I grew up on a farm in North Eastern Alberta. I could, literally, walk 10 ft and pick a strawberry off a plant. I remember when it was time to pick raspberries I would grumble because it was going to take hours, we had rows upon rows of raspberries bushes to pick through. I’d reward myself by eating every third one until Baba caught me. I recall hilling potatoes for hours too, our garden was massive. The taste of a carrot picked right out of the ground, scrubbed off with only my hands, pure heaven.
When I moved to the city, store produce tasted different to me, not bad, just not the same. I discovered local farmers markets a couple years before my kids were born and I was hooked, so naturally, when they came into my life they started coming with me. They get very excited when I say we are going to the market on the weekend, and truth be told, I do too.
I know first hand the hard work that goes into those tables packed with fresh veggies and fruit. My kids, they taste the difference too, my son always asking to get mini carrots, or the coloured ones you can find sometimes because he says they taste so good. I can only imagine the toil of baking hundreds of cookies, bread, and other baked goodies, so naturally, we grab some sweet stuff too. The handmade soaps, jewelry, cheeses, tzatziki (personal fave), furniture, clothing, you name it. And you know it was all made with love because the person right there, selling it, can tell you all about it.
There’s usually something fun for the kids to do, the whole atmosphere of the market, and the unique things you just can’t find anywhere else make it a sweet way to spend some family time. Extra bonus? I know anytime I buy anything, It’s supporting local business, and often, Alberta farmers just like my parents.
If you’d like to explore a local Alberta farmers market this year, you can find one near you via www.albertafarmersmarket.com