Monday, September 7, 2009

st. albert farmer's market - st. albert, alberta

I finally made the trip north to the St. Albert Farmer's Market a few weeks back. With this market located a fair distance from Edmonton's south side, my Saturday market experiences have been occupied by the Strathcona, and Downtown options. So, needles to say, I was excited to see something new!

I always knew this farmers' market was big, but was surprised when I learned it's Western Canada largest. I now understand why they boast about it's size (250+ vendors) and product line up - Fresh Produce, Homemade Baking, Arts & Crafts, Family Entertainment, Pickles & Preserves, Woodwork, Farm Fresh Chicken, Ethnic Food, Pottery, Honey, B.C. Fruits, Fresh Fish, Pork & Beef, Jewellery, Stained Glass and more. With such a massive list, could you be anything but satisfied.

One thing I really liked was the free park and ride. With the market occupying a large section of the city core, you are welcome to park at the mall and hop on St. Albert's finest bus service. Brilliant idea!

With such a large market, I was hoping the layout would be easy to navigate and was happy to see the vendors occupying both sides of the road with no branch-offs. The setup allows you, for example, to start on the right side and walk all around finishing on the left side without missing a vendor.

My stroll of the market took about 90 minutes. I have no doubts you could take more time, but I'm not really one to stop at every booth. I'm more of the - scan, get intel, move on, and come back if so necessary. Unless of course something is to enticing to go on.

This man just didn't seem happy, and for some reason in my head I instantly went to that Seinfeld episode with the soup-nazi.

If you don't get your fill of food, there are plenty of crafty items to bring home. I picked up a birdhouse for the backyard.

What says farmers' market like spray on tattoo's!

All in all it was a great time. Sampled a baked green onion cake, which was of course healthier but not nearly as good and some lemon sorbet. For produce, I grabbed a bag of apricots and a few yellow zucchini.

While it was nice to get away, with many of the same vendors I think I'll stick to my usual markets and make St. Albert a once-a-year adventure. They are closing down for the season soon, so if you were thinking about going do hurry as you only have a few Saturdays left.

*As an aside. One vendor, who I chatted up, openly talked about the 'rich' often 'snooty' crowd at the St. Albert farmer's market, something they don't experience at the other market's around down. Even going as far as to say, prices can increase here because the clientele are willing to pay for it. Very interesting.


Anonymous said...

I go to the St. Albert one all the time and I never noticed snooty people... although I'm sure the vendors would have more experience.

And the salmon guy always looks like that but he's pretty nice. ;)

Chris said...

I was more surprised to hear the comment, which came out of the blue (no solicitation), than the actual thought behind it. I've always heard about the monetary, affluent differences across the board here; Sherwood Park this, St. Albert that, Millwoods this, Riverbend that etc...

I'm sure the salmon guy is great, I definitely did not mean to insinuate otherwise. His demeanor when I stopped was just priceless..No SOUP for you!

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