One of my favourite things about this time of the year is the abundance of produce at the Farmer’s Market, especially if I get the chance to visit the ones in the Okanagan. It’s not only a feast for your eyes with all the colors and abundance of produce but also a bit educating when it comes to all the varieties of fruits and vegetables.
The peaches are ripe and available at almost every stand. 20 lb boxes of peaches seemed to range in price from $22 to $45, everyone claiming their box is better than the next stand down. The $45 boxes look and taste the same but the stamp of “certified organic” relegated them to the top price category. My consultant, my mom, said the best ones to look for are the Glo Haven peaches. This year was my first time canning peaches….but I’ll be honest it was more of an introduction to canning since my mom did most of the work for me 🙂
Apples are just beginning to ripen so I picked up a bag of Sunrise apples for a cheap $3. Sunrise are one of the first varieties of apples to ripen but they also do not keep as well as some of the later ripening varieties. After a week in the area we already noticed a difference in the color of the apples on the trees go from completely green to just a hint of red. My favourite apples are Jonagold but it was too early in the year to be able to take home a box of those.
The beets are ridiculously large coming in different shapes and even in orange. I guess one of the reasons the beets size amazed me was because the beets in my home garden were an epic fail this year with lots of green leaves but no beet. Something I read online said this can be due to high nitrogen in the soil, but how does the average person go about making their soil have less nitrogen? I am slowly learning the tricks to home gardening.
Garlic is also in abundance at the Farmer’s Markets in the Okanagan and I had to scoot my husband away from one garlic stand as he walked by saying “it’s all the same, garlic is garlic”. I knew if we had stopped the person running the stand would have spent 20 minutes explaining to us the differences in their garlic bulbs.
Finally, one of my newest Fall hobbies is pickled peppers. The peppers also ranged greatly in price at the Farmer’s Market, but the best price I found for them was actually outside the market at a store which specializes in local produce, I got a big bag of them for $3.50. U-pick peppers also wasn’t a bad deal, around $1 a pound. For now my peppers (all shapes and sizes) are awaiting canning but I will post an update when they are done. It is wonderful to have a jar of pickled peppers to open in the middle of the winter.
Now I am looking forward to more Fall favourites, zucchini and pumpkins!