Fresh Eats Blog: Carrots

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: carrots.

Did you know carrots are usually orange in colour although purple, red, white, and yellow varieties also exist?

Did You Know?

Did you know the orange colour in carrots is a result of abundant carotenes found in them? The main one found is the beta-carotene which is a strongly coloured red-orange pigment found in some plants and fruits.

Carrots are in season in South West British Columbia from July all the way until December! Did you know carrots are in the top 10 of most economically important global vegetable crops? There are over 100 species of edible carrots today and are a good source of fibre.

Recipe of the Week

Parsnip and Carrot Puree

Courtesy of Always Cooking Up Something & allrecipes Canada


8 parsnips, peeled and cut into 2 inch pieces

2 carrots, peeled and cut into 2-inch pieces

1/4 cup snipped chives

6 tablespoons butter, divided sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste


Step 1- Place the parsnips and carrots into a large pot and filled with salted water until fully submerged. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer for about 15 to 20 minutes.

Step 2- Drain and return vegetables to pot. Turn heat to low, stir in the chives and three tablespoons of butter.

Step 3- Begin to puree mixture and add three tablespoons of butter. Continue to puree until mixture is smooth, then season with salt and pepper to taste.

Ingredients at the Market

Carrots: Forstbauer Family Farm, Shen’s Farm, Never Say Die Farm

Chives: Wah Fung Farm, Red Barn Plants and Produce

Parsnips: Red Barn Plants and Produce

Greens: Floralia Growers, Forstbauer Farms, Langley Organic Growers, Mandair Farms, Never Say Die Farm, Ripple Creek Organic Farm, Shen’s Farm,  Wah Fung Farm

Steps on How To

Carrot Planting 101:

Step 1- Select desired seed variety. Some standard varieties that seem to do well are chantenay, danvars 126, and scarlet nantes.

Step 2- Plant your seeds about one to two inches apart. As an option, plant two rows two inches apart. Skip about 18 inches for the next two rows and so on when planting large patches of carrots. Carrots like sandy-loam soil but it is recommended to mix this with organic compost or soil.

Step 3- After at least 60 days, pull up a few carrots to see if they are at desired size. If you plant your carrots every few weeks apart, you can harvest throughout the season. The longer carrots stay in the ground, the larger they become and increasingly more woody.

Note: Water enough to keep the soil moist. This depends on your climate, but a reminder not to over water the plants.

Carrots in B.C.

Carrots are one of B.C.’s many field vegetables and is a crop produced in relatively large volumes throughout most of the southern portion of the province. Farmers can grow a wide variety of field vegetables in British Columbia, thanks to a moderate climate, fertile soils and access to good water.

Fresh Eats Blog: Apples

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: apples.

Did you know the crabapple is the only variety of apple that is native to North America?

 Did You Know?

Did you know apples are a member of the rose family? This crop grows on a tree which typically can take five years to produce it’s first round of fruit!

Did you know it takes about 36 apples to create one gallon of apple cider? Apples are a good source of fibre and do not contain any fat, sodium or cholesterol.

Varieties of this fruit are in season in South West British Columbia from August all the way until March! Make sure you stop by the market this Sunday to try some of the province’s best!

Recipe of the Week

Apple Cherry Cobbler



4 apples, peeled, cored, and cut into 1/2-inch pieces (4 cups)
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 cup dried cherries
1/4 cup sugar
Coarse salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups rolled oats
4 tablespoons cold, unsalted butter, grated


Step 1- Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In an 8-inch square baking pan, toss apples, lemon juice, and cherries.

Step 2- Whisk together sugar, a pinch of salt, the cinnamon, and flour. Add half the sugar mixture to apples; stir to combine.

Step 3- Stir together oats and remaining sugar mixture. Add butter, and stir. Evenly pat oat-butter mixture over apples. Bake until oats are golden, apples are tender, and the juices are bubbling, 40 to 50 minutes.

Ingredients at the Market


Cinnamon: Amazing Foods

Cherries: Harvest Direct, Hill Top Farms, Red Barn Plant and Produce

Oats (Try some amazing granola from): Delish Gluten Free, Gabi & Jules

Butter: Golden Ears Cheescrafters

Steps on How To Grow

Apple Growing 101:

Step 1- Planting your apple tree in the spring is recommended, but if the fall climate is mild and moist, growth can be successful. Be sure to choose a variety that best suits your growing conditions. Not all apples grow everywhere and the time needed to produce fruit varies.

Step 2- Each variety of plant has a certain amount of time when temperatures can be between zero and six degrees Celsius. This is referred to as chill hours. For example, the farther north you go, the more chill hours an apple variety needs to avoid late spring freeze problems.

Step 3- Prior to planting for maximum results, test your soil. This will determine the soil amendments necessary to correct nutrient deficiencies and adjust soil pH. The amendments should be worked into the soil to a depth of 12 to 18 inches. This is where the tree will root, not just the depth of the planting hole.

Step 4- Plant your apple trees in an area with good drainage as they do not like soil that is too moist. To ensure your soil is moderately rich and is able to retain enough moisture, include organic material in addition to your mulch. This will also provide nutrients for your trees as they decompose.

Step 5- For optimal tree growth, find a place that has full sunlight or as much as possible. This ideally means six or more hours of direct summer sunlight per day.

Step 6- Seedlings or full-size trees should be planted about 15 to 18 feet apart in a row. A dwarfing rootstock might be four to eight feet apart in one row. Dwarf apple trees are notoriously prone to uprooting under the weight of a heavy crop, so you should provide a support system for your hedge. You can grow your trees against a fence, or you can provide free-standing support in the form of a trellis.

Note: Do not plant trees near wooded areas or trees.

Step 7- Before you plant your tree, remove all weeds and the grass in an approximate four foot diameter circle. Create a hole that is about twice the diameter of the root system and two feet deep. Loosen the soil on the walls of the planting hole so the roots can easily penetrate the surrounding soil. When placing your tree in this hole, make sure none of the roots are twisted or crowded. Place soil around the roots and as you cover them. Then, more firmly pack down the soil to remove air pockets.

Step 8- Fill the last portion of the whole with loose soil and then press down once it is filled.

Note: Most apple trees are grafted. The graft union must be at least two inches above the soil line so roots do not emerge from the scion. The graft union (where the scion is attached to the rootstock) can be recognized by the swelling at the junction.

Step 9- Do not rush to prune your trees when they are young. This may delay its overall growth and fruit production. Some ways to prune young trees are to rub off misplaced buds before they grow into misplaced branches; bend a stem down almost horizontally for a few weeks to slow growth and promote branches and fruiting; and tie down with strings to stakes in the ground or to lower branches.

Step 10- Mature or adult trees can be pruned annually and you do not have to be as careful with this process. Once you have a substantial crop, thin the fruit often. This prevents a heavy crop from breaking limbs, and ensures better-tasting, larger fruit crop.

Apples in B.C.

Apples account for 50 percent of international deciduous fruit tree production. In B.C. there are fifteen varieties of apples grown in the summer alone!

Regions of this province are widely known to produce some of the best crops of apples in the country. There are a number of varieties that can be planted across B.C. so you rarely find trouble growing!

This province has become one of the most reliable contributors to the production of apples in Canada with one of the earliest apple productions breaking ground in Vernon.

Fresh Eats Blog: Microgreens

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: microgreens.

Did you know raspberries belong to the same botanical family as the rose and the blackberry?

Did You Know?

Although, young and the first growth from a seed, did you know microgreens are packed full of  vitamin E, K and C? What has been doubled by some as the new kale of healthy eating, microgreens are the perfect garnish to almost any dish!

Microgreens  are in season in South West British Columbia! These young vegetables and herbs that are harvested while tiny, tender, and tasty. Make sure you stop by the market this Sunday to try some of the province’s best!

Recipe of the Week

Mushroom-and-Microgreen Omelet



1 tablespoon unsalted butter, divided
1 1/2 ounces white mushrooms, thinly sliced (about 3/4 cup)
Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
3/4 cup microgreens
3 large eggs


Step 1- Heat half the butter in a small nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Cook mushrooms, undisturbed, until they begin to release their liquid, about 2 minutes; season with salt and pepper, and stir. Cook until golden brown, about 2 minutes more. Transfer mushrooms to a small bowl; stir in microgreens.

Step 2- Whisk eggs in a medium bowl until well combined; season with salt and pepper. Wipe skillet clean with paper towels. Melt remaining butter over medium heat, swirling to coat bottom of pan. Pour eggs into skillet, and cook, undisturbed, until edges are set slightly.

Step 3- With a heatproof flexible spatula, push eggs from edge toward center, tilting pan to let uncooked eggs run underneath, until omelet is just set, 1 to 2 minutes.

Step 4- Place mushroom filling on 1 side of omelet. Using spatula, gently fold other side of omelet over filling. Serve immediately.

Ingredients at the Market

Microgreens: Nutrigreens, Wah Fung Farm

Butter & Cheese: Golden Ears Cheescrafters

Eggs: Rockweld Farm

Other Greens and Vegetables: Amazia Farm, Beckmann Farm, Floralia Growers, Forstbauer Farms, Langley Organic Growers, Never Say Die Farm, Ripple Creek Organic Farm, Shen’s Farm, Wah Fung Farm

Steps on How To Grow

Microgreen Planting 101:

Step 1- Choose a shallow container with sufficient drainage holes.

Step 2- Fill the container with one and a half inches of organic soil or compost. To ensure the soil is flat so that the greens will sprout evenly, use a piece of cardboard and gently press down.

Step 3- Find the seed mix that fits your growing need. Certain varieties will sprout at the same time, while single-crop microgreens are another option. Place the seeds on the surface of the soil and us the piece of cardboard used in the previous step to lightly press them into the soil.

Step 4- Use a wire-mesh sieve to sift a very fine layer of dry potting mix over the seeds. Place your pot in a warm and dark space until germination. Then place them in a sunny spot.

Step 5- Carefully water the seeds in with a gentle shower from a watering can. Place the tray on a sunny, south-facing windowsill or under grow lights. Expect the seeds to germinate in three to seven days.

Step 5- Ensure the soil is consistently moist. If you feel you have overwatered your plant, tip out excess moisture.

Step 6- Once your microgreens are ready for harvest, snip the plant right above the soil line when their first true leaves unfurl which is about seven to fourteen days after germination, depending on the green.

Microgreens in B.C.

There are a growing number of  farmers who produce microgreens in B.C. This easy-to-grow product ensures a longer growing season. This in combination with the provinces warm climate and ocean breeze makes this a great place to farm this product!

Microgreens are slowly becoming easier to find as they become more popular, but they are still rare in grocery stores and must often be bought directly from their growers.

Fresh Eats Blog: Blueberries

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: blueberries.

Did you know depending on the variety, blueberries have either deciduous or evergreen leaves?

Did You Know?

Did you know that blueberries are Canada’s number one fruit export?Under the rights conditions, blueberries plants can last approximately 80 years and are in season in South West British Columbia for August and September!

Blueberries contain minerals such as iron, manganese, phosphorus and potassium and now with more varieties than ever, you can plant blueberries to last in a wider range of climates. Make sure you stop by the market to pick some up while they are still in season!

Recipe of the Week

Rainbow Salad with Lemon Poppyseed Dressing

Courtesy of ChristineM & allrecipes Canada


3 cups torn lettuce leaves

1 cup chopped cucumber

2 chopped green onions

1/2 cup chopped yellow bell pepper

1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper

1 large carrot, peeled and sliced thin

1 apple, sliced thin 1 cup

Fresh blueberries (as much as you would like!)

1/2 cup walnuts


2/3 cup crumbled feta cheese

3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

2 teaspoons Dijon mustard

2 teaspoons honey

1/2 teaspoon onion powder

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

1/2 cup grapeseed oil

2 tablespoons poppy seeds


Step 1- Chop apples, bell peppers, carrots, cucumbers and lettuce.

Step 2- Prepare the dressing by adding the ingredients into a small bowl. Whisk the apple cider vinegar, lemon juice, Dijon mustard, honey, onion powder, and salt together. Then slowly include the grapeseed oil and poppy seeds. Finally, whisk until combined.

Step 3- Toss the lettuce, cucumber, green onions, yellow bell pepper, red bell pepper, and carrot together in a large bowl.

Step 4- Arrange the apple slice atop the vegetable mixture. Scatter the blueberries, walnuts, and feta cheese over the top of the salad.

Step 5- Drizzle your dressing over the salad to serve.

Ingredients at the Market

Blueberries: Beckmann Farms, Floralia Growers, Mandair Farms

Flavoured Vinegar: Red Barn Plants and Produce

Cheese: Golden Ears Cheesecrafters

Bell Pepper: Floralia Growers, Never Say Die

Green Onions: Wah Fung Farm, Never Say Die, Ripple Creek Organic Farm

Carrots: Forstbauer Farms, Shen’s Farm, Ripple Creek Organic Farm

Cucumber: Shen’s Farm, Langley Organic Growers, Never Say Die

Lettuce: Langley Organic Farms, Ripple Creek Organic, Wah Fung Farm

Other Greens: Floralia Growers, Forstbauer Farms, Langley Organic Growers, Mandair Farms, Never Say Die Farm, Ripple Creek Organic Farm, Shen’s Farm, Wah Fung Farm

Steps on How To Grow

Blueberries Planting 101:

Step 1- Although considered self-pollinating, having more than one plant is beneficial to your yield. Choose between the two different varieties, ie: two different plants will ensure a higher yield.

Step 2- Plant your bushes in well-draining soil, or in a raised bed. Blueberries love the sun but also do not like to be constantly water logged. To ensure your plant does not have too much moisture, add peat moss into your soil.

Note: Depending on your climate, be prepared to water your plants frequently.

Step 3- Adding two to four inches of mulch, once a year, will help regulate moisture and keep weeds at bay. Fertilize with an acid fertilizer when the buds appear in early spring, and then again once the fruit is established.

Step 4- In your first year of growing, cut off the first bloom/blossoms. This will give you a better crop for years to come! From year one onward, prune at the end of every season.

Note: The acidity of a blueberry plants’ surroundings in crucial to its growth. If you feel you are growing in less than ideal conditions or are not seeing results, try growing your plant in a container, or consult your local garden center for any questions.

Blueberries in B.C.

Did you know in B.C. alone 700 farmers harvest upwards of 77 million kilograms of blueberries per year? The province’s Blueberry Council says this number is steadily increasing!

B.C. is one of the largest highbush blueberry suppliers in the world, ranking third internationally. Highbush blueberries alone span over 11,000 hectares (27,000 acres) across the province which is approximately 96 per cent of the countries supply of this variety of blueberry!

Fresh Eats Blog: Raspberries

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: raspberries.

Did you know raspberries belong to the same botanical family as the rose and the blackberry?

Did You Know?

Did you know raspberries contain more vitamin C than oranges and are super high in fibre. This low in calorie snack is perfect as a fresh snack, a great addition to a salad or the source of extra flavour in your favourite summer drink!

Raspberries are in season in South West British Columbia until the end of August! Did you know there are over 200 types of raspberries ranging in colours from red, purple, gold or black. Make sure you stop by the market this Sunday to try some of the province’s best before their growing season is over!

Recipe of the Week

Chicken, Feta and Raspberry Salad

Courtesy of Deanna Ibbitson, Graduate Student in Human Nutrition, Faculty of Land and Food Systems, UBC


The Dressing: 

  • 1/2 cup fresh raspberries
  • 1/2 cup olive oil3 tablespoons raspberry vinegar or white wine vinegar
  • 1 shallot chopped
  • 1 teaspoon honey, maple syrup, or sugar
  • Salt and pepper

The Salad Base:

  • Greens of choice, washed and chopped into bite-sized pieces
  • Sliced cucumbers
  • Sliced bell peppers
  • Chopped nuts (pecans, cashews, almonds, or hazelnuts)
  • Crumbled feta or goat cheese
  • Fresh basil


  • Chicken breasts of your choice


The Dressing:

Step 1- Blend the raspberries, vinegar, shallot and honey in a blender or food processor.

Step 2- Slowly blend in the oil to make a dressing of a smooth consistency. Add salt and pepper to taste.

The Vegetables, Cheese, and Nuts:

Step 1- Prepare greens of choice. Wash and chop into bite-sized pieces. Slice cucumbers, bell peppers and chop nuts of your choice.

Step 2- Crumble feta or goat cheese and chop fresh basil.

The Chicken:

Step 1- Cook your chicken in any way that works best for you. You can grill chicken breasts on the barbeque, bake them in the oven, or fry them with a bit of olive oil. The chicken can be added to the salad warm or cold.

Step 2- Rub boneless, skinless chicken breasts with a bit of olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake at 350°F until cooked (the center will no longer be clear. This will take about 25 minutes depending on the size of the breast).

Step 3- Slice into bite-sized pieces.

The Final Salad:

Step 1- Toss greens with desired amount of raspberry vinaigrette.

Step 2- Add sliced veggies.

Step 3- Top with chicken, sliced veggies, fresh raspberries, feta or goat cheese, chopped nuts, and fresh basil.

Ingredients at the Market

Raspberries: Beckmann Farm, Floralia Growers, Hill Top Farm, Langley Organics, Mandair

Basil: Floralia Growers

Cheese: Golden Ears Cheescrafters

Chicken: Rockweld Farms

Bell Peppers: Never Say Die, Shen’s Farm, Ripple Creek, Snowy Mountain

Cucumbers: Forstbauer Farms, Ripple Creek Organic Farm, Shen’s Farm, Wah Fung Farm

Other Greens and Vegetables: Amazia Farm, Beckmann Farm, Floralia Growers, Forstbauer Farms, Harvest Direct, Hill Top Farm, Langley Organic Growers, Mandair Farms, Never Say Die Farm, Ripple Creek Organic Farm, Shen’s Farm, Snowy Mountain Organics, Wah Fung Farm

Steps on How To Grow

Raspberries Planting 101:

Step 1- Choosing a good quality, disease-free plant is the foundation of a good crop. Ensure the variety of raspberry you have chosen is successful in the season you are planting.

Step 2- Finding the proper location to plant is important. A loam soil with high organic matter content is ideal for planting raspberries. The site should have good air circulation for disease prevention but wind protection is necessary. The wind tends to dehydrate plants and soil, as well as breaking off the canes where they join the crown.

Step 3- Set the raspberries in rows three to four metres apart and the plants 60 to 100 cm apart within the row. Spacing can vary depending on how much space is available.

Note: Ensure the roots are moist while planting.

Step 4- Plant the raspberries slightly deeper in the ground than their original growing depth. Keep the soil evenly moist during the plants’ establishment.

Step 5- Prune plants regularly and support its growth. This may be made by placing fence posts down the center of the row and running a 15-gauge wire down on each side of the post at a height of 60 to 90 cm.

Step 6- When harvesting your raspberries they should be a good colour but firm. To ensure their quality does not deteriorate, do not pick during the heat of the day.

Raspberries in B.C.

Raspberries have been grown in B.C. for fourty years with some farms being third or fourth generation! Did you know there are no genetically modified raspberries grown in the province?

On just 5,000 acres, B.C. produces more than 80 per cent of Canada’s rec raspberries! In the Fraser Valley, growers harvest over 12 million kilograms of the finest quality raspberries each year for shipment across Canada and around the world.