A Celebration of Kale at the Courtenay Farmers Market

The very first KaleFest in the Comox Valley was the perfect setting to promote this valuable veggie

Along with kale, there were pumpkins, squash and other delicious veggies

A trip to Comox Valley for the first annual KaleFest

What a beautiful, brisk morning it was on the last Saturday of September.

I travelled up to the Comox Library to do a book signing on Friday, which turned out to be super successful with 71 enthusiastic attendees. They were so enthusiastic the bookseller Blue Heron ran out of books to sell!

Early on Saturday morning, my wonderful friend Arzeena Hamir was preparing for the market with baskets of garlic, beautiful tomatoes that actually tasted like tomatoes, carrots, beets, chard, and, of course, kale by the armload.

Arzeena has recently moved up to the Comox Valley to become an organic farmer, chickens and all, on a full-time basis, and she’d arranged a Celebration of Kale complete with those yummy kale chips made by Ann Milligan.

A Celebration of Kale

Kale was the star of the show

I was stationed between Arzeena’s farm stand and the kale chips, whipping up a few appies from The Book of Kale on a rickety Coleman stove – my idea of heaven.

The smell of sautéing onions and garlic drew folks from all over the market to taste the kale samples, and guess what? I ran out of books too. Seems there is a real appetite for this nutritious green in the Comox Valley!

One English gentleman who bought a book told me he’d had kale growing in his garden for 35 years without ever having had to plant it. That’s my idea of a worthwhile veggie.

Aided by Arzeena’s two daughters – Inara (with the basket of garlic) and Amina (with giant pattypan squash, now renamed “Starfish” squash) – we had a lovely time.

Both girls are becoming competent at sales, sign-making and the like; Amina did not hesitate to let people know about the book, how much it cost there, how much was the regular price, and how much it was at Costco.

Courtenay Farmers Market

Azreena’s daughters Amina and Inara take a moment to smile for the camera (Images: Hans Peter Meyer)

The farmer’s market runs every Saturday, moving indoors on October 27th to the Native Son’s Hall in Courtenay. KaleFest will be an annual event.