Bramblings From Vancouver Island

By: Angeline and James Street

Brambles Market

Well, summer is here for sure-at least in the produce department, if not outside! This is our favourite time of the year. We get excited by every delivery; it’s like Christmas every week. We can’t wait to break into the boxes to see what new goodies we have received. Asparagus is done, as are fiddleheads and mache. But, then there are other treasures to be had: baby potatoes, baby carrots, strawberries, lettuces,green beans and baby zucchini… Oh, it’s hard to know what to eat first!!

We are planning and setting up so many things for the coming year. It’s too bad there are so few hours in the day to get everything done. As many of you know, we are working on a website as one of our big projects right now. It is taking longer than expected as we want it to be really great. There are just so many things we want to cram onto the site, but we have to pick and choose what we do put on it, so that it is useful and entertaining and interactive for YOU. And it really is challenging to figure it all out! If there are particular things that you think you would like to see on the site, please let us know. Right now, if you have food photos or recipes featuring local goodies, feel free to send them in to us to use on the site. The more the merrier!

French Breakfast Radishes

Here’s an idea: Serve the radish roots in the French fashion: dip them in butter and kosher salt and eat them with buttered bread for breakfast!

The first year and a half have flown by, and we sure have learned a lot! We are taking stock of what we do well, what we need to improve, and what else we want to accomplish in the coming year. (That’s where all the thinking and planning come in…) We just have to work really hard at making at least half of our dreams into reality now.

So, here is the first newsletter as part of one of the things we want to make happen this year! Let us know what you think! If it’s great, let us know. If it stinks, we suppose you can tell us that too. Till next time, thanks for being part of the Brambles experience with us. We couldn’t have done it without you!

Meet the Grower:  Vantreight Farms Saanichton

How many years in business?
126 – Five generations
What are the primary products you offer?

A wide variety of fruits, vegetables, fresh cut daffodils, bulbs and upick crops.
Fresh cut daffodils from organic, bio-diesel run Vantreight farms, Vancouver Island, B.C.
Please describe your production methods or farming practices, particularly those that are distinguishing or unique to your business.
We are utilizing organic methods and are applying this year for organic certification for our 15,330 m2 (165,000 sq.ft.) state-of-the-art greenhouses and land adjacent to the greenhouses totalling approx 6.5 acres with further certification planned for the future.   Our packing facility is second to none with a 4650 m2 (50,000 sq.ft.) warehouse processing plant, 8  cooler units totaling 1,189 m2 (12,800 sq.ft) of cold storage, shipping and receiving areas with 3 loading docks with room for further expansion.  Future plans include the use of bio digesters for the creation of heat and power to grow food all year round while significantly reducing GHG’s for the region.
What inspired your choice for this career?
Aside from carrying on our family farming legacy, I was personally inspired to choose the farm as a career because of our farm’s ability to positively contribute to the community and increase local food security on Vancouver Island.
Why do you sell to Brambles?
The more local businesses support local agriculture by buying from the farmer the better off we all are.
Do you believe that it is important to shop locally?
Absolutely.

*Local Food And Wine*

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