Fresh produce in Calgary?
Where do you get your produce from?
We're Safeway shoppers for the most part, but lately the berries have been horrid. Twice now we've been duped and brought home what seemed fine, only to be forced to throw them out within a day or two. :(
I'm assuming that the farmers' markets are good places and I know that anything I've ever bought from the Calgary's Farmers' Market has been good, but we're certainly not regulars.
I figured I'd throw out the question and see if there are any hidden gems that I might be unaware of!
I'd second DJ's, once you get to know the owners a bit, they'll let you know what is great and not so great. They are the only place I've found that gets wild mushrooms often and in good shape.
In the heat of the summer their produce sometimes do suffer but they get a pretty high turnover so generally there's always something that is very fresh.
Yes, the farmers markets have much better produce than safeway. I find the quality at Safeway to be very poor.
Forget the grocery stores for produce - they are too expensive. And even if it looks good, it never lasts as long as that from the farmer's markets. I also prefer Crossroads to CFM. I think CFM is more expensive for produce but still great products. CFM and Millarville are fun places if you have a leisure day to poke around. I myself, am on a mission to buy my weekly produce and get out of there! I've tried DJ's too and have found to be hit and miss. But great deals on the 'hits' for sure.
Frankly Safeway's "freshness guarantee" (or whatever they're calling it) isn't worth the paper it's printed on. I gave up on Safeway produce when I picked up a container of cherry tomatoes that had a number of fuzzy ones. Tonight I saw Peaches from NIAGRA at Superstore. WHY would I buy some sad little peach (they were past their prime) from across the country when I can get BC Peaches just about anywhere (but Superstore apparently).
Lately I've been shopping the smaller farmers markets - Grassroots (Northland Mall) on Tues, Hillhurst on Wed. Innisfail Growers and Blush Lane (both of which are also at CFM) are both top quality and both are at Grassroots.
If you google Innisfail Growers and Blush Lane you'lll find their homepages... There are a number of local growers within an hour or so of YYC who sell phenomenal produce at farm's gates and upicks. We took the kids up to Edgar Farms and Pearson's Berry Farm awhile ago...they were thrilled. Loads to see and a whole lot more enriching than the grocery store. Is it as quick as doing errands? No, but it's definitely a cheap outing. dee Hobsbawn-Smith's "Shop Talk" has been in our van all summer :)
ditto Grassroots -- don't do the main supermarkets during the summer. Grassroots has really grown from when they first started and with the kids it's an easy stop with good parking. CFM is starting to get too crazy for us, especially since our little one started walking.
Pearson's Berry Farm is a blast, but we get our berries down by the Bow River *shhhhhhh* officially you're not supposed to pick, but we get a couple of small containers only for a pie and that's it. If in the Berry Farm area, Buffalo Horn Ranch offers private tours. The family went last year and it was a great outing to add to the Berry Farm.
Amaranth as got in some amazing organic watermelon -- a bit pricey but I haven't seen this freshness or quality since we lived in Ontario; like fresh off the field. Wonderful stuff!!!!