Flavourful Saskatoon, July 16, 2012

A new cookbook, a new wine store, an abundance of saskatoons, a Market dinner, and an opportunity to protect local farms
Dinner at the Market, July 26
The Saskatoon Farmers’ Market is hosting a dinner on July 26 featuring Chef Darren Craddock of Riverside Country Club. Tickets are $75 and include all food and wine pairings. The full menu is available online.

Saskatoon Berries 
Hounjet Orchards (sell yogurt at the Saskatoon Farmers’ Market) have so many saskatoon berries this year that they are struggling to pick them all and are asking for help.

Pick 10 bags – 5 for them and 5 for yourself – and there’s no charge. For more information, call Gerry Hounjet at 978-0926.

Wine and Beer
Brad Laidlaw, owner of Earl’s and Saskatoon Brewery, has purchased Cava’s leftover wine and spirits stock for his store, Ingredients Artisan Market, that will be opening shortly. The Saskatoon StarPhoenix article says that the Market will be opening within the next few months on Second Avenue – I’m assuming it will be next door to Earl’s.

Taste: Seasonal Dishes from a Prairie Table
Taste: Seasonal Dishes from a Prairie Table by CJ Katz will be for sale by the end of the summer, online at Amazon and in McNally Robinson, Chapters, Co-op and Safeway. Book launches will be held in both Saskatoon and Regina in September.

Slow Food Saskatoon
Check out this article about Slow Food Saskatoon (by Jenn Sharp, Bridges newspaper).

Saving our Farmland
The City of Edmonton is in the process of developing a city-wide Food and Agriculture Strategy. Mack Male, a prominent Edmonton blogger, provides an excellent critique of Edmonton’s progress to date.

“The Food & Agriculture Strategy is an opportunity for us to consider the importance of food in Edmonton. It’s an opportunity to increase access to local food, to reduce our ecological footprint, and to contribute significantly to the local economy. But it’s also an opportunity to consider what happens to the agricultural land surrounding Edmonton, and that is ultimately a question about the kind of city we want Edmonton to be.”

Northeast Edmonton contains rich valley-bottom soil that is ideally suited to agriculture and currently includes a great many farms, including Riverbend Gardens, a third-generation family farm. Developers and speculators are anxious to pave it over and create a new residential subdivision. I’ll leave it to Mack to express his deep concerns about this issue. And I hope that Saskatoon will recognize the value of agricultural land and the risks of urban sprawl.

“The bottom line is that the agricultural land on the edge of Edmonton is some of the best land in the province. With more than enough capacity to support anticipated population growth within existing areas, there’s no good reason to relinquish such a valuable asset, especially before a proper analysis of the land and how it fits into Edmonton’s future is completed and a strategy is approved.

"This is not just a battle between land developers and farmers in the city’s Northeast. This is a battle over the kind of City we want Edmonton to be. I want Edmonton to be a economically and environmentally sustainable city that recognizes the importance of food security and the value of a more compact region. How about you?”

A video by a group of Northeast farmers poignantly explains what Edmonton stands to lose if they create a residential suburb on their farms.

Photo: solar-powered roaming sushi truck in Fernie, BC

Flavourful Saskatoon is a weekly Monday feature. I also post regular profiles of culinary entrepreneurs, new restaurants and new food products.

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