Cucumber Salad with Roasted Peanuts
Written by: Nikki Oke, Rooted Oak Farm
For more farm-fresh recipes visit www.rootedoak.ca/recipes
- 1lb of cucumbers (if using field cucs peel and remove seeds)
- ¼ cup salted roasted peanuts
- ¼ cup cilantro
- 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 3 tablespoons natural peanut butter
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
- 1 teaspoon sugar or honey
- 1 garlic clove
- Toss cucumbers with salt and put in a sieve over a bowl. The amount of salt is up to you.
- Put peanuts in a food processor with the cilantro and red pepper flakes, and grind until very fine. If you don’t have a food processor you can achieve this with a knife. Remove from food processor and set aside.
- Add peanut butter, soy sauce, rice vinegar, garlic, sugar and ½ teaspoon of salt to the food processor and mix until smooth.
- Combine the drained cucumbers, the sauce, and the peanut mixture into a large bowl and mix well. You can reserve some of the peanut mixture as a garnish.
June 25th, 2023
Written by: Deb, Fungi Connection
Ever since I was a little kid growing up in Terre Haute, Indiana – on the banks of the Wabash River, on the border with Illinois, and a few hours north of Kentucky – I wanted land. My favourite thing was to go into my backyard and dig holes, plant little seeds I found, water them. I loved thinking about how magical and simple it was to grow food. An early question that bothered me all the time was: if food is for sale, and people need money for food, and we can grow food, why doesn’t everyone just grow food? Now that I’m older, I still feel the same way. Growing food is our birthright.
My parents are what I like to call “indoor people,” who mostly shy away from the dirt and challenge of farm life, probably because they grew up being taught that convenience foods meant progress, but for me, the soil was always calling. We didn’t have farmers’ markets, the way we know them now when I was growing up. The only farmers market I knew was carried out late in the day, on a rough loading dock on the south end of town, where the crop farmers would bring their leftovers that didn’t make it to auction, the ripped and torn or half-eaten cabbages, holey potatoes, and scraps of other veggies that you could get for next to nothing. My mother – a modern housewife! – would not have been caught dead shopping there, and it wasn’t much for creating community.
I don’t think it was until after I was in university in the big city, of Indianapolis, that I started to see the kinds of farmers markets that I know now. Those markets always seemed way too bourgeoisie for me – expensive, fancy, and attended by middle-aged people who already owned homes and had jobs downtown. Fast-forward, through the literature degree (spent all four years looking longingly at the groundskeepers and wondering why I couldn’t study literature AND dig in the dirt; spent hours hanging out at the botanical gardens, and wondering how I could manage to get some land), through some confusing years of work and city-living, and about a year after starting law school. I was 26 years old, looking healthy as ever on the outside, hustling hard to fit the mold of a powerful young woman of my time, and dating a medical doctor:
That’s when I was diagnosed with cancer. On a beautiful Wednesday afternoon in September, a breast surgeon told me I would need to start chemo as quickly as possible. Insert montage of the next year: me getting surgery, me getting chemo, me bald, me learning how to make self-deprecating and light-hearted jokes when well-intentioned people looked aghast at my situation and assumed I was a dead woman. My first cancer diagnosis is what created in me a desire to seek out a better quality of life and a more meaningful way of making a living, as well as an understanding that none of us is guaranteed one more day. I finished my law degree and lost the doctor boyfriend, but then began focusing on the things that brought me joy, including writing and growing food. From 2006 to 2017, we (Darin and I) would develop a small market garden, which grew into a large farm operation, including greenhouses, and a mushroom farm. In 2017, we sold the whole thing and moved to Wolfe Island, seeking a better quality of life for our kids and ourselves.
One of the hardest parts of moving to Canada was losing my market family. We had been farm market vendors in Indiana for more than 10 years by the time we left, and every Saturday had been an opportunity to engage with the people who knew us, who knew our product, and who had watched our kids grow up. Those first weeks and months of being unknown in Kingston, and of not recognizing the faces of customers and other vendors, were some of the most challenging. Everyone was friendly, but I often wondered if it would ever feel the same, if Kingston could ever start to feel like my community. As has been my experience in every market I’ve attended, the topic of food, environment, and health tend to connect people quickly.
We grow food that we know is good for health and good for the environment, and the ability to bring a finished product to our community that we feel good about selling continues to bring us a weekly high that can’t be matched. As the months and years ticked by, I found myself feeling more and more a part of this community.
The only part I enjoy more than actually selling our produce is being able to show young people that there is an alternative to the standard expectations of our commercial and corporate culture: that you can pursue meaningful work, that you can use your curiosity and intellect to observe gaps in your community, and that you can create or produce something special.
We work hard. There have been many challenging months and years in this labour. But since our first Memorial Centre Farmers’ Market, back in April of 2018, when every face I saw at the market was a stranger, to now, the spring of 2023, I feel like the Memorial Market has become my home; I look forward to seeing regular customers and my fellow vendors every week, and I meet every new face with the hope that they will experience that same feeling. I still believe that growing food is our birthright, and every week I hope that I’m helping plant that seed in the next generation.
June 1st, 2023
Written by: Alix, Haymakers Coffee Co.
What a treat to be back outside together serving up humans with dreamy, Sunday smiles on their faces and arms loaded up with locally grown/made-with-passion food and products!
The live music, the colours of humans, tents, flags and fresh produce, the sweet, well-behaved and loved dogs, the rad moves of tai chi and yoga, the sounds of children giggling and squealing, slurping cups of mango lassi and lemonade, the sweet scent of churros mingling with brewing coffee, the joy of folks bumping into each other or discovering something fabulous from a market vendor, all of it, all of us, make Memorial Centre Farmers’ Market a wonderful community high-vibe space and Sunday ritual.
I love it.
As a local, producer-run market focused on providing access to fresh, nutrient-rich agricultural and sustainably-produced products, the vendors and folks who enjoy the market care about what we do and how we do it.
What this means is that the market creates opportunities for me as a business owner to connect with thoughtful, community-minded humans who generously share their knowledge and mad skills that empower me to do my business better.
As a human, what and how I consume matters. As a coffee roaster, how we do our business matters.
Braden Dragomir is the founder and executive creative director of Untold Storytelling video and film production company. To me, for the first market season and a half, Braden was “Guatemala with something from a cow” every Sunday. At the Night Market last year, Braden pulled up a chair to enjoy his delicious container of market food and we chatted. I had some time. (It was so weird. Folks were more into the rad live music and the beer garden, than caffeine during the night market.)
This is when I learned that Braden is a filmmaker and about the skills required to continuously develop as a storyteller and about some of the stories he’s had the privilege to capture. Super cool. Early this spring, Braden emailed me. Braden has a filmmaker friend from El Salvador. They’ve worked together for over 14yrs. The day of his email to me, Braden remembered that his friend is also a 4th generation coffee farmer who happens to grow some of Braden’s favourite coffee 😉 and they speak the same language as Haymakers Coffee Co. around people and the planet.
An aligned connection was made over coffee at a farmers’ market. The positive, intentional ripple effect of this connection over coffee travels well beyond Braden’s “Guatemala with something from a cow” one evening at the Memorial Centre Farmers’ Market in Kingston.
What we do and how we do it, matters.
How rad is that?