It’s soon Thanksgiving and it’s also (oh yeah) pumpkin and decorative gourd season. Pumpkin patches are a bit of a trek, but the Vancouver Farmers Markets in the West End, Kits and Trout Lake, which are open for another two weekends, are not. Also, do you really want to make a soporific footslog to the grocery store to shop for the big meal when it’s way more festive to get out in that crisp October breeze and frolic with local farmers? I thought not.
I called the Vancouver Farmers Market headquarters to suss out the pumpkin situation, and to get their top harvest picks for your Thanksgiving table. Here is what I found out:
Tips for what to grab for your Thanksgiving table from the Vancouver Farmers Market headquarters:
- Pumpkins are good for carving and taking out your rage issues. But don’t forget about old-fashioned, truly DIY pumpkin pie making. Save the seeds and toast them for sport-viewing snacks.
- Cranberries just arrived at the markets and are one of the few commercially grown fruits that are native to North America. The early settlers called the fruit “crane berry” because the shape of the blossom resembles the head of a crane.
- If you’re serving roast potatoes, go for locally grown Russian blue potatoes or fingerling potatoes. If you’re mashing, use a rich, buttery tater like the yellow, organic Sieglinde.
- Squash is seasonal and handy when you want to eat healthy food that tastes like candy. No Thanksgiving table is complete without it.
- Decorative gourds are good for your holiday cheer. How can you even contemplate having dinner guests in fall without an ornate assortment of gourds blocking cross-table eye contact? You can’t. Don’t be afraid to open your front door and let some multi-colored leaves float into the mix.
Vancouver Farmers Markets open until October 22 23:
West End Farmers Market, Open Saturdays from 9 a.m.-2 p.m., June 4-Oct. 22: Situated across from newly renovated Nelson Park in Vancouver’s West End, this decidedly urban market features 35 vendors, including 22 selling primarily farm products.
Kitsilano Farmers Market, Open Sundays from 10 a.m.-2 p.m., May 22-Oct. 23: Located at 10th Avenue and Larch Street in the parking lot of the Kitsilano Community Centre, this popular market has 48 vendors, with 29 selling primarily farm products.
Trout Lake Farmers Market, Open Saturdays from 9 a.m.-2 p.m., May 14-Oct. 22: Located in Trout Lake Park in East Vancouver, this market has been around since 1995 and features 48 vendors, including 30 selling primarily farm products.
Following October 23 the Vancouver Farmers Markets will be closed for one week. The Winter Farmers Market starts Saturdays from November 5, 2011 – April 28, 2012, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. each week in the east parking lot of Nat Bailey Stadium on 30th Ontario Street.