Market Fresh

Market Fresh

by Karen Curtis (KICS Gourmet) for Tri-City News 

In spite of the cold wet spring, Mother Nature has prevailed! My rhodo was only a week behind this year, and my trip to market Sunday filled my basket with lots of lovely food. I even saw purple asparagus!

My favourite purchase was the bag of mixed spring greens I picked up from Ripple Creek Organic Farm. Chris calls this blend his Baby Lettuce Mix. There are six different lettuces in the bag, including butter lettuce, romaine lettuce, and red and oak leaf. The seeds for this blend are sown close together so that the lettuces can’t form heads. Once the plants reach 3-4 inches in height they are harvested and bagged. This blend is so colourful and tasty; all it needs is a light vinaigrette to perfect it. After chasing California romaine all winter it is wonderful to have all our local greens coming back.

This Sunday will see the return of Ripple Creek’s Spring Mix. This one doesn’t have any lettuce in it at all! It includes baby Red Russian Kale, Mizuna, Ruby Streaks, Tatsoi, Golden Frills and Suehlihung. Aside from the Red Russian kale, I’ll bet you haven’t a clue what the others are! Suehlihung, Tatsoi, Golden Frill, Ruby Streaks and Mizuna are all varieties of mustard greens. Mustard greens are members of the brassica family, more commonly known for cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli and cauliflower. Mustard greens do share many of the same nutritional benefits such as high levels of Vitamin C, folic acid and calcium. They have a slightly bitter taste to them, but not as bitter as arugula. One advantage to this prolonged cooler weather is that the greens are tender and sweet.

While green may be the biggest colour at market this time of year, you can find other colours too. Thanks to a little extra protection from the greenhouse, peppers and tomatoes are available now too. And what about that purple asparagus? Amazia Farms, one of the new vendors this year, is bringing limited quantities of purple asparagus to market. This variety is less fibrous and sweeter that it’s green cousin. You can even eat it raw.

How about some ruby red rhubarb? It ranks right up there as a source for Vitamin C, as well as Vitamin K. Did you ever dip a stalk of rhubarb in sugar and eat it raw? If that isn’t to your liking, rhubarb is very versatile and can be used in all sorts of ways, from chutney to wine.

A perfect way to get your kids involved in learning about these great greens is to sign them up for POP (Power of Produce). This brand new weekly kids program kicks off on June 4th. For the first week, two local nutritionists will be running cooking classes with the kids. Then, get ready to get your hands dirty as kids will plant a few seeds for their home garden. Activities run from 9am – 1pm. This event is for kids ages 5-12.

If that isn’t enough colour for you, be sure to stop by Floralia Growers for some of their lovely hanging baskets, Never Say Die Farm for some fresh cut Gerbera daisies, or a perfect perennial from S & S Nursery.
Here a couple of recipes to make the most of the new spring greens and rhubarb

1/3 c olive oil
1/3 c KICS Lemonade Syrup (or lemon juice if you prefer a less sweet dressing)
1/3 c balsamic vinegar
4 tbsp original AJI (A South American condiment found at market)
1/2 tsp fleur de sel with herbs d`provence
1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper
1 clove minced garlic
½ c chopped fresh herbs (basil, thyme, tarragon etc)

Combine above ingredients and let rest 20 minutes or so to let the flavours mingle

6 lbs Rhubarb, washed and cut into 1 inch chunks (about 10 cups)
8 c white sugar
2 c white vinegar
4 c chopped onions
2 tsp each- ground allspice, cinnamon, ground cloves, freshly ground black pepper

Combine all the ingredients and simmer over low heat until dark brown, about 3 hours. Will keep for several weeks in the fridge, or can be frozen.

Just in case you need more recipes, come visit the market on June 11th and sign up for my class – The Perfect Summer BBQ Workshop! Find out more here! I hope to see you there!

Sunday June 4

Our first month of market went by so fast! There are lots of great things coming up for the month of June! The first starts this week – the launch of our much anticipated Kids Power of Produce Club! Drop in with your kids (ages 5-12) to participate in the first week of the POP Club. Stop by the POP tent between 9am – 1pm to participate in a cooking class and learn how to make lettuce wraps. Also, at the POP tent, start your agricultural journey by planting seeds to take home and grow!

Enjoy a meal at market this Sunday from Gypsy Trunk Gourmet Fare, Island Time, or This Little Piggy.

This week, we’re happy to welcome John Bowman to market as our musician. John is a singer/songwriter who plays at many venues and events in the area. Enjoy some of his great tunes while you shop the market!

With the start of our Power of Produce club this week, we’re bringing back the popular Superhero Veggies to the Kids Craft Table! Come make your very own caped crusader of nutrition!

List of Vendors for June 4th

Grow Your Own Tomatoes This Season

Get Growing Your Own Tomatoes This Season

by: Jackie, contributing freelance writer

Fun fact: Canada is a vegetable superpower! We ship more tomatoes, peppers and cucumbers to the states than they ship to us, despite their longer growing season. With proper planning and planting, this could be the year you too start growing your own tomatoes. Here’s a few key tips you want to keep in mind.

Know when to plant

The big picture key to a home garden is knowing when to start seedlings inside and when it’s safe to transplant them or alternatively start plants from seed or seedlings outside. Almost all online plant vendors rate their seedlings using the basic methodology of the United States Department of Agriculture Hardiness Zones. However, the Natural Resources Canada specifically details hardiness zones for growing at home in Canada. These are based on seven different climate variables, one of which is the minimum temperature necessary for successful planting.

Now while the hardiness zones will give you the broad outline of when to grow, what you really want is when to start tomato seedlings indoors, when you can plant them outdoors where you live, and when you can expect to harvest. The Old Farmer’s Almanac web site covers both the US and Canada: just enter a nearby town or city, look down the chart until you see tomatoes and there’s the growing season. For example, here in Coquitlam, BC, start tomato seedlings indoors between Feb 21-Mar 7, and start tomato plants outdoors between Apr 26-May 17.

Know which varieties to plant

As you browse the Poirier Street Farmers Market, keep a sharp eye open for vendors selling tomato varieties that do well in this part of BC. That’s the easiest way to make good choices among the over 3,000 varieties of heirloom or heritage tomatoes in active cultivation worldwide and let alone the 15,000 known varieties of tomatoes, many of them available commercially and online.

Your local seedling vendors will know which varieties do the best in our growing climate – and which are the best for salads, sauces or canning, just ask!

Where to plant

Tomato vines like sheltered, sunny locations. For example, the south wall of your house or against a south-facing fence are both good locations. And they don’t like rain – a rainy summer can easily wipe out 90 per cent of your crop, so plan to use some form of a rain awning that protects your tomatoes but lets in beneficial insects.

Space tomatoes well and pitch them often

Tomatoes start small and get big – very big. Plan on spacing your tomato seedlings outdoors at least 2 feet apart. And, tomatoes put out a lot of branches if left to their own devices – you want to pinch (literally – cutting does more damage) Sucker shoots which are the shoots that appear in the elbow between the stem and a branch.

One last suggestion

Tomato plants love certain kinds of company – especially basil, the scent of which deter many injurious insects – and hate others, like cabbage. Enjoy growing your own tomato plants this year and their addition to your tasty Caprese salad in the months ahead!

For even more information: Click Here!

Sunday May 28

It’s our last market of May, and that means it’s also Member Appreciation Day! Members can shop the Market and take advantage of great Members-Only deals! Not a member? Be sure to stop by the Info Table to find out more, or Get More Information Here!

May 28th Member-Only Deals:

  • Arnalia: Buy any Balm and get second Regenerating Balm for 50% off
  • Central Park Farms: 10% off
  • Culinary Blossom: 10% off
  • Floralia Growers: 10% off on all plant purchases
  • Gesundheit Bakery: Save $1 off a purchase of $5 or more
  • Gypsy Trunk Gourmet Fare: Gypsy burrito for $10
  • Ildiko Jewelry: $5 off any two pairs of earrings
  • KICS Gourmet: 50 cents off small bottle of syrup
  • Kizzy’s Macarons: 1 free macaron with 5 or more purchased macarons
  • Old Country Pierogi: A free soft drink or bottled water with any food purchase (food truck – not frozen)
  • Pebblestone Publishing: Save $3.95 per book (ie: $18.00 instead of $21.95)
  • Queen of Tarts: $8 for half a dozen butter tarts
  • Redl’s Home Grown Beef: 25% off package price on short ribs
  • Ripple Creek Organic Farm: 50% off leeks ($2/lb)
  • Rockweld Farm: Chicken wings – Buy 1 pkg – Get 1 FREE!
  • S&S Nursery: Tomato plants for 3 for $5 (Reg. 2 for $5)
  • Sweet Thea: $2 off any pie
  • Vick and Jas’s Kitchen: Get 1 free samosa with any purchase

Come to Market with a big appetite and grab a meal from Cannoli King Vancouver, Old Country Pierogi, or Gypsy Trunk Gourmet Fare. Don’t forget an ice cream from Rocky Point, or a coffee or iced tea from Biscotti Joe!

Stop in at the Kids Craft Table to make a magic wand! What magic will you make with yours??

This Sunday is the first day in our ‘Coffee with Councillors’ series. The last Sunday of each month, a Coquitlam City Councillor will be at market to chat with members of the public. We are happy to welcome Bonita Zarrillo as our first guest this Sunday. She will be on-site from 10am – 1pm. Stop by and say hello!

Members of the Dogwood Garden Club will be at the Market this weekend to answer all of your gardening questions! Stop by one of our vendors to buy some garden starters, and let them give you some pointers on best practices and tips for success!

Also at Market on Sunday is a team from Coquitlam in Bloom. Did you know the City of Coquitlam qualified to be a part of the International Communities in Bloom competition this July? Stop by their booth to learn more and for a chance to win some fun prizes!

The Flying Squad volunteer organization will also be our guest this Sunday! Stop by their table for free face-painting and to learn about this important volunteer organization in our community!

Vendor list for May 28th.

See you at market!

Sunday May 21

Make sure your long weekend plans include a trip to the market this Sunday! We’ve got lots of great supplies for your long weekend camping, picnics, or just relaxing at home with family.

We’ve got lots of great options for breakfast or lunch this Sunday. Choose from Cheese Street Grill, Gypsy Trunk, and This Little Piggy, and follow it up with some Rocky Point Ice Cream!

Kids! Visit the Kids Craft Table to make a fun clothespin dragonfly!

We’re happy to have Norine Braun as our musician this week. Norine is an award-winning singer/songwriter who sings in a variety of genres including blues, rock, soul, and jazz.

Our community group this week is Emotive the Electric Vehicle Experience.  Emotive is a BC-wide campaign that raises awareness of plug-in electric vehicles. This effort is led by Metro Vancouver in partnership with the Province of BC.

Vendor List for May 21st

See you at market!


Sunday May 14

Wow! What a great Opening Day we had! Many thanks to everyone who came out on a beautiful Sunday to help us kick off our 21st season! We’ve got many more great weeks ahead this season, so let’s keep the fun going!

Visit us this Sunday for a great Mothers Day market! What better way to thank the special Mom in your life than a morning at the market with good food, local produce, amazing artisans, and fantastic community!

Treat Mom to breakfast or lunch at Cannoli King Vancouver, Island Time, or Kampong-Taste of Malaysia. Don’t forget a Biscotti Joe coffee and Rocky Point Ice Cream! (Moms love ice cream, too!)

We have a special Mother’s Day treat for all Moms this Sunday at Market! Every Mom that stops by the Market Info Table will receive a FREE macaron from Kizzy’s Macarons! Be sure to arrive early – supplies are limited and these delicious treats go fast!

Visit the Kids Craft Table to make a beautiful paper tulip for mom. A gift she will treasure for many years!

We’re happy to have Ron Forbes-Roberts as our musician this week. Ron is a virtuoso guitarist and his tunes are the perfect backdrop for a Sunday morning market stroll.

Visit the BC Highland Games crew at our Community Group tent this weekend. Learn more about this popular local event, and how you can be a part of it! And, maybe catch some Irish dance and piping!

Vendor List for May 14.

See you at market!

Program Launch – June 4

Join us on the first Sunday of June at the Coquitlam Farmers Market as we kick off the kids’ POP club! For our first week, we have two guest nutritionists with us to give a cooking class. Then, get ready to get your hands dirty as we plant a few seeds for the garden. Activities run from 9am – 1pm. This event is for kids ages 5-12.

The Power of Produce (POP) Club is a farmers market-based children’s agriculture program. Fun weekly activities range from cooking classes to scavenger hunts. There is no cost to participate.

Job Opportunity – Farmers Market Manager

Job Posting: Farmers Market Manager

The Coquitlam Farmers Market Society (CFMS) invites applications for the Market Manager position. Reporting to the Executive Director, the Market Manager is responsible for the smooth operation and promotion of our weekly, outdoor Farmers Markets.

About the Coquitlam Farmers Market Society:
Coquitlam Farmers Market Society (CFMS) is a non-profit, volunteer driven organization and is one of the longest running suburban farmer’s markets in the Lower Mainland, our beginnings rooted in a community economic development project initiated by SFU students in 1996.

• Manages Summer Markets – May – October attends weekly Sunday markets (7am – 2pm)
• Manages Winter Markets – November – April attends Sunday markets (8am – 3pm)
• Manages Annual Christmas Market – second Saturday in December (7am – 5pm)

On Market Day:
• Facilitates the set up of the Market including: determining tent layout, assembling tents, tables, banners, and other Market day materials
• Manages vendors: directing vendors to their locations, collect fees, market currencies, and handle vendor queries
• Assists Assistant Market Manager to oversee staff and volunteers; community group participants; and entertainers
• Provides Market information to shoppers and vendors; and positively handles concerns and queries
• Positively represents the Coquitlam Farmers Market Society to the community.

Beyond Market Day
• Vendor Management: manage vendor relationships, create and maintain vendor schedule, create monthly newsletter, answer queries, recruit new vendors
• Marketing and communications: create and implement plan to promote farmers market
Creates monthly newsletter, distribute press releases, create content and manage social media presence
Creates general, event and promotional materials
Maintains website – blog posts, social media promotions, vendor profiles, events and workshops
• Program Management: implements and manages programs operating through the market • Attend monthly board meetings
• Responds to general inquiries, through phone and email
• Represents the CFMS at community events in the Tri-Cities
• Works from home office

We are looking for someone who:
• Enjoys working in a fast paced environment, has a passion for local food, and enjoys being outside in all weather conditions
• Has excellent management abilities and strong marketing skills
• Has an interest and/or experience in community development and is familiar with the
not-for- profit sector
• Is self directed, reliable, responsible, and works collaboratively as part of a team
• Can handle simple conflict situations with sensitivity
• Can manage others and delegate tasks appropriately
• Has excellent written and oral communication skills
• Has regular access to a computer, printer, and email
• Is computer literate, with good working knowledge of basic software applications (Word,
• Graphic design and knowledge of design software an asset
• Can lift up to 10 kg of equipment
• Has a valid BC drivers license, and access to a reliable vehicle to bring market day items to
market, and to use when posting signage with the surrounding community
• Familiarity with the Tri-Cities area an asset

Term of Contract:
The market manager position is to cover a one year maternity leave.
• 1 year contract, 30 hours per week
• $31,200 annual

Please forward a cover letter and resume, describing how your background/experience meets the above criteria by email to

We thank all applicants, however, only those selected for an interview will be contacted.

Winter on the Forstbauer Family Farm

Winter on the Forstbauer Family Farm
Written by Lindsey Forstbauer, Farmer and CFMS Board member

Spring is finally here and it seems a good time to look back on the winter that has passed while we look forward to the summer season ahead. As farmers we are often asked what goes on around the farm in winter. The list seems endless: tidying up messes that are created at the height of the season and necessarily left until there is more time; burning brush piles when the dry heat finally ends and it’s safe to do so; performing routine maintenance on buildings and equipment in preparation for another growing season; plotting fields and greenhouses and ordering the seeds that will be put in them; pruning fruit trees to ensure a healthy summer crop. In addition to all these extra chores are the routine farm activities. Animals still need to be fed and watered, barns mucked out, and of course there are farmer’s markets to prepare for and attend each weekend.

This winter was particularly interesting. The heavy snowfalls that shut down communities all over the Lower Mainland simultaneously turned our farm into a winter wonderland of great beauty and made farm chores much more difficult. Having school cancelled so often meant the kids got to enjoy winter in a way they have missed out on until now. Lots of firewood, hot chocolate, jigsaw puzzles, books, and Netflix were consumed! The flip side is the work. A job that might take an hour on an ordinary day could easily take three or four times as long when fighting waist-deep drifts and driving snowfalls. Paths needed to be shoveled–often two or three times each day–in order to reach livestock to feed and care for them. Hoses froze, requiring water to be carried by hand to chickens and cows. Hay barns needed to be cleared of snow to access feed. Markets were cancelled, resulting in a loss of revenue, and that was a relief because it was impossible to harvest produce to sell anyway! The markets that did continue as scheduled were cold, cold, cold and required the use of tent skirting and space heaters. The “icing” on the cake was the ice storm; Mother Nature has provided us with a large supply of fallen trees and broken branches to deal with this spring! All in all the winter was both physically grueling and spiritually uplifting, and we will remember it for a lifetime.

Now that the weather has warmed and the sun shines (sometimes!) we are busy seeding, weeding, and of course preparing for those ever-present weekly markets. This is also the time to register for our 2017 markets as we anticipate another busy summer of harvest. The summer market season begins in May and we are looking forward to seeing all our customers soon. Because of the unusually cold weather a few things may be delayed, however the season is looking more like what we would expect in the Lower Mainland than the last couple of years have been so stick with us while we patiently wait for strawberries, salad greens, and radishes. And in the meantime enjoy last seasons’ potatoes and carrots, as well as over-wintered kale that is courageously growing as fast as it can!

May 7 – Opening Day!

Opening Day is finally here! We’re thrilled to be opening a week early this season to bring you all the local produce, baked goods, artisan crafts, and more that you’ve been waiting for all winter!

Be sure not to miss our official Opening Ceremony at 10am! Mayor Richard Stewart will be there to help Market staff and board members officially open the 21st season of the Coquitlam Farmers Market.

We’ve got lots of food truck options this Sunday! Grab breakfast or lunch from Kampong – Taste of Malaysia, or This Little Piggy and follow it up with a stop at the Rocky Point Ice cream truck! Be sure to grab a coffee at Biscotti Joe, too!

Visit the Kids Craft Table to plant a seed to take home to grow. Be sure to come early – the first 50 kids will get a small terra cotta pot to decorate for their seed!

We’re happy to have Jeff Neufeld as our Opening Day musician! Jeff has played many of our large events, as well as last year’s Opening Day! He is a crowd favorite!

List of vendors for May 7

See you at market!