explore the area around you, harvest your neighbour's raspberries if they aren't doing it, and check out your local Farmer's market. Buy what's in season, when it is at its' peak both nutritionally and flavourally. Cook it minimally and enjoy it wholly!
Here is a list of resources I recommend for sourcing out local food near you:
- You Are Where You Eat
- Not Far From The Tree
- Field Trip
- Farmer's Market Ontario
- Canadian Farmer's Market Directory
- Vegetarian Directory
And for my American friends
If you have some additional links to add, please post below. Happy harvesting and have a great Summer Solstice weekend. Will have a weekly round-up ready for you tomorrow and a new post to come on Monday and a rather HUGE announcement next week.