Farmers Market Challenge: Week 6 Summer 2017

When Jen Arbo, president of the New West Farmers Market, floated the idea of conducting a “Berry Showdown” “Berry Off” “Berry Battle” at the market a couple weeks ago, a little lightbulb went off in my head. We Bartels love our berries and cherries; why keep the friendly fisticuffs to the market only? Yes, folks, I brought the showdown home.

We had cherries. We had raspberries. We had strawberries. We did not have blueberries.

it was a berry-cherry showdown!

Strawberries had been going strong in the house for awhile. Pretty much, we had been buying two pints every day. With such a short season, made even shorter due to the ugly winter/spring, we did not want to miss out. Honestly, I’m surprised we weren’t peeing red the amount we were consuming. They were a strong contender, there is no doubt, especially after being told by Jeff at Fresh Quality Produce that that week’s strawberries were in their flavour prime compared to the raspberries and cherries, which were still early in their ripening season.

Had my husband had his way, it would have been strawberry fields forever. But my son and I, we are all raspberries all the way. Some may conclude we were strawberried out, others may say the newness of the raspberries won our vote. But nope, simply, in our house, raspberries rule.

And seriously, how could they not? They are crazy flavourful. On their own, in oatmeal, in smoothies, and you can stick them on your fingers (as my boy regularly does) and sing: Daddy finger, daddy finger, where are you, here I am, here I am, how do you do… and then plop them in your mouth and shout: Yum! Yum! In my tum!!! 🙂

So much fun!

That said, though, market goers were more in line with my husband. Strawberries clearly won bragging rights with 22 votes, followed up by raspberries at 9 votes, and cherries close behind with 7 votes.

Every person who voted was asked to write a comment as to why they chose the fruit they chose. My favourite of the bunch was: “Strawberry [because it’s] like heaven in my mouth.”

Some of the responses from market goers after participating in the Battle of the Berries and Cherries.

It would be interesting to see if the votes would change now with blueberries in the mix.

Market Loot:

• Harvest Direct Farms:

– 1 pint cherries $6

• Fresh Quality Produce:

– 1 pint raspberries $5

– 1 bag English snap peas $5

• Mandair Farms:

– 1 pint strawberries $5

• Ossome Acres

– 1 bunch collard greens $3

– 1 lb red potatoes $2.50

• Dagaraad

– 1 bomber-sized white $6.50

– 1 bomber-sized amber $6.50

• Gary’s Kettlecorn

– 1 bag kettle corn $2.50

Total spent: $42

I went a little over budget this week. I was somewhat distracted. We were going on holidays for a week a couple days after the market, and as such were limited with what we could purchase as I didn’t want to come home to a fridge potentially full of spoiled vegetables. Plus, my son was also pulling at my arm every two seconds wanting to play on the bridges, wanting a treat (see above), wanting his face painted, wanting to do a craft. My head was spinning! I thought I was only going $1 over budget, but it turns out it was $2 over.

Moral of the story: better to be focused than distracted!