For the Fickle Forager: Where to Find Ingredients on an Island in January

Winter isn't a season here, it's half a year. So here's a guide to getting through months of empty produce aisles ...

Your friends have stopped dropping by with even the green tomatoes for frying and canning. The food fishery, with its fresh fillets, has passed, and if you haven’t shot your moose or made a friend who has, your freezer is in for a long empty hibernation.

The ferry and the flights are a month into their delays and the produce around town has settled into forcing us all to settle. How limp is too limp for stew? My sister is travelling through Vietnam this month, and I’m too focused on finding an unbruised apple under the florescent lights to be jealous of the mangosteens and what’s-its and juicy-buggers she is manhandling on every corner.

Welcome to the season of our discontent. But we cannot let it be, for it isn’t a season, it is half of the year. So where do we turn?

Lester’s Farm Chalet Gills and Greens (Pearltown Road)

With their new aquaponics/ hydroponics system, you can buy a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) “share” and pick up fresh, locally produced fish (tilapia), lettuce, greens, and herbs weekly through winter. Tilapia is a versatile plain white fish perfect for tacos.

St. John’s Farmers’ Market (Bonaventure Avenue)

This year, the SJFM has set up a running Winter Market that will be open 10-3 once a month at its regular Lion’s Club Chalet location starting on January 14th. Many of the regular vendors will be there, but check the website to see who is scheduled. Look for preserves, smoked meat, sauces, sausages, eggs, and some vegetables.

Chinched Bistro’s Charcuterie of the Month Club

Sign up for this abbondanza and have local meats, cheeses, and accompanying starch to entertain on any dark night. Or eat it alone out of the fridge when the wind keeps you up. I swear on my family’s own food-mythology that cured meats cure a cold.

Rocket Fresh Foods and Bakery (272 Water)

Check the freezer for touton dough and Raymonds’ sausages.

Halliday’s Meat Market (103 Gower St.)

Always and forever. What they have in summer they have in winter and they always have fresh butchered meats, great advice, bags of potatoes, and the first turnip greens in early spring.

Food for Thought (84 Gower)

A sort of sister to Halliday’s, the one who left for California and returned with flowers in her hair but the same townie accent. A great place to get locally roasted coffee, frozen local meats, bulk imported grains, canned goods, and hot sauces that you won’t find at the grocery stores no matter what the season.

Costco (Stavanger Drive)

This list isn’t just local, it’s practical. And ’tis still the season for Meyer lemons in bulk. When the rest of town’s shipments dwindle to rot, somehow Costco still has fresh fruit. Buy 10 lbs of kiwis, split with friends, and we may all just get through without scurvy.

guidetothegood.ca

A new website that lists local sellers and local products. Check out the food section. It is small now but it may grow.

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More from Emily Deming

1 Comment

  • Just wanted to add Fagan’s farm. Been buying from them for 15 years. Their stall is in Churchill Square (once a week in winter, six days the rest of the year) with root vegetables, jams, local honey and on occasion fresh meats.

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