Wednesday, 10 December 2014

A Look Back at Our First Season of Sprouts


Sprouts was a new initiative that we started at the market this season. A children’s nutrition program, it was designed to empower kids to make their own healthy eating decisions, to educate them about where their food comes from, and to encourage them to lead a healthy lifestyle.

Each week that children came to market, they picked up a wooden token that was worth $2 and spent it on fruit, vegetables or food plants, entering into a dialogue with farmers. Sprouts families also received child-friendly recipes each week that were designed to teach basic cooking skills and get children more involved in meal prep and planning at home.

Developing our Sprouts program this year was one of the most rewarding things we did at the market. It was wonderful seeing the joy with which the children picked up their tokens, the pride with which they spent them, and the sense of ownership with which they reported back on their experiences to our Sprouts volunteers. Empowering children to make wise nutritional decisions, felt really good.

Our youngest Market Volunteer!
The neat thing about the Sprouts Program was the set of unexpected outcomes that happened. We had one Sprout who loved being a Sprout so much that he asked to volunteer at a market in September. Our youngest market volunteer yet, he brought along his Lego men to help, and he sat at the Sprouts table with one of our high school volunteers, handing out tokens (while his mom and brother stayed nearby, handing out food bank info flyers to shoppers). Apparently, it was his idea… and he didn’t want his mom’s help! So the program itself both modelled and inspired volunteerism.

Siblings also worked together to make bigger purchases. Time and again we saw brothers and sisters pooling their tokens to make a larger item purchase together. There were the brothers who showed up every week, no matter what the weather, who wanted to grow mint for their smoothies. There were the sisters who bought a basil plant for their backyard garden.

Then, there were about a dozen Sprouts families who, on the day that we hosted our annual Plant A Row, Grow A Row harvest collection for Edmonton’s Food Bank, pooled their tokens and bought vegetables to donate that day. Our market, and our sponsors’ act of giving tokens to the children, inspired them to turn around and give to those who were less fortunate. That came as a big surprise to us! Our Sprouts were learning at a young age how to contribute and how to build community. And it was the Sprouts program that was the vehicle for that important life lesson.

Sprouts also drew attention to the bones of our market: those hard-working fruit and veggie farmers. We were thrilled with the way they jumped on board. Every single fruit, veggie or food plant farmer wanted in on the program, even though we were asking them to make concessions to the children to make their $2 token go farther: concessions that would cost them money. We never had to convince them.

Leona of S4 and her generous idea!
At the very first market day of the season, for example, S4 Greenhouses brought little bags made up especially for the Sprouts filled with a cucumber and a rainbow assortment of mini tomatoes: a generous amount of product, thoughtfully packaged just for the kids! Then later in the season, they began a game of hide n’ seek with our Sprouts, decorating mutant vegetables with googly eyes and hiding these characters in different places in their stall each week for our Sprouts to find. They were so thrilled when, at the last market, one of our Sprout hoarders came and spent 10 of his tokens at their booth.

Being nature’s candy, we assumed that most children would go for fruit, once the fruit farmers showed up on the scene in June. But there were a significant number of children who continued to spend their tokens on food plants and vegetables. The veggie farmers were positioned farther away from the Sprouts check-in tent than the fruit ones were, in the market’s layout. By choosing veggies over fruit, not only were the kids consciously holding out for those veggies, they weren’t getting sidetracked in their determination by impulsivity. That was very impressive!

This Sprout made a game of hiding his purchase and
making our volunteers guess what he had chosen when
he reported in at the Sprouts table.
One of the things that we see as our mandate, with our market’s focus on community development, is that we give our volunteers a quality volunteering experience. Working with the Sprouts program, and seeking out and interviewing a Sprout of the Week, were some of those gems. The children who were being interviewed loved the attention: they felt valued. Articulating what and why they did something reinforced a child’s behaviour, so the parents loved the attention that their kids were getting because it reinforced the healthy eating values that they were trying to impart to them. The volunteers loved engaging the children in a meaningful dialogue, and it gave them an opportunity to establish a relationship with the Sprouts families, making their volunteering feel meaningful and rewarding. And those hopscotch patterns leading up to the check in table? Why, they got more and more elaborate and creative each week!

We were so thrilled with these, and many other positive outcomes. This year was our pilot year for Sprouts… a year to see whether or not we could get the program off the ground, fund it, and run it successfully and creatively. We were able to open up the program up, in stages, to over 400 children, thanks to the generosity of our sponsors. And we are most definitely running it again next year!

A great big thank-you goes out to Dr. Darcy Dietz of Towne Square Orthodontics, who gave us a generous donation that let us get the Sprouts program off the ground this year, and to all of our market sponsors. Without these financial sponsorships from the community, we could not run our creative programming at the market.



This winter, we will be working together to figure out ways to open up the program to more children each week. If you would like to sponsor our Sprouts program, we welcome your financial help! See our website for creative ideas and opportunities that we have created for you at http://www.swefm.ca/become-a-sponsor.html. Help us reach even more children!


Monday, 10 November 2014

Season Wrap-Up 2014

The snows have arrived and are here to stay and our market’s 4th season has, sadly, drawn to a close. The SWEFM Board, volunteers and vendors would like to send a big thank you out to the community that has supported it so well throughout the season, and to the sponsors that have contributed so generously, allowing the market to develop innovative programs and fun experiences for the community at large. The market has survived and thrived through stormy weather (remember that emergency take down and all that spring rainy weather?), cold temperatures, blissful sunshine and extreme heat… all part of the fun when it comes to an outdoor market!

The market’s goal is to create a community gathering place for the residents of Southwest Edmonton, connecting local farmers, producers and artisans who provide fresh, locally grown and made food and hand-made goods, with the people of Southwest Edmonton, fostering relationships that create a greater sense of community and a stronger local economy. This year saw a few changes happen to the market scene that helped to develop this vision:

Sprouts was a brand new initiative at the market, designed to provide children with nutritional food choices, to empower them to make their own healthy eating decisions, to educate kids about where their food comes from, and to encourage them to lead a healthy lifestyle. It was a tremendous success, seeing over 400 children registered in the program, each receiving $2 wooden tokens to spend on fruits, vegetables and food plants every time they visited the market. The families of children enrolled in the program received weekly emails with recipes designed especially for children to encourage them to experiment in the kitchen, to develop cooking skills, and to take part in family meal prep at home. Over the winter the SWEFM Board will be tinkering with the program to make it more accessible to a greater number of children and families next year.

Nutrition Tours & Experience This! The market is a tremendous vehicle for education and contributes greatly to the physical health of the community at large. Experience This! was a new weekly market experience that helped inform and inspire. Rooted at the SWEFM Information Tent, it highlighted special items brought to market by participating vendors, and encouraged them to have fun and think outside the box when it came to creating and bringing their specialties to our market. Chelsey and Ann, U of A Nutrition students, took market patrons on tours of the market, showing them hidden nutrition gems and helped our shoppers navigate the seemingly complex world of dietary issues. Using themes like Fat Is Your Friend and Protein Power, they provided a wealth of information about making sound nutritional choices, eating gluten free, dealing with food allergies and helping with weight loss.

Buskers The busking line-up was greatly expanded this year to include a wealth of musical talent. From accomplished TRAC Youth Talent Show performers through to a skilled accordion player, acoustic guitar experts, a raspy blues singer and a full-on Ukrainian band, musicians added greatly to the atmosphere of the market. We also added other skilled street performers. Three talented balloon artists and Lady Dolphin, the ever-popular face painter, entertained children at most markets. The Free Will Players came and had their break-out stage fights, the Cheerific Cheer Team did demos, the Sunny Girl Statue came alive when coins were dropped in her watering can and Miranda tossed fireballs around and escaped from her straight jacket.

The Community Tent became a place for residents to connect with the people who are changing the face of Edmonton’s southwest. It hosted Premier Dave Hancock, the River Valley Alliance (responsible for building a comprehensive river valley trail system that includes the new footbridge being built in Terwillegar Park), University of Alberta researchers, the Terwillegar Spray Park organizers, and a host of health & community promoters, along with its usual community league participants. There are a lot of very active and inspiring volunteers in our community, striving to make our City an amazing place in which we can all live, work and play.

Food Trucks have become an important part of SWEFM’s community scene, providing a great reason for people to gather together, connecting over a tasty, easy meal. Bully and Yellowbird Café were two resident food trucks that brought creative and healthy meal options to the market each week. This season saw the creation of one rotating spot for trucks such as Knosh, Drift and La Poutine that introduced variety to the food scene at the market. And a 4th truck was added during the busy summer months.

Plant A Row, Grow A Row. The market was once again the harvest collection site for the food bank in our city and added a second date this year to its lineup. Shoppers and gardeners could now contribute fresh, nutrient dense real food to those in need of assistance in our community on the last Wednesdays of August and September. Even our Sprouts got in on the donations, using their wooden tokens to purchase fresh fruit and vegetables to donate. We collected 900lbs of fresh food to the Edmonton Food Bank thanks to the generosity of our local community!

Volunteers  will always be the heart and soul of this community project, offering up their expertise, time, creativity and tremendous community spirit to the market. Part of the SWEFM vision this year included giving young people a quality volunteering experience to help them become the leaders of tomorrow. A number of university and high school students came out tirelessly each and every week, contributing tremendous sweat and heart, and helped with a wealth of tasks in many roles.

Should you, or an organization that you represent, want to become more involved in our local market scene or have ideas or feedback to contribute, please contact us through www.swefm.ca.

Thank-you to those of you who took the time to fill out our online survey. We are using your input and ideas to develop and tweak things behind the scenes to make our 2015 season even better than this year!

See you next season!

Tuesday, 7 October 2014

Fresh Sheet: October 8, 2014

 
A bittersweet farewell (for now)!
Join us WEDNESDAY in the Terwillegar Recreation Center Parking Lot from 4:30-7:30

Please join us for our final market of the season! This week will be the perfect market to stroll the market for the last time in 2014, buy your Thanksgiving groceries, and enjoy a warm dinner from a food truck. Be sure to stop by the info tent to say goodbye (for now!) to our wonderful volunteers, board members, and market manager. We would like to take the time to thank each and every one of you for supporting our market this season. Without you, it would not be such a success!

SWEFM is constantly working to improve our market to support our community. We would absolutely love your feedback on what we're doing right and what could be improved at market for next season, so please complete our Customer Survey. As a thank you for completing the survey, you will have the opportunity to enter a draw to win $30 in SWEFM Market Bucks! Please complete the survey here.

For market shopping tips, be sure to check out this page to ensure your market visit is everything it should be. And remember, please leave Fido at home- no dogs are allowed where food is being served!   


Servus Credit Union, a sponsor of the Southwest Edmonton Farmers’ Market will be on site this week.
Servus will have their ‘Monster Head Knockdown’ challenge.  Take a shot and try to knock down these terrifying and troublesome monsters.  If you defeat a monster, you will WIN a prize! Also, Servus staff will be on-site this week to provide tailored advice to your financial needs.  If you come into a branch for an appointment, you will get a $50 gift card.  Come by the Servus tent to learn more!
 

The Sprouts Program for kids will be accepting new children for the rest of the season. Families can always access the Sprouts recipes online!  For more information on the Sprouts Program and to see the Sprouts recipes for kids, click here.

We ask all Sprouts who have been saving their tokens over the summer to redeem them in the next two weeks! Tokens received in the 2014 season will not be valid in 2015. 

New this week are Sprouts Cutting Boards, handmade by SWEFM vendor Prairie Cedar Creations! Support our Sprouts program and give your child a gift that will encourage them to continue to cook at home at the same time! Made from natural bamboo, these cutting boards are hand-branded with the Sprouts logo and made for little kitchen helpers. They'll be available at the Sprouts table for $16 each. 

Simply Supper loves the Sprouts program so much they've sponsored our Sprouts Recipe of the Week again! All Sprouts who visit the Sprouts table this week will receive another free packet of Simply Supper Spice Mix to use in the recipe below. Simply Supper is a great supporter of SWEFM and our Sprouts, having been a vendor at market for most of the summer. They allow busy families to make healthy and easy meals together, something we all should do more of! To learn more about Simply Supper and their great offerings, visit www.simplysupper.ca. 



Steve & Dan's B.C. Fruit will be bringing their delicious peaches, nectarines, fresh apples, cherries, berries, dehydrated fruit and apple juice this week. 
AIG Produce brings their wonderful cherries, berries and peaches to market directly from Osoyoos, one of Canada's premier fruit-growing regions. 

 

With everything in season, now is the perfect time to try a new vegetable or a new recipe. The vegetable vendors joining us this week are: 

Dargatz Family Farm will be at market this week with their fantastic cherry tomatoes, mini peppers, potatoes, carrots, squash and more. 
The Plot will be with us again this week, bringing fresh-made ketchup and relish, along with homemade preserves and some heirloom tomatoes (if we're lucky!).  
Holden Colony brings their whole bounty to market week after week! Expect a variety of fresh vegetables including kale, lettuce, onions, peppers, tomatoes, potatoes and garlic, along with other staples like eggs, frozen chickens, honey, and preserves.
Riverbend Gardens will be bringing their winter squash, carrots, Red Banana, Ama Rosa, and Mozart Potatoes, beets, cabbage, kale, coloured cauliflower and onions this week!
S4 Greenhouses will be at market this week with their fantastic tomatoes, peppers, lettuces, beans and cucumbers. They make adorable $2 mixed bags just for our Sprouts!


We believe in meat raised using ethical, sustainable methods, and our meat vendors do too! If you're looking for some delicious meat products, look no further:
Sunworks Farm will be bringing their ethically-raised meats for you to enjoy this week. From full chickens to their ever-popular sausages, Sunworks is your new favourite meat destination!

 

Who doesn't like delicious baked goods? Our vendors have great items, from sweet and soft cupcakes to salty squares made with cheezies, to wholesome bread made with freshly milled flour. With gluten-free and nut-free bakers, there's something for every lover of baking at SWEFM! The bakers joining us this week are:

Cakes by Oma will be joining us this week with her wonderful European cakes made with real butter, cream, fresh fruit and custard.
Sweet Stuff will be bringing her wonderful mini and full-sized cupcakes in a variety of flavours, along with her oatmeal raisin cookies that are perfect with a cold glass of milk.
Confetti Sweets will be at market again this week with their awesome cookies. If you haven't tried the coconut cookie yet, you're missing out!
Prairie Mill Baking Co. makes all of their breads the morning of market day with fresh-milled flour and wholesome ingredients. 

 

We know you lead busy lives, and our ready-to-eat food vendors are here to help! With options from Turkish to Indian to vegan to sweet, these vendors always have something to help you satisfy a quick craving or serve dinner to your family. Our ready-to-eat vendors joining us this week are: 

Honest Dumplings will be at market with their absolutely wonderful and healthy dumplings. Ray uses fresh ingredients to colour and fill her products, so be sure to ask her all about her process!
Theo's Greek Kouzina will be bringing their wonderful pitas, dips, and olives to market this week. Make a wrap with fresh market vegetables and their tzatziki for a healthy lunch this week!

 

Market shopping for local foods can leave you feeling hungry! Our food truck and concession line up is the perfect way to end your evening at market, with healthy and indulgent options that are sure to satisfy everyone. The food trucks joining us this week are:

Sailin' On will be at market, serving up their ever-popular vegan fare. If you're looking for a vegetable-packed treat, try their BLT wrap made with coconut bacon!
Knosh Catering is back this week (by special request!) and will be serving some Thanksgiving-themed U.K. comfort food.
Yellowbird Cafe Truck is back again this week, serving a wide variety of Japanese dishes to SWEFM guests. If you're looking for a dinner option to fill you up, Yellowbird is a great choice! 
Bully Food Truck is a SWEFM staple and will be offering their fantastic comfort food again this week. Try their Locker Room Burger to support a good cause!
Fat Franks is back and will be ready to serve you their delicious hot dogs and smokies with all the fixings! 
Original Canadian Kettle Corn will be serving up their freshly-popped kettle corn at market this week! If kettle corn isn't your thing, they also have salty popcorn for the crunch without the sweetness!



Farmers' markets are the perfect place to find high-quality, handmade products. Our artisan vendors are incredibly talented and love to share information about their crafts. From soap to jewelry and fashion, they're all worth a visit:

Ada's Soap Shop will be at market with his beautiful handcrafted soap, made with all-natural ingredients. 

See you at market!

Visit our website at http://www.swefm.ca
Like us on Facebook! https://www.facebook.com/swefm.ca
Write a review on TripAdvisor http://www.tripadvisor.ca/Attraction_Review-g154914-d6698177-Reviews-Southwest_Edmonton_Farmers_Market-Edmonton_Alberta.html

Friday, 3 October 2014

Recipe: Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

so what's so great about eating pumpkins? 
Never has a vegetable provided so much fun and been eaten so rarely. For so long, we have associated pumpkins only with Hallowe'en's jack'o lanterns or Thanksgiving's pumpkin pie. However, it is a veggie that the 150 Healthiest Foods on Earth says is a really great, overlooked vegetable that is ridiculously low in calories while very high in potassium and vitamin A, not to mention the beta-carotene that is typically found in all orange foods.

Potassium works with sodium in our bodies to maintain water balance. People who have diets that are high in potassium have lower blood pressure (you can also get good doses of potassium from popular foods like bananas, though pumpkins have far more, per calorie, than that tropical fruit). So increasing potassium in your diet helps to ward off hypertension. It seems that the more potassium you take in, the more sodium you excrete... something that's important in our Western, industrialized, processed food exposed, salt-heavy diets.

Pumpkin is the generic name for any winter squash
that is round in shape, usually rigid, and bright
orange in colour, like these from Dargatz Family Farm.
what else?

  • Increasing your potassium intake decreases your risk of stroke.
  • Increasing your potassium intake increases your bone mineral density.
  • Increasing your potassium intake when you exercise helps to ward off muscle cramping.
  • Pumpkins contain beta-cryptoxanthin which can reduce the risk of lung and colon cancers along with rheumatoid arthritis.
  • Pumpkins contain lutein and zeaxanthin which are vision-protecting superstars.

One more thing to remember... carotenoids need dietary fat for absorption in our bodies. And while a small amount of olive oil or butter would be a better choice, nutritionally speaking, to help us get the most of our digestion of pumpkin, the butter in these cookies does the trick!

how to choose a pumpkin
Thankfully, for your waist line, the dough does
not taste very good...
According to Pete Luckett, of The Greengrocer's Kitchen, gigantic pumpkins won't be very sweet, and the small ones that fit into your palm aren't worthwhile to cook with either. Instead, buy fresh pumpkins that are heavy for their size with smooth, unblemished skin and no mould. A fresh pumpkin will last up to a month when stored in a cool, dark place. And once cut, the pieces should be covered in plastic wrap and used within the week.

how make pumpkin purée
This is SO easy! And once you make your own, you'll find it is so much tastier (not to mention cheaper on the grocery budget) than canned pumpkin!

Split the pumpkin lengthwise and scrape out the seeds and fibrous bits. I like to use a spoon with a sharp edge to do this. Place one half, cut side down, in a shallow baking dish. Add 2 tablespoons of water and cover with plastic wrap. Cook on high of 12-15 minutes, until tender. Let stand, covered, for 5 minutes. Remove the plastic, cool, scrape out the pumpkin and purée either in a blender, a food processor or in a bowl with an immersion blender. Repeat with the other half pumpkin.

pumpkin chocolate chip cookies 
These pumpkin cookies have been a favourite around our house for almost 2 decades now. The recipe came from a child's Halloween craft book that we took out of the library when my daughter was quite young. The cookies are very moist, and almost cake-like in texture. They are not your typical cookie, but they are unbelievably delicious. They're also not a glamorous cookie... never perfectly shaped they're like the ugly duckling of cookies. This is an easy recipe that you just can't mess up!
The smell of these cookies coming out of the oven is
so good! 
ingredients
½ c. butter
¾ c. brown sugar
¼ c. molasses
1 egg
1 c. pumpkin, canned or roasted & mashed
2 c. flour
½ t. baking soda
1 t. baking powder
1 t. cinnamon
½ t. nutmeg
1 c. mini chocolate chips 

directions
Preheat oven to 350F. Cream butter & brown sugar together. Add molasses. Stir in egg. Add pumpkin. Put all dry ingredients into the bowl except chocolate chips and mix together well. Add chocolate chips.

Bake 10-12 minutes. Cookies should still be very soft in the centre so that they come out soft & chewy & cakey.

where can you find ingredients at our market?
Recipe from a child's Halloween craft book that we took out of the library when my daughter was very young. Purée recipe form The Green Grocers' Kitchen, by Pete Luckett, p. 115.
Nutritional Information from The 150 Healthiest Foods on Earth, by Jonny Bowden and The Greengrocer's Kitchen, by Pete Luckett
Visit our website at http://www.swefm.ca
Like us on Facebook! https://www.facebook.com/swefm.ca
Write a review of us on Trip Advisor: SWEFM on Trip Advisor

Contributed by Sheri Hendsbee

Tuesday, 30 September 2014

Fresh Sheet: October 1, 2014

 
  Only two more weeks to visit your community market!
Join us WEDNESDAY in the Terwillegar Recreation Center Parking Lot from 4:30-7:30

Autumn is definitely upon us, and now is the perfect time to start practicing recipes for Thanksgiving. With squash, zucchini, beets, potatoes, pumpkins and other fall vegetables piled high at our vendors' tables, there's enough fresh food for everyone to enjoy. Be sure to savour the last of the summer fruit this week, too, as our fruit vendors will still have a few baskets of strawberries, grapes, nectarines and peaches for us to enjoy. 

SWEFM is constantly working to improve our market to support our community. We would absolutely love your feedback on what we're doing right and what could be improved at market for next season, so please complete our Customer Survey. As a thank you for completing the survey, you will have the opportunity to enter a draw to win $30 in SWEFM Market Bucks! Please complete the survey here.

For market shopping tips, be sure to check out this page to ensure your market visit is everything it should be. And remember, please leave Fido at home- no dogs are allowed where food is being served!   


The River City Chickens Collective will be in the Community Tent this week, providing information about the Urban Hen Pilot with the City of Edmonton. 

The River City Chickens Collective is an informal group of citizens who have been promoting bylaw change to permit backyard hens in Edmonton since 2007. We are very pleased that the City has now approved a pilot project which will see a dozen families enjoying keeping up to 8 chickens in their backyards for the next year. If this goes smoothly Edmonton may soon join other major cities, such as New York, Vancouver, Guelph, and Red Deer, in allowing residents to enjoy these personable creatures, and the fresh eggs that they lay, on a permanent basis.

River City Chickens continues to advocate for chickens and provides information and education about keeping hens in an urban environment. Please check their website or Facebook page for details of a “Chickens 101” workshop on Sunday, October 5th.


  

The Sprouts Program for kids will be accepting new children for the rest of the season. Families can always access the Sprouts recipes online!  For more information on the Sprouts Program and to see the Sprouts recipes for kids, click here.

We ask all Sprouts who have been saving their tokens over the summer to redeem them in the next two weeks! Tokens received in the 2014 season will not be valid in 2015.


Steve & Dan's B.C. Fruit will be bringing their delicious peaches, nectarines, fresh apples, cherries, berries, dehydrated fruit and apple juice this week. 
AIG Produce brings their wonderful cherries, berries and peaches to market directly from Osoyoos, one of Canada's premier fruit-growing regions. 

 

With everything in season, now is the perfect time to try a new vegetable or a new recipe. The vegetable vendors joining us this week are: 

Dargatz Family Farm will be at market this week with their fantastic cherry tomatoes, mini peppers, potatoes, carrots, squash and more. 
The Plot will be with us again this week, bringing fresh-made ketchup and relish, along with carrots, beets, golden beets, mixed potatoes, green onions, white onions, zucchini, heirloom tomatoes, basil and dill.  
Holden Colony brings their whole bounty to market week after week! Expect a variety of fresh vegetables including kale, lettuce, onions, peppers, tomatoes, potatoes and garlic, along with other staples like eggs, frozen chickens, honey, and preserves.
Riverbend Gardens will be bringing their winter squash, carrots, Red Banana, Ama Rosa, and Mozart Potatoes, beets, cabbage, kale, coloured cauliflower and onions this week!
S4 Greenhouses will be at market this week with their fantastic tomatoes, peppers, lettuces, beans and cucumbers. They make adorable $2 mixed bags just for our Sprouts!


We believe in meat raised using ethical, sustainable methods, and our meat vendors do too! If you're looking for some delicious meat products, look no further:


Sunworks Farm will be bringing their ethically-raised meats for you to enjoy this week. From full chickens to their ever-popular sausages, Sunworks is your new favourite meat destination!

 

Who doesn't like delicious baked goods? Our vendors have great items, from sweet and soft cupcakes to salty squares made with cheezies, to wholesome bread made with freshly milled flour. With gluten-free and nut-free bakers, there's something for every lover of baking at SWEFM! The bakers joining us this week are:

Sweet Stuff will be bringing her wonderful mini and full-sized cupcakes in a variety of flavours, along with her oatmeal raisin cookies that are perfect with a cold glass of milk.
Confetti Sweets will be at market again this week with their awesome cookies. If you haven't tried the coconut cookie yet, you're missing out!
Prairie Mill Baking Co. makes all of their breads the morning of market day with fresh-milled flour and wholesome ingredients. 

 

We know you lead busy lives, and our ready-to-eat food vendors are here to help! With options from Turkish to Indian to vegan to sweet, these vendors always have something to help you satisfy a quick craving or serve dinner to your family. Our ready-to-eat vendors joining us this week are: 

Honest Dumplings will be at market with their absolutely wonderful and healthy dumplings. Ray uses fresh ingredients to colour and fill her products, so be sure to ask her all about her process!
Cakes by Oma will be joining us this week with her wonderful European cakes made with real butter, cream, fresh fruit and custard. 
Peter's Lakeview Farms has the freshest saskatoon berries, jams and pies in Edmonton! With their chemical-free saskatoons picked fresh and baked directly into their delicious pies, there's no going wrong with a slice alongside some vanilla ice cream!
Mini Kitchen makes fantastic Indian and Thai food for you to take home, heat and serve. If you haven't already, be sure to pick up her delicious samosas with dip! 
Theo's Greek Kouzina will be bringing their wonderful pitas, dips, and olives to market this week. Make a wrap with fresh market vegetables and their tzatziki for a healthy lunch this week!

 

Market shopping for local foods can leave you feeling hungry! Our food truck and concession line up is the perfect way to end your evening at market, with healthy and indulgent options that are sure to satisfy everyone. The food trucks joining us this week are:

La Poutine will be back at market this week with their delicious poutine made with hand-cut fries. 
Knosh Catering is back this week (by special request!) and will be serving some Thanksgiving-themed U.K. comfort food.
Yellowbird Cafe Truck is back again this week, serving a wide variety of Japanese dishes to SWEFM guests. If you're looking for a dinner option to fill you up, Yellowbird is a great choice! 
Bully Food Truck is a SWEFM staple and will be offering their fantastic comfort food again this week. Try their Locker Room Burger to support a good cause!
Fat Franks is back and will be ready to serve you their delicious hot dogs and smokies with all the fixings! 
Original Canadian Kettle Corn will be serving up their freshly-popped kettle corn at market this week! If kettle corn isn't your thing, they also have salty popcorn for the crunch without the sweetness!



Farmers' markets are the perfect place to find high-quality, handmade products. Our artisan vendors are incredibly talented and love to share information about their crafts. From soap to jewelry and fashion, they're all worth a visit:

Ada's Soap Shop will be at market with his beautiful handcrafted soap, made with all-natural ingredients. 


See you at market!

Visit our website at http://www.swefm.ca
Like us on Facebook! https://www.facebook.com/swefm.ca
Write a review on TripAdvisor http://www.tripadvisor.ca/Attraction_Review-g154914-d6698177-Reviews-Southwest_Edmonton_Farmers_Market-Edmonton_Alberta.html

Friday, 26 September 2014

Recipe: Sautéed Brussels Sprouts with Bacon


Did you SEE those gorgeous brussels sprouts at the market this week at Riverbend Gardens' stall? That great big, towering pile? This is the season when we can expect to see those great big, gangly stalks covered in mini green cabbages appear at the market. Pete Luckett (of The Greengrocer's Kitchen) says, "any vegetable that shares its name with an elegant European city is bound to have a certain mystique," and I tend to agree. They began widely cultivating them in Belgium in the 16th century, and the name just stuck (but where's the apostrophe, the English Geek in me asks you!?) And of course, there's something else that is confusing about their name... they're not even sprouts at all!

For years, the appearance of these bizarre vegetables, right around thanksgiving, always intimidated me. Don't fall into that trap... they're so easy to cook! They are very tender and delicious... almost sweet, if done right. And they pack a lot of nutrition into each bite.

so what's so great about eating brussels sprouts?
These mini cabbages are powerful cancer preventers.
Brussels sprouts are members of the cabbage family. They make it right into the beginning of the 150 Healthiest Foods on Earth book: Cabbages in general probably contain more cancer-fighting nutrients than any other vegetable family. This claim to fame stems from the sinigrin chemical that they contain because it actually suppresses precancerous cells. Brussels sprouts also contain isothiocyanates and sulforaphane which inhibit cell proliferation, neutralize carcinogens and help to detoxify environmental toxins. Not bad, eh? It's time to give these little pearls a new place in your diet.

what's the best way to buy brussels sprouts?
Perfect stalks of brussels sprouts were at riverbend
gardens' booth this week
They're a cold weather vegetable, best in late September around these parts. At the grocery store, they're usually sold lose. But at the farmers' market, you can pick them up in their original, weird and wonderful state... all attached, like tiny, hard rosettes, on a towering stalk.

Select sprouts that are tightly wrapped in their outer leaves, no more than an inch and a half in diameter, and that feel heavy for their size. Avoid any that seem puffy, loose or are wrapped in yellowed outer leaves. Pete suggests storing them in a plastic bag in the fridge, unwashed, for up to 5 days and he says that the sooner you use them the better, because they grow cabbage-y tasting with age.

how do you prepare them for the kitchen?
Janelle and Aaron are the farmers behind Riverbend Gardens.
They stand here, behind a gigantic pile of brussels sprouts
at their booth at our market this past week.
Just pull each ball off the stock and then rinse them under cold, running water. Trim the stems and remove any loose, outer leaves. Cutting a small cross in the stem end helps them to cook more evenly. Small sprouts can be left whole. Large ones should be cut in half or even quartered so that they cook through without getting soggy on the outside.

how do you cook brussels sprouts? 
They are very versatile in the kitchen. It's best if you either cook them very quickly or give them a slow braising.

  • They can be briefly boiled (for no more than 4 minutes), then drizzled with butter and seasoned with salt and pepper. 
  • They can be sliced thinly and stir fried briefly in olive oil, then seasoned with fresh ginger and lemon juice. 
  • They can be parboiled and added in the last 20 minutes of cooking to a roast. 
  • And they can be braised, slowly and lovingly cooked in a a little wine or stock, for about 20 minutes.
Sautéed brussels sprouts with bacon
What doesn't go well with bacon? I mean... really!

ingredients
8 strips of bacon, chopped
1 onion, thinly sliced (optional)
1 lb brussels sprouts, trimmed and shredded

directions
Fry the bacon and onion, if using, in a large frying pan or a wok until the bacon is crisp and the onions are soft and browned. Stir in the shredded sprouts, and cook for 3-4 minutes, until the edges begin to brown. Serve at once.

where can you find ingredients at our market?
Recipe and preparation info from The Greengrocer's Kitchen, by Pete Luckett, p. 33-35
Nutritional Information from The 150 Healthiest Foods on Earth, by Jonny Bowden, p. 27
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Contributed by Sheri Hendsbee