Weekly Image of Life: Colourful Niagara

OK I am Canadian eh…. and like the British, Aussies, Kiwis and others we spell colour with a U… it is not an error πŸ˜‰

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.

Local Colour – Blue Berries and Juciy Red Strawberries

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!

Local Colours – Fruit and Honey

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…

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19 thoughts on “Weekly Image of Life: Colourful Niagara

  1. I love to visit Niagara Region again and again… Beautiful post! Have an enjoyable trip to Cuba!

  2. I love the colors of a Farmer’s Market. Indeed Niagara’s Fruit looks sweet, juicy and delicious! Beautiful contrast of blue and red berries. Perfect for a thirst quenching smoothie on a hot Summer day. Urbanization does take away the once abundant orchards and other agricultural land to pave way for buildings and houses. I once lived in a small town in outer Sacramento known for peaches but through the years,city growth pretty much wiped them out. Sad in a way. It’s hard to see things we thought were once beautiful growing up slowly being replaced with something else. Oh, well, part of the colors of life. Have a great weekend.

    • Yes my small town from growing up with 2 or 3 stop lights and orchards everywhere is now getting larger and lots of housing developments. I wonder though where will the fruit come from if we continue to grow and expand? It is a shame… Thanks for the compliments. I used a ‘vibrant’ setting on the new camera that really made the colours pop. The local fruit is so sweet and juicy… a true taste of summer.

  3. You make me miss home! ;(

  4. Great photos! Well done.

  5. Beautiful photos, lovely colours & I love all sorts of berries. Wishing you an awesome time in Cuba πŸ™‚

    • Thank you for your kind comments. I love berries too… plain right from the gardens, in cereal or yogurt… YUM! Nothing tastes like summer more than fresh local fruit.

  6. Freda Goulet

    Diana, Your blog brought back memories of summers spent picking locally grown fruit with my girls 40 years ago…I would pick with them, and the money I made was divided between them! Most of the orchards where we picked are just memories now! Thanks for a great blog…love the colors!

    • Ya too bad so many of the orchards are gone. Where I picked (2 different orchards and 1 strawberry patch) as a teen are now all subdivsions 😦
      I am glad I brought back good memories.

  7. Great post! I love farmers markets too and we have a ton of them here. Cuba?!!!!! I am so incredibly envious!!! I have always wanted to go there but is is tricky for Americans! I can’t wait to see your photos! Take one especially of the old buildings and cars.

    • We won’t be getting to Havana this time. We are going to a more secluded area that is a bit of an island and only a few resorts! The travel agent said if you want a relaxing vacation this is the place since there is little to do. Picked up book 2 and 3 of the Hunger Games series to keep me occupied πŸ˜‰
      If I see any old cars and buildings I’ll take it just for you πŸ™‚
      PS I just read a post last week (it was freshly pressed) and the fellow, an American went to Cuba through Mexico. They allow American tourists, just not direct flights from US. Even from Canada flight is a little longer since we go along the Eastern seaboard.

      • Wow, sounds great! Yes I knew you could go via Mexico as my uncle did it. But I am paranoid of getting caught! I know I’ll get there, someday! You lucky lady!

        As for Hunger Games, I engulfed the entire series two years ago in one month flat. Actually, I read the first two and then had the agonizing wait for the third. I LOVED the books. I think if you look at the broader issue and what Suzanne COllins is getting at meaning exploring the impact of violence on kids and society then you really believe in how brilliant it is. Perfect beach read!
        I am reading “Unbroken” another can’t put down book but heavy. I love to read and do so as often as I can. I must admit I also read the entire Twilight Series in a month. I liked the first one but then hated the next two and didn’t like the weakness of the female character. I think I liked it though because it brought me back to those dreadful teenage years and I could really relate. :)_

        • Cuba doesn’t seem to have issue with Americans it is the US governement that doesn’t allow flights in/out. They don’t stap your passport… so look in to it πŸ˜‰
          I wasn’t keen on hunger games first half, but then it got interesting… we’ll see how book 2 & 3 are. It is an easy read. I love to read too… I read Twlight and thought it was OK, but I was sick in bed for a few weeks and it was a good way to pass the time.
          Take care and chat when I get back πŸ™‚

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