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By BC Association of Farmers Markets The BC growing season is in full swing, and you can experience the palette of summer with a trip to some of the 145+ BC farmers’ markets. Whether you’re headed here on a weekend with family or friends, or taking the summer to explore Canada’s West Coast, here’s everything you need to build a farmers’ market visit into your summer travels across the province. Step 1: Know your BC farmers’ markets With over 145 BC farmers’ markets across the province, you’re sure to discover more than a few that you’ll love to return to year after year. This helpful BC Farmers’ Market Finder tool will help you make the tough choices (popsicles in White Rock, or honey in Richmond?) and you might be surprised to see how easy it is to access more than one farmers’ market closer to home. Here’s a tip: BC…

By Anna Black If you’ve been keen to get your hands on a nice crisp bundle of local-grown savoury asparagus your wait is almost over. Considered one of the delicacies of the vegetable world, asparagus will make its debut back onto the shelves of grocers, and menus of local eateries starting in May. The supply of fresh asparagus won’t last long though so catch it while you can! The normal growing season is very short in the Vancouver area, lasting only until the end of June. A great source of vitamins A and C, potassium, iron and calcium, asparagus is available in over twenty varieties grouped by color: green (the most common), white, and violet. Regardless of color, all varieties taste delicious no matter how they are prepared. When selecting your asparagus, look for bundles where the tips are tightly furled and perky rather than limp. The shoots should also…

By Jaclyn Jularbal Right in the heart of Squamish Nation on Vancouver’s North Shore, lies the PR Bannock Factory – a catering business and food trailer owned and operated by Chef Paul Natrall. Paul began his cooking career a decade ago as a teen involved with the Cook Street Café, a six month program for youth on Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside. His love for preparing meals led him to enroll and graduate from the Aboriginal Culinary Arts program at Vancouver Community College, where Paul launched his career specializing in traditional Indigenous cuisines. The dream to start his own business came into fruition after finding success as part of Team Canada’s Culinary Team in the 2012 World Culinary Olympics. Though he’s been working professionally for just a decade his journey to owning his own business has been much longer. Paul’s love for cooking started when he was just a boy. “I’ve been…

By Jaclyn Jularbal When you talk about west coast cuisine, the first thing that comes to mind is usually salmon – baked, smoked, candied, and cured. So many species of salmon have flourished around BC and for centuries Indigenous communities across the province have been dishing them up deliciously. Chef Paul Natrall of Squamish Nation has been specializing in Indigenous cuisines for over 5 years. After his graduation from the Aboriginal Culinary Arts program at Vancouver Community College, he takes a special interest in creating the most unique flavours of salmon candy. His catering business, the PR Bannock Factory, serves up delicious bags by the pound at local farmers markets and on order all-year round. Salmon candy gets its flavouring from the salt and brown sugar used to flavour it. Left overnight the wet fish texture changes and becomes ready for its next steps towards becoming the almost syrup-like candied…

By Nikki Hillman According to the BC Farmers Market Association, White Rock Farmers Market is the “best large market in B.C.” and once you visit, it’s pretty clear the title is well deserved. While there are the regular items on display such as fresh fruit and vegetables from local farms, artisanal treats, and jewelry, this farmers market offers something a little different. We parked the car on a quiet side street, just a block down from Johnston Ave, and wandered up to the market. As we walked we were serenaded by live music broadcast from an area we couldn’t see and yet it was like the sirens of the ocean calling us. I decided to check out the “T” part of the layout of the market and in the process, my husband went off on his own. At first, it was overwhelming to step into the hub bub, but as…

By Kathy Mak To truly experience an authentic slice of local life, you can’t get more local than the neighbourhood farmers markets. Whether you’re shopping or browsing, each of the numerous markets showcases genuinely local products and proprietors from all over the Valley. Immerse yourself in sampling seasonal and fresh fare, gourmet treats, and artisanal delights that have been prepared or produced with a regional spin.   Half the fun is being part of the market’s social scene and friendly atmosphere. Chat with other food enthusiasts and meet small-scale but passionate food artisans. You’re certain to enjoy the stories or inspirations behind their unique products. Without a doubt, you’ll be glad you sampled and supported local flavours! On any given Wednesday to Sunday (May to October), there are numerous outdoor farmers markets in and around Vancouver communities. With so many choices, you may want to explore a market a day or…