Saturday, June 26, 2010
If you live in the Fredericton area you really have an embarrassment of riches to choose from when it comes to both local and organic sources. Two stores in the downtown serving this need: the True Food Organics store on Charlotte St. (run by and supplied in part by their organic farm in Keswick Ridge and which carries an amazing array of stuff - including organic sunflower and flax oils from NS) and the long-running Aura health food store. *And* at the market I got to talk to the folks running the Apple Bin Farm store which is *dedicated* to NB produce and is just a few minutes outside Fredericton at Keswick Ridge. The Apple Bin carries NB fruits, veggies, meats, eggs, dairy and other things like honey and cider and herbs etc. Really, Freddybeach has no excuses whatsoever. Nonetheless I had an interesting conversation with the Apple Bin folks who are finding it hard to educate people on local food (the "yes we have no bananas" song comes to mind) and have had to cut their hours back to Wed-Friday afternoons (1-6) and Saturday afternoons (1-5). Phone 506-260-2498. We would die to have such stores in Saint John (more on that soon.) People in the Fredericton area can also drop by Joseph's "Urban Organic Garden" in Marysville on Tuesdays between 4 and 7) or he's in the market on Saturdays. Last Saturday he had scads of scapes and sprouts and he assured me that the number of different things available on Tuesdays is much greater as he pools resources from two of his gardens.
In Saint John we have Baleman's in the market which brings in stuff from its farm and other local producers when available and Grand Bay Westfield has the Corn Crib and there's Cochrane's in the Valley.
Towards Sussex, in Berwick just up the #10 highway towards Cambridge Narrows, there's a new one to me: Goddard Farms Shop (433-2544) which sells both animal and vegetable products "no growth hormones, pesticides or sprays" - and that includes pet food. It's open Mon-Sat. "mornings and evenings are best for dropping in, or call ahead."
Moncton not only boasts two very fine markets on Saturdays but has a lovely natural foods store, Sequoia, 114 Highfield St. (http://www.sequoiafoods.ca)
And, if you're going down the highway towards NS, a great stop is the relatively new "Green Pig" farm store at Salisbury - you know where you'd normally turn off to go to the Tim's and the Irving Big Stop. Well, go right, not left, if you're coming from Moncton and you'll immediately see the Green Pig (http://www.greenpigmarket.com) - open every day 9-8 in the summers. The Green Pig (the story behind the name is on their website) is dedicated to local products (including a lot of stuff they grow/raise themselves). They carry Speerville products, local cheeses, Just Us coffee from NS, and they have a great bakery to boot! (You can get organic pumpkin pie there in the fall).
Now if you get all the way into NS and you're headed for Truro or Halifax, just before Truro and again just 2 minutes from the highway, is Masstown Market. A fabulous stop if you're looking for coffee (they serve Just Us) and a snack - they have a whole cafe counter/bakery thing happening - they also have a liquor store, a plant store, a craft store, a deli counter and a grocery store - but most importantly for our purposes they are again dedicated to local products. It's the only place I know where I can buy local (okay south Shore NS) *line-caught* haddock. They're very into supporting sustainable fisheries. But there's also loads of local meat, cheese and produce. So if you're passing through bring a cooler with you so you can stock up...
Okay, so that's what I know at least in the Southern NB region (or nearby). Feel free to add!
Thursday, June 24, 2010
Check out EWG's cosmetic database at: http://www.cosmeticsdatabase.com/?inlist=Y
And Olivier, if you don't know them yet: http://www.oliviersoaps.com/
During the summer members open their gardens to other members every Wednesday night. The focus tends to ornamentals, shrubs, and flowering plants, but there are many members who have outstanding vegetable gardens as well.
All members receive discounts at a large number of local garden supply stores and nurseries.
Wednesday, June 23, 2010
Monday, June 21, 2010
So it looks like things are really starting to happen. There are reports of farm market stalls opening. You can also follows the blogs of a number of organic farms in NB to see what's up and what's in. Here are a few of them....
Kathi Dunphy of Minihorse Farm B&B, which produces organic veggies and berries, has declared that she's putting up her roadside sign to let people know they can now come and get her organic produce in St. Martin's (280 West Quaco Rd, 506-833-6240). She already has mixed salad greens, some broccoli, arugula, onion tops and a variety of herbs. See her blog at: http://www.kathidunphywatercolors.blogspot.com/
You can also check out the goings on at Jemseg River Farms: http//jemsegriver.blogspot.com/
They brought their first harvest in to Boyce's Farmers' Market in Fredericton last Saturday - gorgeous looking greens - and they're offering weekly CSA boxes (still available for sign-up on their blog site) or you can stop by the farm (262 Rte 715 Jemseg; email firstname.lastname@example.org; 506-470-1906)
Another group offering CSAs is:
Dave is the manager of Kredl's (you see Dave's farm when you come into Hampton, and "Dave's" produce is often featured at Kredl's). See the article on his new "produce packs" weekly delivery idea at: http://telegraphjournal.canadaeast.com/rss/article/1056787
And join the facebook group to join the action.
And rumour has it that the folks at Good Spring Farm in Keswick Ridge (who are die hard local foodies) are also opening a farm gate stand. They're at:
730 Rte 616, Keswick Ridge (they're on the map at http://www.organicdb.ca/)
And the list goes on!
Canadian Organic Database
And, oh how could I forget them, there are the amazing folks at Falls Brook Centre - that haven of eco-activity in NB. They have a page dedicated to local foods as well, " the 100 mile challenge" which includes a resource list of NB producers and farm markets.
And yet another listing for organics in NB from Buy Local Think Global:http://www.buylocalthinkglobal.com/OrganicGrowers_Canada.cfm?local=New_Brunswick
Go to it! (And tell me what you find!)
Sunday, June 20, 2010
Even better, you can get amazing cheese and dairy products, "naturally produced" (but I'm not sure what that means yet, I'll try to drop in on the farm, but I'm quite sure you're avoiding additives and hormones) from Armadale in Roachville. Armadale's many cheeses are pretty widely available - Saint John City Market, Dieppe Market, Boyce's Farmer's market in Fredericton, Kredl's, Cochrane's, to name a few places. They do great cheddars, goudas, curds, yoghurt, quark, buttermilk, butter - you know your go-to dairy stuff. What I like to think of as everyday cheese - although maybe not everyone consider cumin gouda "everday" - I do however. Armadale is also doing a cow's milk feta (again, an everyday cheese to me). It's a nice dry feta. Great for cheese plates and salads. (For melty, pasta feta I still like Homestead feta from NS - you can actually get it at the Super Store).
However, there are also some artisanal cheese producers in NB and NS doing amazing things. So on our lovely cheese plate last night were some great goat cheeses - fantastic if you have trouble with cow's milk - made in the traditional way that is hard to find even in France these days. In NB, starting with the furthest away is the "Fromagerie au fond des bois" in Rexton, which does amazing goat cheese - beautiful little washed rind, soft goat cheese the like of which I've only since in France and Portugal - oh, and BC. They do ash-rolled soft goat cheese, and hard goat cheese and you name it. Things of beauty and amazing flavour. Now I used to have to go to Dieppe or Moncton to find these cheeses - or you can go to Les Gourmands in Moncton - but now they're being brought in to Kingston's Farmers market (Homestead Cheese Shoppe). Beautiful. And so are some of the cheeses from our incredible fromagerie - Bergerie de 4 vents - which puts out a camembert to die for (La Dune) and other sheep, cow and goat cheeses. Indeed, their first cheese - the semi-pressed, sheep's cheese, Le Sieur de Duplessis - is getting national recognition. See the write up in the Globe and Mail
(Apparently the Sieur is also available at the new Costco in Saint John)
For more on the Fromagerie au fond des Bois see:
Au fond des bois You can visit them on Tues, Thurs and Sunday afternoons in the summer. So if you're up that way check it out.
Both the Sieur de Duplessis and a "Barbizon" soft goat cheese from au fond des Bois were on our platter last night as well as a camembert from 4 vents and a "gris blue" coming from a fromagerie in Bouctouche (I'll have to find out more on this one) - ash covered, mixed blue and soft goat. Fantastic. However I must admit the salt addicted, high-flavour seeking folks at the table (okay that includes me) couldn't past the Dragon's Breath blue from That Dutchman in Economy, NS. The Dragon's Breath is the Dutchman's (famous for his amazing goudas) favourite cheese, and one can see why. It's a black wax wrapped blue that knocks the socks off you - and you just can't help going back for more. Bring on the Newman's Port (Newfoundlanders will know what I'm talking about). http://www.thatdutchmansfarm.com/
You don't have to go to Lower Economy however - the Dutchman's stuff is usually available at the venerable Masstown Market (just off the Trans Canada before you hit Truro in well, Masstown, 2 mins from the highway - the Masstown Market prides itself on providing local products so it's a good place to check in on your next drive through to Halifax).
Nova Scotia of course has a number of cheese places, Fox Hill Farms in the Annapolis Valley, for example: http://www.foxhillcheesehouse.com/ . But for goat cheese I think NB has it wrapped up. In any case, this is one food group for which there are absolutely no excuses for not buying local.... (okay, maybe parmesan, but I'll get back to you on that...)
But back to the the emu. I tried out Carol's recipe for "Honey Mustard Emu Steaks" for dinner tonight - with more lovely NB beet greens and some admittedly non-NB quinoa (although organic quinoa can be sourced from Speerville). It's is a very rich, tasty meat. Reminds me of kangaroo (which is probably no coincidence since emu is a big number ofr the aborigines of Australia) - a dark, dense, very low-fat meat, but also very mild. It's not like game meat, just very rich steaky flavour. It's also a great source of iron (four times more than beef). It needs to be cooked "low and slow" as all lean meats do (or this is what Dave Bunnet taught me). It would probably do really well is a simmering dish like a stew or a "emu' Wellington or some such thing. I'll check with the local chefs and see what they would do. But add this one to your list of local protein sources people. It's available at the Kingston Market, at the farm on Route 10 and at Goddard Farms in Berwick (also on Route 10 - a shop which carries no-hormone meats of other kinds and local veggies "with no pesticides or sprays"). And if people know of other places, let me know!
Sunday, June 13, 2010
Saturday, June 12, 2010
First off, I did find fresh lettuce from Cedar Lane Farms. And great sunflower and pea sprouts from Homesteader Farms. The salads in this house will be fabulous this week.
And I got some of the Cedar Lane pork chops - will try those later.
Most exciting was a chat with Fred Decker, who was the first to point me in the direction of NB cheeses a few years back. He's now running Bounty of New Brunswick catering (http://bountynb.ca/) which is focused on "local, seasonal and regional cuisine." And he's cooking at the Kingston Farmers' Market this summer. He made me a fabulous "Maple Peppercorn Egg and Cheese Sandwich" (Cedar Lane Farm eggs, Sussex cheese) and Decker's own Maple Peppercorn Bacon. He also reminded me to check out Mott's Winery near Cambridge Narrows(which I shall surely do) and gestured over to the marketer carrying those fabulous NB cheese. (A man after my own heart, wine and cheese as the key ingredients to anything.)
More on the cheese later...
But the Deckers also had marvellous breads and, be still my beating heart, Belgian waffles. Tomorrow morning I have a date with those Begian waffles, some NB organic maple syrup a friend gave me, Armadale's Balkan yoghurt and last year's Pennfield blueberries turned into a compote...
I also met Cynthia Liberty of Cynfully Delicious Who had gorgeous looking baked goods - using Speerville products of course - including her very cute bagels. If I didn't already have waffles in hand I'd have to get the bagels. I made off with some focaccia bread however and she has quite a raft of other things she makes.
There's always more than one can take in at the Kingston Market - there were the organic herb plants I picked up for my balcony garden from Northern Arrow for example. But more on that later, I have some cheese to taste...
Friday, June 11, 2010
The NB Conservation Council has its Local Food page with a search engine much like ACORN's:
AND: Check *this* out: a friend pointed me to this new site:
Apparently it's a "web-tv", social network site, 13 episodes (coming soon) dedicated to NB food producers. Cool yes? Will explore more and keep you posted...
Wednesday, June 9, 2010
Monday, June 7, 2010
So, the green season is upon us. Glad I froze some fiddleheads before they disappeared (I'll let you know this fall how that worked out). Rob Baleman tells me that the peas on their farm are already in blossom - that means peas should be here in a couple of weeks, as will the first potatoes. There are visions of hodge podge dancing through my head.
Now I'm on the hunt for more sources of local baby salad greens....
Sunday, June 6, 2010
And, doubly bless them, they now have a map of organics in the region on their homepage. You can also sign up to their Facebook page and receive newsletters and updates. It's really the best resource we have for at least finding those folks registered with ACORN. So check it out - you'll be amazed at what you find!
Two other sources you should know about:
The Conservation Council of NB's Find Local Food page - which also has a database for NB:
Find Local Food
Here you can pick your region and get a list of all the farms, farm stands, markets etc. in that region. Great if you're doing some touring this summer!
And, the Really Local Harvest Coop/ Recoltez de chez nous, which provides all sorts of resources on local, environmentally friendly producers in the Southeast region of NB:
Really Local Harvest
The Really Local Harvest folks came up with the "eco-logik" label that you'll see on some farms in south-eastern NB. The label is reserved for those producers who reduce their chemical inputs through more sustainable farming methods.
Thursday, June 3, 2010
Anyways, for your personal shopping pleasure, here is link to the EWG's pocket guide on the "Dirty Dozen" (and the "Clean 15" as well). They've even got an I-phone app... So take it with you when you shop. And in any case, let me know where you're finding local and especially local and organic in NB!
The Dirty Dozen
Tuesday, June 1, 2010
The beef is excellent - way more flavour than grocery store beef and leaner too - so cook with care. Dave gives excellent advice on this.
There are other more esoteric options in NB however
One I found on my way through the old (890) highway from Sussex to Petitcodiac - Brabant's wild boar meat in Newtown/Knightville. Wild boar is very lean and tastier than pork. I had some lovely chops the other night - they need to be cooked slow and low to retain their moisture. It's very low in saturated fat, lower than pork, and only slightly higher than chicken. Brabants
The other night I cooked up their also very tasty and lean sausages along with sauerkraut from Lewis Mountain (outside Moncton)that I also picked up at the Dieppe Market. Apparently there's an organic Lewis Mountain sauerkraut as well.
And in the same trip, I picked up some buffalo meat at the Dieppe market from SeaWind Buffalo Ranch in Bouctouche. Fabulous hot Italian sausages from them. Again very lean and the sausages had a marvellous fennel flavour. Highly recommended if you like Hot Italian. The Buffalo at Seawind are grass fed - avoiding all the problems of grain fed meat.
Seawind Buffalo Farm
There are other sources I'm sure, in fact I'll check it out on the ACORN site....which I will introduce in the next post.