Farmers’ Market Week (3-10 August) is the only event of its kind in Canada. The festivities highlight the wonderful fresh food, artisan products and local crafts available at more than 40 markets province-wide. Rustik Magazine has teamed up with Farmers’ Markets of Nova Scotia to profile some of the vendors and producers that make up Nova Scotia’s vibrant markets.
1) What is your local farmers’ market and what do you most love about it?
In 2013, our spirits and liqueurs can be found at 12 markets in the summer months. That we can sell our craft spirits through farmers’ markets in Nova Scotia has enabled us to grow our business sustainably, meet our local neighbours all over the province, and bring us into the fold of local producers in a genuine and unique way. We truly enjoy being part of the local food culture.
2) What is your favourite thing to grow/cook and why?
All fresh local seasonal fruits provide inspiration and an opportunity to discover new tastes, new methods, and new cherished fans of our spirits. Experimentation with strawberries recently led to our newest fruit liqueur, as well as rave reviews!
3) What three ingredients would you take to a desert island?
The thought of Ironworks’ Pear Eau de Vie with fresh local strawberries is often in our heads. A good third ingredient might be Dragon’s Breath Cheese from That Dutchman’s Farm.
4) How did you get into your line of work? Any advice for someone just starting out?
The idea of Ironworks Distillery was born on a flight home from Toronto in 2008. Pierre stumbled on a magazine article about the small artisanal distilleries that were popping up in various parts of North America. Using locally grown produce and marrying old distilling methods to new ideas about sustainability, thoughtful craftspeople were creating premium spirits with a deep connection to the regions where they were produced. And these new handmade products tasted a lot better than factory-distilled booze. That chance encounter with a magazine turned out to be the catalyst for a whole new adventure. For anyone starting out, we feel that passion and perseverance are key ingredients to a successful business ‘recipe’.
5) Favourite Nova Scotia recipe?
We have been thrilled at the evolution of the use of local products in restaurants around the province, and are constantly amazed at the creativity that Nova Scotian chefs have employed with our spirits and liqueurs. You don’t have to travel far to find our Apple Brandy in a fabulous cheesecake, our Vodka crafted from local apples in a delicious risotto, or our Blueberry Liqueur used to finish a succulent local lamb dish. It would indeed be difficult to pick a favourite recipe – we love them all!