a day in the life... a day in the life...

Musings (& ramblings) of a twenty-something nature loving tree hugger. I love seeing people's eyes light up when they talk about their passions. Full supporter of #hashtagging and always looking for the silver lining. Forward thinking nostalgist. Enjoys a good warm beverage & a bit of sarcasm. Thanks for coming out.

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"It seems to me that the natural world is the greatest source of excitement; the greatest source of visual beauty; the greatest source of intellectual interest. It is the greatest source of so much in life that makes life worth living." -David Attenborough

"It seems to me that the natural world is the greatest source of excitement; the greatest source of visual beauty; the greatest source of intellectual interest. It is the greatest source of so much in life that makes life worth living." -David Attenborough

Soup There It Is

Shea and Dylan are the cool, bearded guys behind “Soup There It Is”, a straight-forward soup booth at the farmer’s market!  They offer two different varieties of soup every week at the market and I’m always impressed with the flavours and fresh ingredients.  

Their mason jars full of fresh soup make a perfect lunch or side for dinner, and they are unique — no canned soup junk here. 

Find out more! 

What are you offering at the Farmer’s Market?

We are offering fresh soups made with local ingredients. We are trying to bring out a variety of flavours to give people an opportunity to try some new and different flavours.

What made you decide to start participating as a vendor at the Market?

We both have experience in the food business and wanted to bring something to the market that wasn’t yet being offered. We also really wanted to get involved in the local happenings of Cochrane. For a small town there is so much going on!

How long have you been selling at the Market?

This is our first season at the market so we’re definitely the newbies. But so far it has been a great couple of months! Everyone seems to really be craving soup!

Are your products available outside of the Farmer’s Market?

As of right now, we’re only at the market however, there seems to be demand for something else. We’re definitely looking into other options to pursue after the market closes. We’re also open to ideas from our local soup lovers! The more we know about what people want, the better.

How can my readers find out more about your business?

Currently we have a Facebook page that can be found at

www.facebook.com/soupthereitiscanada

Or we can be reached at our email

soupthereitis@hotmail.com

But the best way to find out more is to try out the market and come by for some soup samples and chat us up!

If we could only try one thing at your booth, what should it be??

We make that easy. You just have to come sample the soup at the booth and decide right there. Dylan’s favourite though is Sweet Potato Corn Chowder and Shea’s is the Coconut Thai.

Anything you want to add?

Stay tuned for some new recipes coming out this fall. Check us out on Facebook and pass along your suggestions. Thanks to everyone that has been supporting the market this year!

And thank you Soup There It Is for letting me interview you!!  

The Cochrane Farmer’s Market runs until Thanksgiving so make sure you come out and see what’s in store before the market is gone for the year!  

Thanks for checking out my mini series on our local farmer’s market!  It’s been a real treat getting to know more about some of our local vendors!  :)

JK Gardens

JK Gardens is another vendor at our local farmer’s market and I end up back at their booth every single weekend.  They sell fresh produce and cheese and organic sprouting seeds (I even got some huge sunflowers one weekend).  I’ve been trying a bit of everything they offer and I even started a few of my own sprouts (will have to share more about that some time soon!). 

I took my sister and mom out to JK Gardens last week for a walk around and to take some photos.  It was a gorgeous day and owners Jean & Kathy Genier have a beautiful property and huge garden!  We walked around the garden for a while enjoying the beauty weather all the while trying to guess which plants were which.  The bees were buzzing, butterflies fluttering, and we even got lucky and saw a beautiful big hawk.

After our walk around the garden, we ended up back at their house when they have a little shop set up.  There were a few people picking out their vegetables for the week, they are participants in the Community Sponsored Agriculture program.  They sign up at the beginning of the year and are guaranteed a certain amount of fresh harvest every week (must get involved with this next year)!! 

Let’s tell you more about JK Gardens!

What are you offering at the Farmer’s Market?

We offer at the Farmers’ Market a variety of in season organic vegetables and fruits from our farm. As the season progresses we also have jams, jellies, pickles and relish from our produce or picked wild, or in the case of peach jam, only Ontario peaches. We also have St. Albert Co-op (Ontario) cheese along with Mumm’s organic sprouts too.

What made you decide to start participating as a vendor at the Market?

I love to feed people and I love to grow stuff so the two combined and the notice in the newspaper for the upcoming general meeting of the Cochrane Farmers’ Market seemed to be a good fit.

How long have you been selling at the Market?

We’ve been vendors since 2011.

Are your products available outside of the Farmer’s Market?

We sell all of our products at our store front here on the farm as well. We also have a pick your own raspberry component as well.

How can my readers find out more about your business?

We are on Facebook under JK Gardens as well as Kathy Genier

If we could only try one thing at your booth, what should it be??

The Bumbleberry jam!

What else can you tell us?

Although we don’t always have organic seed stock to start our plants, we do not grow any GMO plants and we try new to us heirloom plants each year such as our 2 lb Brandywine tomatoes. We believe when you take care of the ecosystem you’re doing a great job.

And you guys are doing a great job at that!!!  Thank you so much Kathy and Jean for letting me come out and snoop around.  And also for all the info whenever I come out on Saturday mornings with a ton of questions! 

Big reminder to my fellow Cochranites — the Farmer’s Market takes place every Saturday from 9:30 - noon at the peninsula!  

Thanks for reading!!!  

North of 49

I had the pleasure of going out to Craig & Jenny Tallman’s garden and home where they grow the vegetables and garlic that they sell at the Cochrane Farmer’s Market.  They have a sweet set up; the part I liked most was that they have a huge garden in the front and out back they live on a beautiful lake! It was a really good time hearing about everything that they are growing there and they shared a bit about their processes.  

The Tallman’s are growing 20 varieties of potatoes, 8 types of garlic, and many other delicious veggies (see below)!  They also produce birch syrup (at a different location) which has a unique flavour and can be used in cooking and baking!  They showed me around their huge garden with their awesome dog, Gordie, and they had so many interesting facts about gardening and what they were growing.  

Let’s tell you more about what they are up to!

What are you offering at the Farmer’s Market?

We offer birch syrup, birch caramels, blueberry birch bbq sauce, a variety of potatoes (we have 20 varieties this year), 8 varieties of garlic, garlic scapes, swiss chard, spinach, lettuce, beans, radishes, carrots, summer squash, beets, oriental greens, celery, celeriac, kale. The variety of vegetables at the market changes week to week as they come into season.

What made you decide to start participating as a vendor at the Market?

We had started our birch syrup business and wanted to sell it locally.

How long have you been selling at the Market?

Since 2011

Are your products available outside of the Farmer’s Market?

Our birch syrup is available to purchase through our website or farm gate.

Birch syrup value-added products and vegetables are available farm gate (call before coming out).

We also sell our birch syrup products at local shows in the spring & fall.

How can my readers find out more about your business? 

website - www.northof49birch.ca

facebook page - www.facebook.com/northof49birch

twitter - @northof49birch

If we could only try one thing at your booth, what should it be??

Birch syrup!

It is such a unique product, there are only a handful of producers across Canada and the United States (Alaska, Vermont). We are one of two known commercial producers in Ontario.

Tell me more!!

When we started producing birch syrup we were unsure how the product would be received locally. We knew that there was definitely a business with chefs and limied supply. We are really pleased how Cochranites have embraced birch syrup and become returning customers. While we do ship birch syrup to various places in Canada and around the world (Scotland, Italy, Sweden, Hong Kong), our largest market is here in Cochrane. People also like that it makes a unique locally made gift. We’re always interested to learn new recipes using birch syrup from our customers. 

Thank you so much Craig & Jenny for letting us come out and check out your garden.  We had a great time and loved seeing where our produce was coming from.  I have so much appreciation for the amount of handwork and attention that goes into your delicious veggies!

Thanks for reading!

Ember Rain 

Ember Rain is an artisan at the Cochrane Farmer’s Market and she’s got natural bath products down pat.  I was most drawn to her products when I realized she made natural deodorants and I’ve been researching how to make my own deodorants online.  (the instructions online are pretty difficult so I am very glad I found someone who makes them and does an awesome job at it)  So far, I’ve tried some soap and a few deodorants and I’m delighted with everything!  

Everything Liisa (the owner/operator of Ember Rain) makes is all natural which is extremely hard to come by these days!!  So many bath products have harsh additives that don’t even seem harsh at the beginning.  For me, I was so sick of using store bought deodorant loaded with aluminum and sick stuff and Ember Rain’s deodorant has changed my life when it comes to my arm pits!!! (TMI maybe, sorry but do you even know what’s in your pit stick???)

I asked Liisa a few questions about Ember Rain so you could get to know more about her products!

What are you offering at the Farmer’s Market?

We offer over 30 different kinds of all natural soap, at least 9 different types of bath bombs (types change weekly) 4 types of lip balms (which really work!) 4 types of deodorants (types change weekly) Shampoo bars (yes you can and should wash your hair with all natural soap!) And sugar and salt scrubs. We change up what we bring every week and try to have a new type of soap too. Our soaps & products do not contain preservatives or lab colours or harmful chemicals.

What made you decide to start participating as a vendor at the Market?

We decided to start selling at the farmer’s market as it was something we always wanted to participate in but were unable to previously. Plus our products contain many ingredients we grow ourselves and being all natural it is the perfect place for us to offer our products to the right type of consumer.

How long have you been selling at the Market?

This is our first year at the farmer’s market.

Are your products available outside of the Farmer’s Market?

We sell our products online through our website and on facebook pages.

How can my readers find out more about your business?

Our website is www.emberrain.ca and you can find us on facebook at Ember Rain - Nature’s Own Soap & Beauty (the link for facebook is on our website. We ship all over Canada.

If we could only try one thing at your booth, what should it be??

I cannot recommend one thing… it would be everything! People who buy our products generally come back for many more! I would say you must try at least one type of soap and the shampoo bars and a lip balm.. oh and a deodorant, and the bath bombs are amazing..

Hear that friends??  She ships all over Canada!!!  :)  Thanks for reading! And big thanks to Liisa from Ember Rain for letting me share her info on the blog!  Stay tuned for the next post for the Farmer’s Market series!

#1 Fan of the Farmer’s Market 

The first time I went to our local farmer’s market this summer, I came home buzzing with excitement!!!  I was sooo happy to know that I could finally get fresh, local, and in-season food.  Since then we’ve been trying to visit every weekend and we always get an assortment of what’s available.  

Every time we go we make sure to chat up the vendors and find out all the details of what they are offering.  My favourite thing about those convos is that you can always see the passion in their eyes about what they are offering.  Their passion is half of their natural sales technique.  

The second half is the pure quality of what they are offering; from fresh veggies, garlic, and jams to handcrafted wooden toys to homemade soaps and bath products and MORE, the Farmer’s Market is a hot spot for awesome and unique stuff.  

Some more of my favourite things about the farmer’s market:

  • Supporting local business owners
  • Reducing our carbon footprint by getting items that were produced close to us
  • Getting seasonal, locally grown, non GMO foods
  • Finding unique things that aren’t in stores

All of this love for the farmer’s market has inspired me to get interviewing as many of the vendors as I can so I can tell you more about them!!  Stay tuned for a series of posts featuring vendors from the Cochrane Farmer’s Market!  If you’re in Cochrane, come check out the farmer’s market before the summer ends, only open Saturday mornings from 930-noon.  And if you’re not in Cochrane, check out your local farmer’s market and let me know what your fave finds are!