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?
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.