Yes, we have garden tomatoes!


It’s the dead of winter here. Even though we don’t have big snow drifts anymore, there is no such thing as fresh-grown local produce in January in the Okanagan. At best we have local food that has been stored, but usually that means apples and root vegetables. As a chef I once worked with said one winter, “How much parsnip soup can one person eat?!” But here at Rabbit Hollow, we have been very fortunate.

This past summer’s bounty was particularly delicious, and it continued longer than usual even for this pocket of Canadian paradise. I use edible flowers from the garden for our catered BBQ events with The Chef Instead, and I was able to do that this year up until the very end of November. img_3624 img_3633 I didn’t harvest the last of the vegetable garden until after Thanksgiving (in October for us Canadians, a time when frost is usually on the ground in most parts of the country). We have a wonderful root cellar which this year held summer and winter squash, potatoes, tomatillos, peppers, carrots, green tomatoes and apples (in case you’re wondering, the apples have to be kept in a separate room or they hasten the spoiling of everything else). I’m not trying just to brag here; I want to put things in perspective, so you won’t think I’m offering “alternative facts” when I say we used the last of our stored veggies in tonight’s salad. Yes, we have no bananas, but we did have garden tomatoes (insert cheeky emoji here to help justify my title).

There’s something especially inspiring about eating our hard-earned produce in January. Such a meal deserves special treatment. And it got said treatment. My hubby was inspired to make a delectable blue cheese dressing and make a wedge salad highlighted by our harvested morsels.

Now you may still be unclear on why I titled this post the way I did. It comes down to terroir. Nowadays it’s not difficult to buy any vegetable I want at a grocery store. But most tomatoes this time of year don’t taste like much. Even after they have ripened in my basement, my garden tomatoes still have the beautiful complexity of homegrown produce. They taste like summer. So did the last carrots and the roasted pumpkin. We savoured every bite. Iceberg lettuce never tasted so good.


About happygourmand

I am a professional gourmande - a lover of life. Not only food and drink, but life in general. I love experiencing life to its fullest, and I love sharing my adventures with others.

Posted on January 26, 2017, in food, garden, seasons, winter and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. Nice. Even here in Mexico there is winter. We get what is too ripe to ship to you. Tastes the same. It’s grown the same way, picked the same way. We know the difference as we grow too. Tis different. The tomatoes, the chard, the anything we choose to plant. Here it’s something to think about. This is a burgeoning middle class society. Canada once was there.

    There IS less water. We are blessed with a very large tanaka (water storage unit that is a part of the house) but water this year is scarce. Yet it has been raining more than usual. Sonora is dry. It really is the desert. Desalination plants are a large part of the Mexican water solution and there is one being built nearby. Built, nor online. It is needed. Hereaboubouts we have been without water for days on end this year. Without the tanaka you don’t flush, shower, do dishes, laundry…NO water. We operate on wells. And apparently we have well problems. Now, as of 27January, no water for 8-10 days.

    Thanks guys. I have seen it, believe it. Rabbit Hollow is amazing! It really is the same everywhere. Takes care and diligence..

    • Thanks for sharing ! Would you be willing to send some pictures, maybe write a guest post? I’d love to hear and see more.

      • Absolutely. Just let me fine tune the picture aspect!! This old gal is somewhat challenged with all the various technologies that seem to have moved on since I used them daily!

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