It may still be winter, but the days are rapidly getting longer and Spring isn’t far off. For cooped up Vancouverites desperate to get outside, the Winter Farmer’s Market at Nat Bailey Stadium is a nice place to get psyched up for Spring. I headed over last weekend to remind myself that a winter farmer’s market can have a lot more than kale.
I wasn’t disappointed. The market was hopping despite the cold and rainy weather. A big plus is a significant food truck presence, a new feature at this year’s winter market. The trucks were slinging hearty, warming fare, and the line ups proved yet again that Vancouverites love food trucks, especially in pods.
The market had a surprisingly large selection of fresh vegetables. There were plenty of greens (including kale), and also a wide variety of root crops. This is a great time of year to stew some carrots, and I particularly like the different flavours of the yellow and purple carrots. The return of multicoloured carrots with their differing nutrition contents is a nice change from the days when they only came in orange; the orange carrot was popularized by the House of Orange in Holland, and somehow they eliminated their many multicoloured siblings. Try the purple ones roasted.
The market also boasts some winter surprises; I was not expecting local kiwi fruit, but there they were. Grown in Abbotsford on mount Lehman, these kiwis were picked in November and stored in a cool place until now. I found they ripened up nicely on the counter in a few days, and they were certainly an interesting treat.
The Winter Market also has a wide variety of baking, preserves, and crafts, and is a great place to start a winter Saturday. It is a perfect place to pass the time as we wait for the warm days of summer.