It’s that time of year again. Vegetables are growing, flowers are blooming, crafts are being crafted, and farmers markets are open for the season. Supporting farmers markets helps local business and improves your community’s sustainability. We’re lucky to have them close to home (no matter where you live in Metro Vancouver), so there is no excuse for missing this great opportunity. Here’s a list of some of the local markets in your area and the things they have to offer.
Artisan Farmers Markets
The artisan farmers markets make up three delightful little markets. There is one located in Ambleside (West Vancouver), one in Lonsdale Quay (North Vancouver), and one in Burnaby (near Canada Way and the Deer Lake Parkway). The artisan markets have a pile of produce-y goodness as well as eat-on-site vendors and crafters. They also offer massages and have live music. One specialty that you can only take in is their cooking contests. Held monthly, these contests offer market goers a chance to show off their best recipes. There is a different theme each month, so be sure to check their website for details: www.northshorefarmersmarkets.com. The Lonsdale Quay market runs May 5 to Oct. 28, every Saturday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. The Ambleside Market runs May 6 to Oct. 28, every Sunday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. The Burnaby Market runs May 5 to Oct. 27, every Saturday 9 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Coquitlam Farmers Markets
The Coquitlam Farmers Markets include two regular markets and two pocket markets. They also host a Winters Market in Port Moody, which just closed for the season. Their regular markets take place in the Dogwood Pavilion parking lot (at Poirer and Winslow Street, Coquitlam) and in Coquitlam’s Spirit Square (3000 Burlington Drive). Of course the Coquitlam Markets have all the regular goodies (produce, crafts, and prepared foods), but they also offer the two pocket markets. These offer all the great aspects of regular markets, but enable people who live in less accessible locations to enjoy the markets too. The first at the Burnaby SFU campus, held in Cornerstone Square (May 11 to Oct. 26, Wednesdays 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.) and the second is located in corporate Vancouver. It offers employees the chance to purchase farm-fresh goods right at their workplace. Check out their website for more information at www.makebakegrow.com. The Poirer Market starts on Mother’s Day (May 13), and runs until Oct. 28, every Sunday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. The Spirit Square market runs every Friday from July 8 to Sept. 16.
Royal City Farmers Market
The Royal City Farmers Market is held in Tipperary Park, right next to New West City Hall. It is personally my favourite market for a number of reasons. It has a great mix of food and crafts, as well as awesome eat-on-site vendors. The atmosphere of the park, along with the live music, makes the experience of the market excellent. Royal City Farmers Market is a great place to bring the kids as well, as they have a kids craft area with face painting most weeks. They open for the summer season on June 7, and run every Thursday from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. Check out their website for more details: www.rcfm.ca