When you think of the farmers market, you likely think of local produce. Which isn't totally off base; the Port Moody Winter Farmers Market is a great place to find beautiful produce. The farmers market has so much more to offer than mountains of radishes and bushels of kale though.
When I told Grady we were going on an adventure to the farmers market last Sunday, the first thing out of his mouth was: "they got cookies there?" I told him they do have cookies there (thanks to the lovely Sweet Thea! Pro tip: try the lemon tart. You will die it's so good.) He thought about it for a minute and then clarified "we get the cookies?" As soon as I confirmed, my little negotiator agreed to a trip to the market and we were on our way.
The Port Moody Winter Farmers Market is more than just a place to stop to grab some groceries. It's an experience. There are food trucks so you can grab a yummy snack. There's live music and space for the little kids to run around and dance without knocking over any shoppers. Many of the vendors offer samples and all of them are happy to talk about their product. Grady was absolutely charmed by the pictures of the farm animals hanging out with Barrie's granddaughters at Redl's Home-Grown Beef while I hemmed and hawed over what I should buy (everything sounded amazing and it's tough to not buy one of everything when it's local beef raised on the pasture with no hormones, antibiotics, steroids, or any other nasty stuff.) It's a different level of service than what I experience at the grocery store. The vendors are proud of what they're selling and it shows.
The selection of products available is extensive without feeling overwhelming. We managed to come home with our beef and cookies, but also snagged two giant bags of gorgeous organic kale from Ripple Creek Organic Farm (I know this is going to make you roll your eyes at me but seriously, I have never tasted kale like the kale I bought from Ripple Creek.) We also brought home an amazing loaf of bread from A Bread Affair ( it had cheese and roasted garlic in it, have mercy), wildflower honey and a beeswax candle from Vlad's Apiary, and a dozen organic eggs from Rockweld Farm.
Buying from and supporting locally-owned businesses is important to our family. Shawn and I both work for locally-owned small businesses so we see the value in keeping our dollars in the local economy; we worry about the environmental impact of buying food from far-off places (it's been painful to cut back on favourites like fresh pineapple and papaya in favour of fruit that grows closer to home but we believe the effort is worth it); and we don't want to see our neighbourhood turn into a no-personality zone of big box stores and chain restaurants.
The Port Moody Winter Farmers Market runs on Sundays from 10am - 2pm until April 26th and then the Poirier Street Farmers Market will run May 10 - October 25th on Sundays from 9am - 1pm. You can find the market on Facebook, or follow them on Twitter and Instagram (psst - they've got a cool social media contest on now where you can win Market Money and products from the vendors so keep an eye out for the hashtag #makebakegrow!)