The Farmers Market run by Downtown Biz at the MB Hydro building is now in it’s 4th year. Not surprisingly it continues to evolve and change. Old vendors leave and new vendors and fresh food arrive. This year has seen several new stalls appear. I won’t be going over all of them, but a few of them are making the market more interesting. Hours for the market are 10 am – 3 pm.
The Bar Lady:
Fresh food can definitely include chocolate. One of my frequent stops this year has been at The Bar Lady table. These small, rich chocolate bars are a delight. They are dark and creamy, without being overly sweet. My preferred bar is the Cashew. However, I like all the flavours I’ve tried. These bars also come with an interesting backstory. Chelsea Szachury, The Bar Lady, started selling them to pay off her students loans. One of these bars is a must have every time I stop by the market. The bars are marketed as being “healthy, vegan, gluten-free, dairy-free, and 100% addictive.” I think the first four descriptors could be dropped entirely. 100% addictive is all that you need to know.
One other thing to know. These bars melt very quickly, so store them in a cool place. I get around this by eating the bar immediately upon purchase.
Fresh Produce From Hearts and Roots
Hearts and Roots is a small farm located just outside of Elie. Run by Justin and Britt, they focus on:
Hearts & Roots is a small-scale, spray-free vegetable, fruit and flower farm. We’re situated 3 km south of Elie, Manitoba, right on the La Salle River. We grow quality produce on five acres without the use of synthetic fertilizers, pesticides or herbicides prohibited by organic standards. All of our seed is either organic or untreated and none of the species are GMO. The farm is committed to responsible agriculture and the role it plays in an inspired community.
On my first visit the stall consisted mainly of fresh micro and leafy greens. I bought some Sorrel. I’d never tried it before, and thought it might be interesting. I found that uncooked it was quite acidic, and would probably only use a little bit to add to a mixed green salad for flavour contrast. However, looking into it a little further I found out that it cooks down real well. I added it to some pork I was frying, and it made something approaching a roux. The cooking also took much of the acidic flavour out of the plant.
The next time I went by there were more vegetables. I picked up a zucchini and a purple pepper. Both exhibited good firmness. The zucchini in particular had good crunch and a good density without a lot of excess moisture. Not only that, but the zucchini and pepper combined only cost $1.25.
Amanda Lynn Gluten-Free Perogies a great Fresh Food Option
As one would expect, Gluten-Free Perogies don’t come cheap. However, I did a little looking around, and Amanda Lynn’s are comparably priced with any on the market. The best part is you can’t tell they are gluten-free. The texture and the flavour are the same as any gluten-filled variety. I bought the onion and dill and you could taste both.
There are a few other items I want to add. However, I will leave them for another post. I found all of these at the Downtown MB Hydro Market, but they are in many places. Take the time to visit your local Farmers Markets. You are bound to find many fresh and pleasant surprises.