Spring harvests in Montreal

Spring is sprung — even though it is officially over in a few days — and our farmers markets are finally showing some local produce besides last years carrots.

asp1.jpg

rhu.jpgMost importantly, asparagus is here. I have been buying and grilling it for almost a week now, and I don't see Noshette and I getting bored of it anytime soon. Another sure sign that more local veggies are on the way is the appearance of rhubarb in our markets, our forests, the side of the road, and also in my community garden plot.

stw.jpgStrawberries are also here, but it is only the beginning of the season and they will get so much sweeter as soon as next week. I had a few Mexican and Californian strawberries during the winter and they just didn't do it for me. They were big and they were red, but the interiors were white and the sweetness just wasn't there. I will most probably be making our family's year supply of strawberry jam in the coming days as the market is filled with berries and the prices go down a bit. Right now a pint of local strawberries will cost $4.00 (Canadian) while 2 pints of California strawberries will only set us back $2.00. The world is a strange place.

tom.jpgI've been dying for a decent tomato for months, and I'll still have to wait a fair bit until I can enjoy Montreal tomatoes, but a couple of vendors are selling Quebec hydroponic tomatoes and Lebanese cucumbers. I bought some and they were pretty good. Not as good as outdoor, but way better than our normal winter tomatoes from Mexico and California that taste like cardboard.
The farmers markets in Montreal are not truly farmers markets in the true sense of the word as there are vendors selling pineapples and mangoes right next to their local berries and romaine lettuce. Unless you ask, you may not know where your food is coming from. Ontario Farmers Markets has recently started a program to try and create a few markets that are 100% farmers markets in Toronto. The Torontovore complains about it, but I think it may be a good idea.

After a long and hard winter, where I ate far fewer vegetables than normally eat during the wintertime, I am overjoyed that the season has finally arrived in Montreal. I can't wait to shop at our markets, enjoy the bounty of my CSA, and also to eat from my own community garden plot, where I recently got my very own plot. There will be posts about all of these food sources very soon.

5 Responsesto “Spring harvests in Montreal”

  1. Simon says:

    I was pleasently surprised by the "tomates de serres" that I received with my CSA basket last week. Maybe not as sweet and juicy as one would hope but certainly flavourful. I hope to get into the strawberry bounty soon myself. I have been grilling and eating salads almost everyday now... the summer is definitly here in Montréal!

  2. Marie says:

    Since there is some crops which can be grown in Northern climate, maybe, instead of banishing all imported fruits and vegetables, limiting the farmer markets to fair trade products would be a good idea: fair trade coffee, tea, chocolate, exotic fruits etc... While the main of our diet should be from local, family farms, food is also matter of culture and social justice.

  3. Nosher of the North says:

    Simon - what CSA are you a member of?

    Marie - that's a good idea, but I doubt the conventional produce vendors at the markets would give up their stalls so easily.

    I am off to Toronto for a few days, where I'll poke around for some good food!

  4. Jessica Schessler says:

    That's kind of disheartening to think people could be buying produce there without it being local at all. I'm lucky to have a local farmer's market that is entirely made up of local farms, butchers, and fishers. I wish I had gone years ago, but I assumed everything would be more expensive. I was so wrong... everything is cheaper, from the organic produce, fresh local meats, seafood, baked breads, etc.. Everything is so incredible, I never knew such great foods existed.

  5. Nosher of the North says:

    Jessica - it would be great if you let us know where you are writing from...then I could move there when I get sick of Montreal!