Look at the farmers’ markets grow

A great new trend is another kind of boom

New farmers’ markets are cropping up everywhere in Calgary this season partly due to an increased desire to support local producers and to connect with the source of our food (as well as a new consumer appreciation of what constitutes a real farmers’ market). Some that shut down have returned new ones have begun and established ones are bigger and better. With an increase in local growers bakers and producers markets are spreading throughout the week allowing vendors to attend several rather than compete for weekend spots. With over 100 approved farmers’ markets and almost 3000 vendors Alberta-wide there’s always something delicious to be found whichever market you visit.

In Calgary here’s a quick rundown of some of the old and new:

• Hillhurst-Sunnyside is back and better than ever. Organized by community members you’ll find exclusively local and mostly organic products along with a bouncy castle and often live entertainment every Wednesday from 3:30 p.m. to 7:30 pm. There are about 20 vendors including fresh produce from Blue Mountain Biodynamic Farm Organic fruit wines from en Santé and meats from Valta Bison and Ravenwood Ranch. (1320 – 5th Ave. N.W. beside Riley Park and beneath the Jubilee Auditorium.)

• Kingsland Farmers’ Market will open its doors on June 24 showcasing the wares of about 45 vendors. You’ll find Hoven Farms Pearson’s Berry Farm and Broxburn veggies. It’s open noon to 6:30 p.m. from Wednesday to Friday and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturdays. (7711 Macleod Tr. S.)

• Millarville Farmers’ Market is an oldie but a goodie. With over 100 vendors it runs Saturdays from 8:30 a.m. to noon. Parking will cost you $2. (Millarville Racetrack 20 minutes southwest of the city on Highway 22.)

• Grassroots Farmers’ Market (a.k.a. Northland Farmers’ Market) was established over 17 years ago by a group of women living in Brentwood. The Grassroots market offers Route 40 soup produce from Innisfail Growers and Prairie Mill Bread. Watch for the new beef bacon. It runs every Tuesday from 3:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. (Northland Village parking lot 5111 Northland Dr. N.W.)

• Bearspaw Farmers’ Market is an outdoor market run by the Bearspaw Lions every Sunday between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. The market offers fresh produce and other unique products from over 100 vendors. (Off Highway 1A west of Calgary at Bearspaw Road.)

• Calgary Farmers’ Market is still at its Currie Barracks location for one more summer (although it is open year-round) before it moves to its new location on Blackfoot Trail at the end of November. It’s open on weekends — Fridays and Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sundays from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.; 4421 Quesnay Wood Dr. S.W. in the old Currie Barracks.

• South Calgary Farmers’ Market will be in the Grey Eagle Casino parking lot at the corner of Glenmore Trail and 37th Ave. S.W. in Lakeview. It’s open Thursdays from 3:30 p.m. to 7p.m.

• Triwood-Mountain View Lions Farmers’ Market is open at the Triwood Community Centre on Thursdays from 3:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. (2244 Chicoutimi Drive N.W. — turn south off Northmount Drive onto 19th Ave then onto Chicoutimi.)

For a more extensive list (there are markets in Chestermere Airdrie and Okotoks as well) and to find an Alberta-approved market in your area visit sunnygirl.ca. For more of the same plus a listing of local farms around the province you can visit yourself check out albertamarkets.com .