Strawberries in hot sauce makes perfect sense for Rogersville co-op

A farm co-op in Rogersville, N.B., has found a new way to make use of surplus fruits and vegetables. Instead of selling them at discounts or feeding them to the animals, they’re using them to make a new hot sauce.

La Ferme Terre Partagée finds new way to make use of surplus fruits and veggies

Kevin Arseneau, left, and Pierre-Olivier Brassard of La Ferme Terre Partagée say the hot sauce recipe will change year after year depending on what fruits and vegetable are left over. (Amélie Gosselin/Radio-Canada)

A farm co-op in Rogersville, N.B., has found a new way to make use of surplus fruits and vegetables.

Instead of selling them at discounts or feeding them to the animals, they're using them to make a new hot sauce.

Kevin Arseneau of La Ferme Terre Partagée said it consists of 99 per cent local ingredients, including some New Brunswick vodka.

"At the end of the season we are always stuck with some vegetables and we were thinking, you know, instead of trying to get rid of them fast and selling them cheaper, why not do something with it and add some value to it?" he told CBC's Shift New Brunswick.

The Seasonal 2017

This year's hot sauce, called The Seasonal 2017, includes strawberries, carrots, tomatoes, onions, garlic, tomatillos and hot peppers.

But the recipe could change year after year depending on what fruits and vegetables are left over.

For people that love hot stuff, we say it's a breakfast hot sauce. A hot sauce to start your day with.— Kevin Arseneau

"We had a really good strawberry year this year and we had a lot of extra berries on our hands, so we started putting them in our recipes and seeing how that worked out," Arseneau said.

"Next year, maybe if we have some extra beets, we might throw in some beets. Or some year we might have extra squash, we might throw in more squashy taste hot sauce."

The sugar from the strawberries brings the heat down quickly, Arseneau said, so this year's hot sauce is really not that hot.

"It's a good starter hot sauce. For people that love hot stuff, we say it's a breakfast hot sauce. A hot sauce to start your day with."

Year-round revenue

Arseneau and his partner on the farm, Pierre-Olivier Brassard, made 1,200 bottles this year. He said they don't envision the hot sauce turning into a huge business venture, but it will allow them to work and generate revenue year-round.

"It permits people to eat local all year-round …having these different products that have a longer shelf life than a head of lettuce," Arseneau said.

The sauce is available at the co-op, as well as the Beresford Farmers Market, Miramichi Water Street Farmers Market, Dieppe Market and select restaurants.

A Rogersville farm cooperative has turned its surplus fruits and vegetables into a new hot sauce. Kevin Arseneau of La Ferme Terre Partagee said it consists of 99 per cent local ingredients, including some New Brunswick vodka. 8:17

With files from Shift N.B.