Fresh Eats Blog: Cherries

Here at the Coquitlam Farmers Market we are all about local, seasonal and sustainably grown produce. What better way to celebrate the summer months than a fresh take on some familiar foods! This week’s topic: cherries.

Did you know cherries belong to the rose family?

Did You Know?

Did you know British Columbia grows 95% of Canada’s cherries? The cherry fruit is part of the Rosaceae family which also includes almonds, peaches, apricots and plums.

Cherries are in season in South West British Columbia for the months of July and August! They are known to have a very short fruiting season and can be among the earliest to ripen.

Recipe of the Week

Cherry Basil Bruschetta


2 Cups cherries
1/4 small red onion, or 1 shallot finely diced
1/4 Cup of basil
1/4 Cup chives
2 tsp red wine vinegar or balsamic vinegar
1/4 Cup feta or goat cheese.
pinch of salt & pepper


Step 1- Pit and chop cherries. In a small bowl mix together onions, cherries, and stir in basil, chives, vinegar, salt and pepper.
Step 2- Let sit while you prepare your baguette.
Step 3- Slice your baguette and drizzle with a bit of olive oil.
Step 4- Lightly toast in a 400F oven for about eight minutes, or until crisp.
Step 5- Spoon over toasted baguette slices.
Step 6- Crumble goat cheese or feta over the cherries and finish with a crack of black pepper.

Ingredients at the Market

Cherries: Harvest Direct Farms, Hill Top Farm, Snowy Mountain Organics

Cheese: Golden Ears Cheesecrafters

Bread: A Bread Affair, Delish Gluten Free, Gesundheit Bakery Ltd, Marie’s Guilt Free Bakery

Vinegar: Red Barn Plants & Produce

Basil: Ripple Creek, Forstbauer Farms, Floralia Growers

Chives: Floralia Growers

Steps on How To

Cherry Planting 101:

Step 1- Place seeds less than five centimetres down and about a half a meter apart in either a pot or the ground. Then fill the hole up to soil levels.

Step 2- After they have sprouted, space the cherries to about six meters apart. Like most plants, cherries don’t like being over crowded.

Step 3- Cherries need sun and water. BUT they do not grow well if they are waterlogged so keep the plant slightly moist and do not over water. Test the soil down to about eight centimetres and water whenever this depth feels dry.

Step 4- Add mulch or organic compost once the plant has sprouted. Fertilizer is best avoided with young trees because they are easy to burn. The compost should give plenty of nutrients.

Step 5- As an option, prune the cherry tree occasionally as this can help with its growth.

Note: You can add defences against birds such as hanging CDs from branches or fend off burrowing animals by building a physical barrier.

Cherries in B.C.

There are more than 1,000 types of cherries but approximately 20 are grown commercially in B.C. spread across about 3,500 acres. You can find some of these varieties right at the Coquitlam Farmers Market!

Did you know, Canada holds the record for baking the largest cherry pie in the world? One weighing in at 39,683 pounds was baked in Oliver, B.C. breaking the previous record.

Sunday July 2

The season is flying by, and it is already the first weekend of July! Come join us this holiday weekend for the freshest local produce, baked goods, and beautiful artisan crafts!

Don’t forget to stop by for breakfast or lunch at Hunger Management or Disco Cheetah! And grab a nitro cold brewed coffee from Green Coast Coffee!

This week in the POP Club tent, kids will learn all about pollination and taste cherries in the Two-Bite Club!

We’re making felt coin pouches at the Kids Craft Table this Sunday! POP Kids – these pouches would be perfect to hold your $3 tokens!

We are happy to welcome The Land of Deborah as our musician this weekend! Deborah brings great music and good times to market every time she visits!

List of Vendors for July 2

Fresh Eats Blog: Radishes

Here at the Coquitlam Farmers Market we are all about local, seasonal and sustainably grown produce. What better way to celebrate the summer months than a fresh take on some familiar foods! This week’s topic: radishes.

Did you know every part of the radish is edible, including the leaves and developing seedpods?

 Did You Know?

Did you know radish plants are ideal for children’s gardens because they grow quickly? The scientific name for the genus that includes radishes is Greek for “quickly appearing.”

This low calorie food is in season in South West British Columbia for the months of June through to October. One cup of radishes is a mere 19 calories!

Recipe of the Week

Brown Butter Pan- Roasted Radishes


2 bunch radishes, assorted colours and types

2 Tbsp (30 mL) oil

½ tsp (2 mL) each salt and pepper

2 Tbsp (30 mL) butter, melted

1 tsp (5 mL) lemon juice

lemon wedges

Radishes are trap crops against pests, protecting the surrounding crops from pests.


Step 1- Trim the radishes so half an inch (1 cm) of the stem is intact; trim and discard roots. Scrub well and dry well. Wash the leafy green tops, dry well and coarsely chop; set aside.

Step 2- Heat the oil in a large skillet set over medium-high heat. Add the radishes, cut side down. Sprinkle with salt. While cooking, shake the skillet occasionally for about five to seven minutes until golden. As an option, stir for an additional three minutes or until lightly coloured all over.

Step 3- Meanwhile, melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Cook for three minutes or until butter is starting to brown and smell nutty; remove from heat.

Step 4- Stir the brown butter and lemon juice into the radishes. Remove from heat and stir in the chopped greens. Serve with lemon wedges.

Ingredients at the Market

Radishes: Floralia Growers, Forstbauer Farm, Langley Organic Growers and Ripple Creek Organic Farm

Butter: Golden Ears Cheesecrafters

Steps on How To

Radish Planting 101:

Step 1- Place seeds one half to an inch deep and one inch apart into nutrient rich soil. You may choose to add manure or organic fertilizer to help with growth.

Step 2- After they have sprouted space the radishes to about two inches apart. Like most plants, radishes don’t like being over crowded.

Step 3- Radishes need sun. If they are planted in too much shade they will put all their energy into producing larger leaves.

Step 4- Harvest the plants promptly when the radishes are roughly the size of large marbles. This is before the roots get too woody and bitter.

Step 5- As an option, plant consecutively every two weeks or so if the weather is still cool for a continuous harvest of radishes.

Note: You can plant radishes in the fall, later than any other root crop in late summer or early fall and still get a harvest. Sowing radishes in the cooler times (March/April and again August through to October) is recommended. BUT for example, European radishes are planted in spring or summer and have a short cultivation time of three to four weeks.

Radishes in B.C.

The simplicity of growing radishes transitions right over into creating some delicious meals. All you need is a selection of radishes thinly sliced with some olive oil and herbs, and you’ve got yourself a perfect summer salad!

B.C. is one of the largest producers of radishes in Canada. As a country, radishes are a crop valued at more than $10 million.

Get to Know: KICS Lemonade

“Markets are at the heart of my business.”

Starting a company was not in the books for Karen Curtis. KICS Lemonade grew out of her love of cooking with her mother. Her passing made Karen question whether she could carry on with the company.

“But now I recognize KICS as her legacy. She is the reason I am following my dream.”

What started as a hobby, and a way to bond with her mother, has evolved into something Karen never anticipated. From starting at craft fairs and attending markets as a consumer, KICS Lemonade now looks to provide quality products from trusted vendors.

“I read a novel years ago about a young woman who turned a preserve business into an international retail dynasty and it really sparked a fire in me. Not that I want an international dynasty!”

For Karen and KICS Lemonade obtaining the best ingredients starts with building strong relationships with suppliers. On top of this, sourcing local ingredients is even more important. With citrus based products, the fruit has to come from the United States but apart from that, Karen says her ingredients are from local companies.

“I am always looking for ways to incorporate other vendors products into mine.”

Some things consumers may not know about KICS Lemonade is that KICS is an acronym for Karen, Isla, Curtis, and Summers, and that the little girl on the bottle is actually Karen’s mother. So what’s next for KICS Lemonade? Karen says continuing to look for new ideas and develop products is what she will continue to do in the short term but looking forward, she would love to build the food service side of the company.

“KICS is always evolving but markets are the heart of my business.”

Sunday June 25

It’s Member Appreciation Day this Sunday! Members can take advantage of Member Specials at participating vendors. Not a member? Click here to learn more or to sign up!

Member Only Specials available this Sunday:

  • Central Park Farms:  10% off plus a free Central Park Farms reusable market bag with any member purchase
  • Dragon Mist Distillery:  10% off
  • Gesundheit Bakery:  Save $1 off a purchase of $5 or more
  • Juicily Ginger:  Buy one, get second juice 30% off
  • KICS Gourmet:  $1 off dressings
  • Kirina’s Krafts:  Buy TWO of anything get the 3rd 50% off.  Can mix and match items
  • Kizzy’s Macarons:  One free macaron with the purchase of 5 or more!
  • Marie’s Guilt Free:  15% off
  • Pebblestone Publishing:  $3.95 off ($18.00 per book instead of $21.95)
  • Ripple Creek Organic Farm:  Garlic scapes for $2.00/bunch
  • Rockweld Farm:  Whole birds for 10% off
  • Rocky Point Ice Cream:  Free waffle cone upgrade

Don’t forget to stop by for breakfast or lunch at Hunger Management. As always, we will also have Rocky Point Ice Cream and Biscotti Joe on site for your ice cream and caffeine needs!

City of Coquitlam Councillor Craig Hodge will be at market from 9-12. Visit his tent to grab a coffee and treat and chat about all things Coquitlam!

We invite you to join us for our Annual General Meeting at 10am this Sunday. As a member of the public, you are welcome to join us and hear about the activities of the market in 2016 and what we have planned for the future!

This week in the POP Club tent, get the ‘dirt’ on compost and taste radishes in the Two-Bite Club!

We’re celebrating delicious strawberries at the Kids Craft Table! Join us to create a strawberry magnet for your home refrigerator!

We are happy to welcome Todd Brown to market as our musician this week! Come to the market to hear some original songs, as well as some of your favorites from the 60s and 70s!


List of Vendors for Sunday June 25 – click here! 

Fresh Eats Blog: Strawberries

Here at the Coquitlam Farmers Market we are all about local, seasonal and sustainably grown produce. What better way to celebrate the summer months than a fresh take on some familiar foods! This week’s topic: strawberries.

Did you know Strawberries are the first fruit to ripen each spring?

Did You Know?

Did you know strawberries are not really a fruit or a berry but are the enlarged receptacle of the flower?

This low calorie food is in season in South West British Columbia for the months of June through to September. Strawberries are very high in vitamin C, potassium, and antioxidants.

 Recipes of the Week

Asparagus Salad with Strawberries, Radish, and Goat Cheese

Makes 2 servings

500 g (1 lb) fresh asparagus
125 ml (1/2 cup) sliced fresh strawberries
125 ml (1/2 cup) thinly sliced radishes
15 ml (1 tbsp) each snipped chives, sea salt and fresh ground black pepper
15 ml (1 tbsp) extra-virgin olive oil (optional)
60 g (2 oz) fresh goat cheese, crumbled

Step One- Trim ends of asparagus and wash well. Bring a pot of water to a boil and add salt.
Have a bowl of ice water handy to chill asparagus after cooking.

Step Two- Drop asparagus in and boil for two minutes until just tender, then drain and plunge into ice water to
chill. Remove after it cools completely, drain and chill until ready to assemble salad.

Step Three- Arrange asparagus on a platter and top with sliced strawberries, radishes and
chives. Season with sea salt and fresh ground black pepper. Drizzle with olive oil,
if desired. Sprinkle with goat cheese.

Strawberry Salsa

1 pound strawberries, diced (~2 cups)
1/4 cup red or green onion, finely diced or sliced
2 tbsp Aji (heat level of your choice)
1 tbsp KICS Lime or Lemon syrup (or fresh juice)
salt to taste

Courtesy of Karen Curtis with Kics Lemonade. 

Ingredients at the Market

Strawberries: Beckmann Farms, Floralia Growers and Mandair Farms
Asparagus: Amazia Farm and Langley Organic Growers
Chives: Amazia Farm, Langley Organic Growers, and Red Barn Plants and Produce
Radishes: Floralia Growers, Forstbauer Farm, Langley Organic Growers and Ripple Creek Organic Farm
Cheese: Golden Ears Cheesecrafters

Steps on How To

Strawberry Planting 101:

Step 1- Plant at the right time. This is determined by which plant you have chosen. For example, large fruiting varieties of strawberries are best planted in the summer while other varieties can be grown in late spring.

Step 2- Choosing a sunny spot to let your plant grow is key. The plant can produce strawberries in partial shade but the crop won’t be as successful as one in full sun.

Step 3- Ensure the plant has the right nutrients. Strawberries like rich soil full of well-decomposed organic material.

Step 4- You may choose to place the root ball into a bucket of water to soak for about an hour. This can be a helpful transition from pot to ground and helps the roots stay moist.

Step 5- Dig a hole in your chosen planting space. Ensure the crown of the plant is above the soil line.

Step 6- Pack the soil tightly around the plant and as an option, place mulch around it to help retain moisture and stay weed free.

Note: Strawberries need moisture so make sure the water meets the root of the plant- but be sure to not over do it!

Strawberries in B.C.

According to the B.C. Strawberry Growers Association, around 30 producers have been growing fresh strawberries in the Fraser Valley for over 30 years. There are plenty of growers in the Lower Mainland to choose from, so get out and buy local!

Berries are grown commercially for export and of course, local consumption. The producers of strawberries in B.C. are required to follow guidelines set out by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency.

Sunday June 18

Bring Dad to market this week and spoil him with local produce, baked goods, and artisan crafts! Treat him to breakfast or lunch at Cheese Street Grill, Disco Cheetah, or Island Time Food Trucks. Don’t forget the coffee and ice cream, too!

This week in the POP Club tent, kids will test their knowledge of fruits and vegetables. Can they identify fruits and veggies by look, or by feel? And, a treat in our Two-Bite Club as they get to sample chocolate zucchini bread!

Join us at the Kids Craft Table to make a craft to celebrate Dad. We’re making colorful, wearable, tie-shaped cards!

We are happy to welcome Ranj Singh as our musician this weekend. His unique Indo-Canadian Folk music is always a welcome addition to our market!

Vendor List for June 18


Thank You for a Great Summer!

September 24 marked the last week of the Power of Produce Kids Club.  During this 17-week program 236 kids in total participated in weekly activities teaching them about agriculture, healthy eating, local food, and even financial literacy! They sampled everything from kohlrabi to carrots in the Two-Bite Club activity.

The feedback from this inaugural POP season has been fantastic and we look forward to continuing with this wonderful program in future seasons.  A special thank you to Vancity for supporting this program!

Sunday June 11

Come explore the Market this Sunday! We have more seasonal produce arriving each week, including strawberries and more! Come to the market hungry to grab breakfast or lunch at Gypsy Trunk Gourmet Fare, Hunger Management, or Island Time Food Trucks. And, don’t forget to grab some ice cream at the Rocky Point Ice Cream Truck, too!

The first week of our Power of Produce Kids Club was so much fun! Thanks to everyone who came out to plant and cook with us! This week in our POP tent, kids will be participating in a scavenger hunt around the market. It’s a great way for them to get familiar with the market. And, as always, when they complete their activity they can return their passport for a $3 market token to spend on fruits and veggies.

Join us at the Kids Craft Table to make cupcake liner monster puppets. Use colorful paper, popsicle sticks, googly eyes, and your awesome imagination to create a fearsome or adorable monster friend!

We’re happy to welcome Jana Seale to market as our musician this weekend! Jana has been performing at our markets for many years, and is a customer and vendor favourite!

Vendor List for June 11.

Week 2 – June 11

Thank you all for such a successful first week of the POP Club! Now on to week 2!

Our activity will be a market wide scavenger hunt. Come by the POP booth anytime during the market to pick up the scavenger hunt instructions, then head out to explore and meet some farmers. Accompanying adults will be responsible for helping their kids complete the scavenger hunt.

Once the scavenger hunt is complete, come back to the POP booth where the kids will try rhubarb and honey for the Two Bite Club, and receive their token!

This event is for children ages 5-12. Activities run from 9am – 1pm.