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North Saanich Food and Farm Festival, Aug 19-21, 2016!

The much anticipated and always popular Flavour Trails North Saanich Food and Farm Festival is here August 19-21, 2016!  This rural celebration of all things local, flavourful and fun is a must for young and old alike.  When we talk about “farm to table” this is where it starts – – with the growers, harvesters, vinters, chefs and producers of our region.  It is also on our local shores that we can understand what it means “when the tide is out, the table is set”. The richness of local food is all around us and this is a chance to explore and savour!!

Ride or drive the trail and take in the food and wine sampling, fresh produce, demonstrations and talks, music and art, animals and activities.  There is something for everyone!Screen Shot 2016-07-29 at 12.52.35 PM

2016Strawberries-WinePoster

Peninsula Wine Fest + Strawberries & Wine Tour, July 9-10, 2016

The Peninsula Wine Fest + Strawberries & Wine Tour has arrived!  July 9-10, 2016, is the weekend to explore the Victoria countryside by bike or car and experience an exquisite mash-up celebrating the sweetness of our local strawberries with the divine, award-winning elixers of the region! Sip, savour, and take home culinary and drinking delights in two ways:  Explore the Strawberries & Wine Tour of farms, vineries/cideries/distilleries, restaurants, and/or purchase a ticket (limited availability) to the all-inclusive Peninsula Wine Fest, Saturday July 9, on the historic grounds of St. Stephen’s Church, Saanichton.

Strawberries & Wine Tour promises a delight of tastes from strawberry cocktails and sangria muddles,  to special edition elixirs, to wine pairings with savoury delicacies and sweet strawberry treats. Try it all and then buy and take home!  The Saanich Peninsula is home to an array of creative and superb world-class wines, ciders and spirits, and this is the weekend to be dazzled!  Do it by visiting the vineyards/orchards themselves or experience them all under one tent at the Peninsula Wine Fest! The event brings together fantastic drink, food, music and tickets are going very fast!  Click here to get yours.

Summer has arrived!!

 

 

Strawberries are here!!

Local strawberries have arrived!  Yes, a little earlier than most years, this year’s crop is bursting with incredible flavour and disappearing off the stands as fast as the farmers can picking them.  And how can they not?  The flavour is unbelievable!!!  To find local strawberries, check out the FarmFresh Guide’s strawberry page (here) for details and maps on where to buy.  And once you have filled yourself with the juiciness and goodness of the fresh berry, try this recipe for a divine fresh strawberry ice-cream:

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 pound strawberries, trimmed, halved if large
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • Equipment: an ice cream maker (or airtight container)

PREPARATION

  • Coarsely mash strawberries with sugar, lemon juice, and salt using a potato masher in a large bowl. Let stand, stirring and mashing occasionally, 10 minutes.
  • Transfer half of strawberry mixture to a blender and purée with cream until smooth. Return strawberry cream to bowl with remaining strawberries and chill, stirring occasionally, until very cold, 3 to 6 hours.
  • Freeze mixture in ice cream maker. If you don’t have an ice-cream maker, place in airtight container and stir contents vigorously every 2-3 hours as it freezes.  This will eliminate ice crystals and keep it creamy.
  • Transfer from ice cream maker to an airtight container and put in freezer to firm up.

Keeps for a week.

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Songhees Seafood & Steam: region’s newest food truck

Savouring the flavours of the region just got more delicious!  Welcome to the Songhees Seafood & Steam food truck  – – the latest member of Greater Victoria’s vast and robust food truck community.  Self described as offering a “menu with fresh local ingredients that authentically incorporates the craft and care of food preparation embodied by the Songhees”, the truck, like a number of others, is committed to buying locally and preparing seasonally inspired menus.  Download the Victoria area food truck app here and find the location, hours and menu of any one of these amazing trucks.  Bon appetite!!!

Salt Spring Ilsand Apple Festival

Salt Spring Island Apple Festival on October 4

16th Annual Salt Spring Island Apple Festival
Sunday, October 4, 2015
9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Buy a program at Fulford Hall (about 1 km from the Fulford ferry ) and start your self-guided tour of 18 Salt Spring Apple Festival host farms to explore, many of which are not normally open to the public. Tickets $10 adult, $5 students and kids are FREE. Also available in the north end outside the Ganges Tourist Info Centre. See the Apple Pie Ladies, apple ID people, orchard bee experts from Be Diverse, local food treasures, and incredible art. Enjoy lunches prepared by local chefs using local ingredients that will make you want to clone yourself so you can eat more of their lunch specials! In 2014, the Fulford Hall apple display had 300 apple varieties all grown on Salt Spring Island (you can view a photo of each variety at www.saltspringapplefestival.org). There are over 1,000 photos from the 2014 festival shown on the website too. Enjoy a time lapse done of the 2010 Apple Display (thanks to Ron Watts for the photography): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FWCIt4Dbhx0

St. Stephens Church

Peninsula Wine Fest on Saturday August 29

A reminder that the Anglican Parish of Central Saanich hosts the Peninsula Wine Fest this Saturday (August 29) from 1 to 4 pm on the grounds of the historic St. Stephen’s Anglican Church in the beautiful Mount Newton Valley. Participating wineries include de Vine Vineyards, Dragonfly Hill Vineyard, Highland House Winery (Roost Farm Centre), Muse Winery, Sea Cider Farm & Ciderhouse, Symphony Vineyard, and Church and State Wines. Tickets $40. Your ticket entitles you to a wine tasting demonstration, appetizers, live music and a unique etched wine glass as a take-home souvenir. Rounding out the tasting of over 20 wines is a vintage car show, a tour of St. Stephen’s heritage church and historical cemetery, and a silent auction. For more information, visit www.ParishCS.ca/events. Tickets can be purchased online.

Strawberries in Hands

Strawberries and Wine Festival 2015

Celebrate the summer solstice on the Saanich Peninsula with a fete of local strawberries and wines! Saanich Peninsula farmers produce lots of juicy red strawberries, a historical feature of our agricultural landscape. In more recent years, the Peninsula has supported development of locally-produced and award-winning wines and ciders. We’re celebrating these two local indulgences together on a one-day Strawberries and Wine Festival on the weekend of June 20-21, 2015. Explore and experience a diversity of activities and tastes. You can buy fresh-picked berries direct at local farm or at the North Saanich Farm Market or Peninsula Country Market – or maybe you’ll want to pick your own! Enjoy a Peninsula rural ramble by car or bike and visit wineries where you can sample local wines paired with fresh strawberry delights and buy bottles of wine or cider for enjoyment at home! Eat at a local restaurant and delight in special foods featuring local strawberries. Dance the dance the night away at the annual Summer Solstice Celebration Community Dance and Strawberry Fete in Brentwood Bay! If you’re from out of town, why not make a weekend of it and experience the diversity of all the Saanich Peninsula has to offer. Play and stay a hotel in Sidney by the Sea featuring special Strawberry & Wines rates.