Canada's top farmers' markets 2008
We searched from coast to coast to track down 10 of this country's best farmers' marketsBy Diane Peters
Known for its diverse foods and crafts and its friendly atmosphere, this farmers' market is also the prime place to pick up the freshest peaches, apricots and cherries grown in the desert-like Okanagan Valley.
Wednesday and Saturday: 8 a.m. to 1 p.m, May to October
Thursday Evening Markets: 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. June 26 to September 4, 2008.
Check website for indoor fall and winter indoor market hours.
Corner of Dilworth Dr. and Springfield Rd.
With more than 160 vendors, this destination farmers' market 45 minutes southwest of Calgary is all about country atmosphere. “It has so many wonderful Alberta farm and ranch products,” says Edmonton dietitian Heidi Bates. She loves the wide array of produce, fresh flowers and bedding plants for sale. There’s also live entertainment.
Saturday: 8:30 a.m. to noon, June 14 to October 4, 2008
Set in a large sunlit space close to the riverbank, this farmers' market offers great local produce, as well as bison, fish from the northern lakes and delicious buns made with local lentils.
Saturday: 8 a.m. to 2 p.m, Year round (check website for additional weekday summer markets)
414 Ave. B South (Corner of 19th St. & Ave B)
Farmers own and run this market on the south side of Winnipeg, so you know all the vendors are legitimate. Line up for the free-range chickens and Asian greens (even in the off season—the grower has a greenhouse). Local musicians, from Métis fiddlers to accordion players, make for a fun outing for everyone in the family.
Saturday: 8 a.m. to 2 p.m, June to October
Wednesday: 3:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m., July to August
3514 Pembina Highway
Dating back to 1830, this farmers' market is still located in the same spot in downtown Cambridge. “It’s a delightful market in an old market building,” says Robert Chorney of Farmers’ Markets Ontario. There’s an assortment of produce, meats, cheeses and homemade treats sold by local farmers, some of them Mennonite.
Saturday: 6:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
Wednesday begins mid-June and runs into September: 6:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
40 Dickson St. - at the corner of Ainslie & Dickson Streets.
This Montreal destination overflows on Saturday with farmers selling heaps of seasonal produce. But you can grab gourmet meats and cheeses every day. One of the shops, le Marché des saveurs du Québec, specializes in foods made on local farms, such as maple syrup and ice wine.
Open year round:
Monday to Wednesday: 7:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m .
Thursday and Friday: 7:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.
Saturday: 7:00 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Sunday: 7:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
7070, Henri-Julien St., south of Jean-Talon St.
Metro De Castelnau or Jean-Talon
The history of this indoor farmers' market in Fredericton—the original market predates the city itself—is almost as interesting as the selection. Along with lots of produce (from more than 200 vendors), there’s a stall that sells the most delicious little samosas.
Saturday: 6 a.m. to 1 p.m. year round
665 George St.
This year-round farmers' market near the city’s bustling waterfront mixes seafood and produce with a hip vibe. “It’s just a neat place to be and a great spot to choose tasty treats from all food groups,” says Halifax dietitian Mary Sue Waisman. Among the goodies: the to-die-for organic pizza at Big Life Whole Foods, and authentic French pastries and bread at Boulangerie La Vendienne.
Saturday: 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. April to December; 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. Jan to March (Some vendors depart at 1 p.m.)
Keith’s Brewery Building
1496 Lower Water St.
PRINCE EDWARD ISLAND
You want potatoes? The vendors at this farmers' market have advice on boiling and baking the dozen or so varieties they sell. You can also get fresh produce, some of the best smoked salmon you’ll ever taste, and sausages made from meat so lean they won’t shrink when cooked.
Saturday: 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., year round
Wednesday: 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., July and August
100 Belvedere Ave.
This farmers' market has found a more permanent home for the summer at the Lion’s Club Chalet. Pick from a great selection of organic fruits and vegetables, plus some tasty international foods.
Saturday: 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., starting June 7, 2008
The Lion’s Club Chalet (behind the Curling Club on Bonaventure Ave.)
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Best Health Magazine, Summer 2008; Photo: Masterfile & Luis Albuquerque