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A Winter Farmer’s Market

We got settled into our new home at the beginning of October and I was sure I would be off to a different farmer’s market every weekend. I would fill our fridge and cupboards with an abundance of BC’s finest local produce and products. Yum yummity! I could barely wait to find my shopping basket or backpack or … the kitchen. I guess unpacking would take priority.

Beautiful Biodynamic Quince
But alas, by the time I emerged from the mountain of boxes and the kitchen had transformed from the Jenga stack that it was when the movers left, the summer markets were shutting down quicker than I could grab my basket and a map to find my way to Kits or Trout Lake or Main Street…Hey wait! I lived on Main Street…but where’s Terminal Avenue?

Fresh-picked Herb Bouquet
Then one evening, while on a stroll with M, we saw the sign: “Winter Farmer’s Market Starts November 5 at The Nat Bailey Stadium.” Could it be? Could I wait that long? How would I get to sleep that night? That Saturday finally came and I could barely decide to what to wear. I felt as if I was going on a very important first date. I had to make a good impression. I was so worried about my high expectations. With my empty backpack on, adequately fueled by a morning of brunching and fueling with coffee, away we went.

Salt Spring Island goat cheese for tasting

A rainbow of peppers

Hakurei Salad Turnips
M and I giggled our way from stall to stall and marvalled at all that we saw. I could barely believe my eyes. So many people, so many farmers, so much to see and smell and eat…”Look at the quince! Come smell it!” “Wow bread! And cheese! And olives! Lunch!” It reminded me so much of the feeling I got during the height of summer at the Hillhurst Sunnyside Farmer’s Market, back in Calgary, but this was winter. We bought so much it couldn’t be stuffed into my pack anymore. Thank goodness for German design and compression straps.

My bag is getting full at the winter farmer

Plenty of potatoes
Celeriac
A week of recipes was quickly coming to mind and I couldn’t really keep it straight. I thought of how hard I had worked to do all my preserving, amidst cleaning up, packing, throwing garage sales and spending time with friends before I left Canmore. I could’ve done it all here very easily what with the cases of fruit and flats of tomatoes still coming straight from the farms just outside of the city – and some right within the city, like Sole Food Farms.
Bread, baguettes and buns, oh boy!
 We bought ourselves Vancouver Farmer’s Market memberships and even signed up to volunteer. I couldn’t wait to become a part of this atmosphere and meet everyone that welcomed us so graciously. I didn’t see any familiar faces that afternoon, but I felt like I was home.
Time to go home and get cookin

NOTE: The photos in this post were taken on my iPhone with the Hipstamatic app. Try it, it’s fun! And my green hat was made by Christine Svensson of Sugar Soul. Check ’em out – they’re super cute!

Corinne - Good morning Jenn and Mark, what a delightful way to start our day, ready your charming notes and savouring your delicious, inspiring photos. It is wonderful to to hear your news and relish the fresh and scrumptious fare at the market. How fun, thanks for sharing, what a delight!
Love, Darrel and Corinne

Christine Svensson - Hey Jenn!
Great to hear about your adventures in Vancouver! I didn’t know you had moved-did you know that we moved from Edmonton to Halifax this summer? Nice to see you still have your Sugar Soul hat!!
: ) Christine

Scott - I feel your sentiment about being at the market and not knowing anyone but feeling at home. I too have that feeling when there. The market is in my blood. I get so excited to see what is new each week. Thank you for sharing this great post about the most wonderful winter farmers market. It is a great place to chase the winter blues away.

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