Fruit and Vegetable Festival

On Sunday morning I went to the fruit and vegetable festival in Zebbiegh (Malta).  I had to ask how to get there! Never mind … There were stalls with very old bric-a-brac, an elderly woman spinning sheep’s wool, live folklore singers, old trucks and cars on show, a section for animals and, as one would expect, stalls with fresh fruit and veg grown in the area.

Fruit & Veg Festival (5), iz-Zebbiegh, Malta

The festival

The festival is organised by the farming community of Mgarr, Malta (there’s also Mgarr Harbour in Gozo).  It’s a very small fest and cannot be compared to similar festivals abroad. I did not count the number of stalls, but off the top of my head, I’d say there were no more than 10 selling fruit and veg. But it was worth the trip … nice crisp lettuce, picked from the fields earlier on that morning, bright green broccoli, marrows, field tomatoes, potatoes, onions, strawberries, peppers, melons … a rainbow of colours … everything so crisp and fresh … and at a good price too!

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Local produce

Mgarr is a rural village located in the north of the island of Malta.  It is renowned, across the Maltese Islands for its agricultural produce.  Mgarr is one of the few places, in Malta, where fresh water springs are found and the soil in the area is, kind-of, reddish brown. The fruit and veg grown here taste so much better than produce growing elsewhere on the island, where treated water is used.  The Mgarr strawberries are the cream of the crop!

Fruit & Veg Festival (6), iz-Zebbiegh, MaltaI was not the only one who planned to get my weekly fruit and veg from the fest.   The vegetable stalls were so busy; everyone choosing the best they find.

For some reason, I seem to have an affinity with food markets – big or small!

 

 

 

 

Some fat is good for you

I came across this video which I thought I’d share with you.  I appreciate it is advertising a new book, but the message of the video is worth bearing in mind.

So much for low fat foods! In order for food to be stripped from its fat content it has to be processed; no thanks.  How can cheese slices  be called cheese? They remind me of plastic! Starchy foods – rice, potatoes, pasta – are OK in moderation (unless, you’re Lionel Messi).

I am inclined to go for real food … from the earth to the table.  Thanks to progress, we have to be mindful of the amount of pesticides and chemicals used, but I believe it is still the better option.

A friend of mine left a very relevant comment on my “Strawberries” post the other day, “…we have to go backwards to go forwards” – so true!

What do you think?

 

 

 

Strawberries

 

On Sunday, I went to the strawberry festival held in the quaint little Maltese village of Mgarr.   I had never been to “Festa frawli” as it is locally known; quite popular on the Maltese calendar of events.

I planned to take some nice photos, but, in the end, only got the one!

Strawberry festival 2016

When I posted this photo on Facebook, a friend of mine commented about the pesticides used in cultivating strawberries.  I never really thought of it!  Another friend, told me he does not buy strawberries for health reasons.  Hmmm …

I decided to have a quick look on the web, to find out how common practice the use of pesticides is, and came across this article.

Should we worry about pesticides in strawberries?

Not sure.  The article seems to confirm what my friend said; it is very difficult to grow strawberries without the use of pesticides.  What a pity!

I remember the typical Maltese strawberry which was very small and sweet.  At the time, pesticides weren’t widely used and fruits were only available in their “right” season.

strawberries on the vineThe little, sweet strawberries gave way to the big strawberries which are now available from December through to June.

Are we forcing nature to produce more? Could this be the reason why pesticides and chemicals are a must, nowadays?

I do not know the answer to these questions.  All I know is that, when I tried buying strawberries at Christmastime, I was very disappointed. The taste of out-of-season strawberries leaves a lot to be desired; they’re at their best in the spring and early summer.

The article I referred to for research purposes talks about strawberry farming and strawberry picking in New Hampshire. I am not aware of places where you can do your own strawberry picking, in Malta and I’m not so sure if you can buy organic local strawberries.

If you know where to buy organic local strawberries from, would you be kind enough to leave a comment to share, please? Thank you …