OK I am Canadian eh…. and like the British, Aussies, Kiwis and others we spell colour with a U… it is not an error
This week Island Traveller has posted another great photo theme and this week it is colour. Go here to join in or see more examples and interpretations of colour. I just got a new camera last weekend and the next morning we went out to the local farmer’s market in downtown St. Catharines, Ontario and I tried it out. The farmer’s market is every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. A host of sellers from all around the region come and sell their wares from meats, cheeses, bread, ice cream, desserts, flowers, crafts and of course FRESH LOCALLY GROWN produce. Niagara Region is known as the ‘fruit belt’ or was once. It is home to many orchards and farms that grow everything from strawberries, cherries, plums, peaches, pears and apples. For each fruit season a small town will host an event from the Strawberry Festival in Beamsville in June to the Winona Peach festival in August. Slowly as industry has moved elsewhere, as local prices and wages rise, and the price of land is more valuable than the fruit that the farmers are selling, farmers have been selling off their land to developers. Housing developments now stand where orchards once did. As a kid I remember the little road side stands that were everywhere selling the local seasonal fruits and veggies. Now you are lucky if you can get local produce at the supermarket! A few fruit farms are still around and larger tourist attraction type stands sell local produce, crafts, baked goods and souvenirs.There was something about slowing down to see what was available and then pulling over if something caught your fancy. Now it is just like going to any other shop… and sometimes just as big and impersonal.
Luckily we have an ideal climate for grapes with being so close to the lake and the escarpment (small hill where the lake once reached) so our autumn is milder than other areas and grapes have a longer growing season. Some orchards have been removed and vineyards have been placed, which is much better than yet another housing development with large two story houses on postage sized lots. Niagara wines are becoming pretty famous and known on the world stage, partly thanks to the ice wine! Ice wine is a very sweet dessert wine which is made when grapes are left on the vine long after the fall harvest. When temperatures dip to -10*c or colder for 2-4 consecutive days the grapes are ready to be picked. Volunteers and the vintners harvest the little frozen grape marbles before sunrise and they have a chance to melt. The result a very sweet wine that is somewhat rare and expensive!
For colour this week enjoy some colour of Niagara’s Fruit… sweet, juicy and delicious!
We are off to Cuba for the next 2 weeks so I will not be able to post , reply or check email until after we return. We will be off the technology map with little available TV, no computers or internet… just sun, sand, surf and Cuban Culture to entertain us!
Stay tuned for more about Canada, Cuba and China in a few weeks…