Okanagan Feast of Fields 2012

Weathered farm house

Picture yourself holding a wine glass in one hand and a linen napkin in the other, enjoying a nibble of this and a sip of that as you stroll through a scenic orchard on a hot summer afternoon. This was the setting at yesterday’s 4th Annual Okanagan Feast of Fields; a wandering harvest festival that showcased the very best local ingredients the valley has to offer.

Claremont Ranch Organics in Lake Country, B.C. hosted this year’s Feast; a historic farm oozing with charm. They produce up to 35 types of organic apples, pears, peaches, apricots and plums.

Pear ripening on the tree

With temperatures soaring to 34 °C, shade-seeking was the third most popular activity of the day (right after eating and drinking). It was so hot that I secretly wished someone would turn on the orchard sprinklers and soak us all down.

Young boy sitting on a bale of straw in the shade

Rainbow trout from Ted’s Trout Farm

Two trout on ice

Codfathers amazing Smoked Trout Fillets on Pumpernickel. Sooooooo good!

Ted's Trout Farm Smoked Trout Fillets on Pumpernickel

Gorgeous Okanagan fruit

Stone Fruit arranged on a plate

Waterfront Restaurant offered up Poplar Grove Cheese Tiger Blue-stuffed Apricots from Claremont Ranch Organics – perfectly ripe tiny sweet apricots, dotted with blue cheese, wrapped in prosciutto, then grilled. This just might be the most glorious one-bite-wonder I’ve ever eaten (and one I’m reasonably confident I can recreate at home, without a recipe).

Poplar Grove Tiger Blue-stuffed Apricots

Each mouth-watering creation was paired with a local wine, beer or spirit.

a bunch of green grapes and a wine cork

Focaccia Bread drizzled with Balsamic Glaze from Bread on Wheels.

Squares of Foccicia Bread drizzled with Balsamic Glaze

The Feast of Fields is Farm Folk City Folk‘s Annual Fundraiser. Proceeds from the event fund year-round projects that help cultivate a sustainable food system for B.C.

Sign asking "What's Your Footprint?"

Local, farm fresh produce

Farm Fresh Veggies

Since you can’t have a feast without dessert Chef Ann Kirsebom’s Gourmet Sauces/BBQ Ltd served a sublime Cherry Marnier Callebaut Chocolate Local Cherry Mousse with Agassiz Hazelnut Crisps. Lake Country Coffee House handed out adorable little carrot cake mini-muffins, and Vanilla Pod presented a heavenly Chocolate Torte with Cherry and Plum Compote.  But my favourite came from Sandrine French Pastry & Chocolate

Macarons displayed like a Christmas tree

Sandrine displayed a beautiful assortment of macarons, madeline, and mini fruit tartes. Macaron flavours included blackberry, apricot, raspberry and lime-basil. I picked a deep violet-coloured cookie that was soft, chewy and bursting with the flavour of summer blackberries. As I write this, I’m already craving another one.

Tray of blackberry, apricot, raspberry and lime-basil macarons

The food presented by Codfathers, Waterfront Restaurant, and Sandrine French Pastry & Chocolate were my personal favourites, but with over 50 restaurants and wineries participating there were more than enough delicious choices to please every palate.

Pears ripening in the orchard

The shuttle bus to the designated off-site parking area.

Yellow school bus

Now that’s what I call a gourmet picnic!

metal sculpture of a pear

Mark your calendars.  Next year’s Okanagan Feast of Fields is Sunday, August 18, 2013.

 

12 Comments

  1. Sounds like a great day for a great cause! Your pictures of the fresh fruit made we want to grab one off the page–and blackberry macarons! Oh, man, I would have settled for a handful of those and called it a day. Ken

    Reply
    • Thanks Ken! The pretty display of macarons looked a little out of place in such a bucolic setting (so far from the shop windows of Paris) but the summer fruit flavours were very appropriate. Blackberry might just be my new favourite.

      Reply
  2. Sounds like we should go West for this food event next year. Your comments & pictures suggest that is not to be missed!

    Reply
    • You would love it Mary, and with 30 local wineries on hand offering tastings, Joan would be heaven :-)

      Reply
  3. I am deeply envious. I could spend a lot of time there. I really approve of the local produce. I was in our local (Dublin, Ireland), supermarket and refused to buy the beans from Zambia, peas from Nigeria and asparagus from Thailand. Crazy stuff.
    Best,
    Conor

    Reply
    • The harvest season here is short but from the end of June to early September the produce is fresh and abundant, and the Farmers Markets are a sight to behold. The rest of the year we have to make do with fruit and veggies shipped in from California, Mexico, and South America.

      I suspect you might be a little luckier than us when it comes to fresh seafood :-)

      Cheers,
      Laura

      Reply
  4. What a great day! You take such great photos – they always look edible. My favourite this time is the Gorgeous Okanagan Fruit. And the pear tree.

    Reply
    • Thanks Trish! It was so nice to be taking photos outside on a sunny day instead of under the flourescent lighting in my kitchen.

      I wish I would have thought to take some photos of the ladies and their fashion. So many were dressed like they were going to the Kentucky Derby, wearing fancy summer dresses, big floppy hats and heels!

      Reply
  5. We tried to get tickets to attend, but we were too late. I know that we would have had a great time, but…August 18, 2013 will arrive quickly. Won’t miss it this time.

    Reply
    • Hi Giovanni – I missed it in 2011 for the same reason. Tickets go on sale June 1 each year. If you go to their website at http://www.feastoffields.com you can sign up to receive an automatic email reminder they’ll send when the date is getting close. It’s a great event for a great cause!

      Reply
  6. Great pics, and glad you enjoyed Teds Trout! We are certainly fortunate to have so many caring producers in our area.Loved the pic of our Tom on the hay bale, thx!

    Reply
    • Thanks Jon! It was an amazingly delicious bite of food!

      Your seafood has been turning up on my blog quite a bit lately – especially the Catarina Bay Small Scallops and the Halibut Cheeks, and now that I’ve tasted it, I’ll be adding the fresh Trout to my shopping list.

      Hope you enjoy the last few weeks of our lovely Okanagan summer.

      Cheers,
      Laura

      Reply

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