Paradis des Fruits, Local Produce & Gearing up for Bien Confits! GF, First Market-yipee!

Good morning lovelies!

This week is going to officially announce the first day of fall and I am so excited because this is truly my favourite time of the year.
I will have some great fall posts with recipes and other awesomness coming up, so keep checking in. The last 4 weeks have been mad dash and intense canning time for little ole' moi. (And the lovely people I have dragged with me into my canning fun)
I have to admit, that getting the business and products ready has left little time for much else in my life right now. My average days start at around 4 or 5am and I go until 7 or 8pm, it's been really intense because all the produce needed to make my bespoke items, has come into full season.
This means running to orchards, farms, and specialty points, to get those delicious and locally grown delights.
Lady T & my mumsie have been kind and trekked all the way out to Dunham to take me to this place, it is called Paradis des Fruits or in English, The Fruit Paradise. And it really is just that.
It is a family owned orchard farm that produces a variety of produce, this place specializes in: strawberries
black currants-yes, I know, too cool!
and my fav, HONEY!!!!!! Non-pasteurized honey-scrumptious!

The Charbonneau family has been running this eco-farm/orchard for more than 55 years and what they produce is top quality. The fruits and honey are tended to with genuine love and caring, and all of their hard work and dedication shines through when you taste it.
They also have pick-it-yourself, Lady T and I did this our first run.
We picked pretty raspberries, delectable blueberries, and some bold black currants. I may have eaten quite a few blueberries along the picking trail but I could not help it-they tasted like the blueberries from my childhood. Free from pesticides, the true flavour was able to shine through and I quickly remembered that those blueberries in the grocery stores, have no taste; in comparison to these blue gems of delight! You know what they made me think of as I picked and occasionally noshed?
The taste was reminiscent of grandma's real, homemade, blueberry pie. I was blown away by the quality and went to town picking baskets.
Checkout this beautiful place:
When you first arrive, you will meet the lovely people at the berry picking kiosk, who will ask you how many baskets you need and what amounts you want to pick. Everything goes by weight and the prices were fantastic, more on that later. This was the kiosk and the very pleasant woman who served us, please forgive me for forgetting her name, as I am horrible with such things and cannot find where I wrote it down. Please note that berry picking season has now come to a close but there be plenty of apples, pears, and other delights to choose from and they do have frozen berries available for purchase. I recommend calling ahead though to reserve these and confirm the quantities you need along with prices. FYI, this is cash only place. Orchards don't grow ATM machines, heh heh.

 There were stunning flowers everywhere and it is a very kid-friendly place. There were a few families out picking and the kids were really enjoying themselves.

This was the path to get to the raspberry picking fields.

The raspberries were gorgeous, tasted fresh and burst in your mouth with flavour.

A few things to remember when picking berries, watch your back, bring loads of ice cold water, protect your skin and head, you need to be careful for thorny bits because you will get stabbed, bee's love raspberries as much as you do, and don't be alarmed if you come across buggies gettin' it on.

Raspberry bushes, the latest in beetle hotel rooms, who knew?

Afterwards, we were taken by another lovely person, to the blueberry picking section. These are all protected under specialty netting, as birds and other animals will eat all the luscious fruit, should they be given the opportunity to get their hands on them.

 The blueberry bushes were really full, lush, and fantabulously ripe!

The good thing was we got to sit on these benches they provided us with, it made snagging berries and eating-I mean placing them all in the baskets, much easier. Some poor child was getting scolded a few rows down for eating as they picked, apparently that was not to be done. I begged to differ, as I happily scarfed another handful of bluebs while thinking to myself, "I am so happy I am a grown-up now."
That whole big bucket, which was almost 7 lbs of fresh blueberries cost only $18!
When we first arrived there was a little confusion, we thought there were no more black currants. Well, just when we were about ready to pack it up and call it a day, we spoke with someone who assured us that there were still some black currant bushes which were ripe for the picking!
This was fortuitous indeed, as I really wanted to try my hand at some paleo blackcurrant compotes, for the Etsy shop and did not relish paying the nose bleed prices in town. Lady T was a total trooper, we were both feeling a bit tired after 3 1/2 hours of berry picking but we decided to have a go at the currants and fill up some more baskets.
Okay, so black currants were a bit of a pain because most of the bushes had already been picked over, this was because it was literally the last days of black currant season. I tell you, if it wasn't for Lady T, I would not have gotten all the berries I did. I officially dubbed her the black currant unicorn whisperer, because not only did she find them easily, she picked them loads faster than I did!

Thank goodness for Lady T, I had a lovely full basket and again, almost 7 pounds cost me $18! For black currants????? That is awesome with a cape!

After an hour of black currants we returned to the kiosk and paid for our hand foraged wares, a bit sweaty, slightly berry stained, and blissfully content. We stopped at the second kiosk close to the currant bush section and checked out the honey but decided to come back another day for more produce and honey, as the pear and apple season was on it's way. That will be another post!
Our hands attested to our hard work...

We left, saying thank you to the wonderful people who worked so hard to bring us such fantastic produce, gave us a greater appreciation of what it takes to get food on our tables, and contributed to an absolutely lovely experience.
You seriously need to make this a stop, check out their site, which I am linking down below.
This family is absolutely dedicated to ecologically sound practices, protecting bee's, and they are very helpful and kind. Apple season is upon us and you need to pack up a picnic, grab some friends and family, bring the kids and get them out to Paradis des Fruits in Dunham. It is out in fresh country air, you will see some cows and horses along the way, they are right along the path where there are wineries, and there is a quaint section of a small town with yummy bistro's and cafes. It will be an experience that you cherish and will become a happy life-long memory. They can serve you in French & English and Therese is very knowledgeable and Allison will help you out should you need bigger amounts of produce that are pre-picked, for immediate pick-up.
Nous n'avons pas arrete de cultiver les pommes Photo aerienne du verger d'autre fois Therese Charbonneau 

Michel Poitras  Nous avions deja beaucoup de pommes dans les annees 80 Kiosque de produits du terroire québécois 
Des pommes pour toute la famille Petit garcon qui cueille et mange des pommes

 Fruits et produits du terroire québécois, Le Paradis des Fruits, 519 rue Bruce (route 202), Dunham, Québec, J0E 1M0

                     Au Paradis Des Fruits Dunham  

I got home with all my goodies and realized something that did not occur to me, as I was already tired. I had to quickly decide what was what, clean and weigh, then label and freeze.

 I got a bit loopy as the exhaustion was setting in, but it was that feel good, satisfied and contented heart, kind of tiredness. I was really captivated by how beautiful these fruits were. Guess who had fruit for dinner and dessert?

I got through and have been using these magnificent berries and more. This is the Bien Confit! GF Blueberry and Black Tea Jam, which people are eagerly munching and asking to buy.

 I also have developed some new compote and jam flavors along with some special holiday jellies, this next pic is with some of the plums we got from our second run out to Paradis des Fruits.

Oh yes, we went back a few times now. I will do a few more posts on this and some scrumtious pics of what I made will follow, for now though, I am hard at work; Cheffin' it up in the kitchen as I gear up for my first ever fair! I know, exciting stuff. The market is going to be this Saturday September 24th, 2016 out in Hudson. I will be showcasing and selling my range of utterly delicious and delectable bespoke delights. There will be jams, jelly, compotes, spreads, and assorted confections to nosh on.

The fair is called Finegans Market, it's always and only on a Saturday. God willing, all will go smoothly and you will see us there. I cannot wait to showcase these products I have been working so hard on, to bring to you. I know you will love them and it is never too early to start getting gifts for your loved one's for the upcoming holiday season. So come out to Hudson this Saturday September 24th and look for the Bien Confit! Gluten free Table, so you can finally see what all the fuss is about and you will be able to sample the goodies I will bring. I really am looking forward to seeing you there, here is the link and below directions, for all the information you need:

Hours and directions

Every Saturday, from May 7 until the end of October
Open from 9h00 until 16h00

Finnegan's Market is located in Hudson, west of Montréal via highway 40

Address is  775 rue Main, Hudson, QC, J0P 1J0 

775 rue Main, Hudson, QC, J0P 1J0 

From Montreal:

From Autoroute 40 W 
Take exit 28 to merge onto Route Harwood/QC-342 O 
Turn right onto Côte Saint Charles 
Turn left onto Rue Main
Finnegan's Market parking will be on the left
From Ottawa

From Autoroute 40 E 
Take exit 17 for QC-201 toward Montée Lavigne/Salaberry de Valleyfield 
Turn left onto QC-201 N 
Slight left onto Montée Lavigne 
Turn right onto Rue Main
Finnegan's Market parking will be on the right
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