Posted July 2, 2009 by Adam Toren in Blogs

Vancouver Farmer's Markets

shutterstock_29708335My recent read of the “100 Mile Diet” (by Vancouverites Alisa Smith and J.B. MacKinnon)  has caused a sort of fever amongst my girlfriends and I. Yes, yes I am behind the times, the book was published back in 2007, but late is better than never. Right?

Perhaps the timing was just perfect in fact, as we have arrived at Farmer’s Market season in the Lower Mainland and it sure makes this whole eating local thing easier.

The Kitsilano Farmer’s Market runs every Sunday 10:00am – 2:00pm until October 25th. It’s located at the Kit’s Community Centre (10th & Larch). There I was, opening day at 10:00am sharp, in line for my home grown organic field greens, fresh dill, chives and golden nugget potatoes. There were fresh  pastries and hearty breads from The Bread Affair, spicy and uber-fresh salsa from Momma Nellie’s, flavourful shitake mushrooms from farms in Richmond,  as well as apricot and pecan loaves from Carole’s Country Kitchen, lovingly prepared using recipes I’m sure Carole’s mother handed down to her. What a difference fresh and locally made products make! Not only are you supporting the local economy and your neighbors, but you can feel good about knowing where your food comes from. Alisa and James refer to it as “traceability” in their book – being able to trace the journey your food has taken prior to it ending up on your plate.

Ladner Village Market is by far the biggest market in the Lower Mainland. The selection and quality are second to none. Every other Sunday, starting June 14th from 10:00am – 4:00pm and running until September 13th , the market occupies the entire length of 48th Street in the heart of Ladner’s town centre and every Ladner resident comes out to shop. With so many farm’s in such close proximity the selection is amazing. Fresh strawberries, potatoes, beets, carrots, herbs, salad greens and blueberries. Ken Stefanson from Gabriola Gourmet Garlic  is a regular at the market, and a trip there wouldn’t be complete without a sample of his Garlic Chutney. Qualicum Cheeseworks Oh-la-la Jill and Island Bries are an absolute treat, and a steal of a deal at 3 for $20.00. The Salad Sister’s Calamansi salad dressing is my all time favorite especially paired with fresh butter lettuce, strawberries and goat cheese. Last but not least,  Bean Boy’s black bean Hummus is a must, smooth and creamy with some southern heat, pick up some organic corn tortilla chips from Whole Foods on the way home and you are set.

Granville Island Market is always reliable for the best in fresh produce, meats, cheeses, seafood, pastry and bread in the city. My favorite Sunday activity is to head down a few empty market bags, filling them up with random and interesting  finds…and then figuring out how to incorporate them into a weeks worth of meals. Heirloom tomatoes are super hot right now and the selection at Organic Acres is excellent. Charcuterie from the Oyama Sausage Company is top notch, and when craving a really good Thai curry dish, be sure to stop by the South China Sea’s Trading Company for fresh lime leaves, black garlic, and coconut milk. Personally for me, soups in the summer don’t work but I am secretly looking forward to fall so I can “stock up” on  The Stock Market’s delicious in-house made soups. Soups like carrot & dill, butternut squash, and green pea scream cozy fall days to me!

We live in the most beautiful city in the world, with some of the most amazing local products available to us, so this summer try to eat local if you can. It’s well worth it!

For information on Vancouver Farmer’s markets – check out: www.eatlocal.org

For information on the Ladner Village market: www.ladnervillagemarket.com

And for information on Granville Island Market: www.granvilleisland.com

Adam Toren

Adam Toren
Adam Toren is born and raised in Vancouver BC and loves everything Vancouver BC has to offer. He loves traveling and exploring new and unique restaurants and places around the world.