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A Deep Dive into Calgary’s Farmers’ Markets

One of the joys of a Calgary summer is the availability of fresh produce, sunshine, and days free to spend wandering through stalls of handcrafted artisan goods. To make your local shopping needs — and wants — easier, we have compiled a list of some of the best Calgary and area farmers’ markets for your perusal.

Calgary Farmers’ Market

No YYC market list would be complete without the city’s namesake shopping place. The Calgary Farmers’ Market opened in July, 2004, and moved to its present location in April, 2011. A friendly, dynamic centre for community engagement, the market features more than 80 vendors and farmers supplying local produce, art, meat, poultry, international food, organic goods, jewellery and more.

Hot Tip: Be sure not to miss Yum Bakery during your next trip to the CFM. A family business run by David and Debbie Catling, and often staffed by their seven children, this artisan bakery is inspired by French and West-Coast boulangeries. Indulge your sweet tooth on potted desserts, macarons and fig and fennel bread.

Location: 510 77 Ave. SE
Hours: Thursday through Sunday, 9 am to 5 pm

Market on Macleod

This year-round, cosy indoor market resonates friendliness and warmth, and proudly embraces a small-town feel. The market boasts more than 60 farmers, vendors, artists, buskers and pop-up vendors. Suffice it to say, one can happily cover all five food groups and pick up a handcrafted treat for oneself in an afternoon of shopping.

Hot Tip: Whether you are putting together a charcuterie board, making martinis — shaken, not stirred — or are simply craving something salty, head to Angela’s Olives on your next trip to the Market on Macleod. Operating since 2011, Angela’s Artisan Olives only uses the finest olives from Italy, Greece, Spain, Turkey and Morocco, and incorporates flavours such as dill, pimento and vermouth into the olives’ brine.

Location: 7711 Macleod Trail SE
Hours: Thursday through Sunday, 9 am to 5 pm

Crossroads Market

For 25 years, community members, farmers, artists and hunters have gathered at the Crossroads Market. From its humble beginnings on 16th Avenue NE, the market has flourished into a 100,000-square-foot building at its present location in Ramsay. Hosting 150 vendors, everything from Taber corn to vintage collectibles can be found at this family-owned business.

Hot Tip: Take some time out of your next shopping trip to visit the “candy guru.” Jody Turner, owner of Yummy Co., will make you feel like a kid in a candy store — seriously. Her shop is complete with hard to find nostalgic candies and sought-after international imports from the U.K., Holland and Australia.

Location: 1235 26 Ave. SE
Hours: Friday through Sunday, 9 am to 5 pm

Marda Loop Farmers’ Market

A warm and festive open-air farmers’ market in the heart of Marda Loop. Shop for local produce, farm-fresh eggs and cheese, Alberta meats, homemade baked goods, preserves and artisan wares. Live music and food trucks add a fun-tastic flare to this inner-city market.

Hot Tip: The next bottle of wine you bring to a party or buy to celebrate the end of the week — or the middle of the week — has to come from Field Stone Fruit Wines. Using Alberta-grown fruits, 75 percent of which are grown in the winery’s own orchard, the company creates delectable cherry, bumbleberry and raspberry wines — to name a few.

Location: 3130 16 St. SW
Hours: Saturdays, 9 am to 1 pm, June through October

Stephen Avenue Farmers’ Market

Charlene Delisle was inspired to create a farmers’ market on Stephen Avenue just over a year ago after walking along the pedestrian friendly street on a workday, and deciding it was just what downtown Calgary needed. The market features locally made items, a variety of baked goods and fresh produce.

Hot Tip: If you are gluten-free but still a carbs fan, we have good news for you. Lakeview Bakery, specializing in all delicious creations that are gluten free, can be found at downtown’s favourite strip during the farmers’ market.

Location: Stephen Avenue
Hours: 10 am to 3 pm on June 21, July 5 and 19, Aug. 9 and 20, Sept. 6 and 20

Bridgeland Farmers’ Market

Nestled in the heart of Calgary’s inner city, the Bridgeland Farmers’ Market is its fourth year. A resident and volunteer-driven initiative, the market takes place in the neighbourhoods’ distinctly cool, contemporary community centre and plays host to 25 to 30 vendors providing produce, freshly baked bread and handcrafted goods.

Hot Tip: One neat initiative of the market is that it offers complimentary table space for its Aspiring Entrepreneurs program. The program enables youth, the elderly, or individuals who find the typical vendor fee a barrier, to have a platform to sell their handmade wares or goods. The good vibes from shopping at the market are reason enough to head down.

Location: 917 Centre Ave. NE
Hours: Thursdays 3:30 pm to 7:30 pm, June 15 to Sept. 28

Hillhurst Sunnyside Farmers’ Market

While the origins of this market are not clear, it is believed amongst the community that it originated in the mid 1990s. However, what is certain is that the market was revitalized in 2009 thanks to hardworking residents who wanted to bring back a communal gathering space to the area. Since then the market has grown to roughly 30 vendors and has served as an incubator market for businesses such as Sidewalk Citizen Bakery.

Hot Tip: On Aug. 30, from 3 pm to 7 pm, the farmers’ market will be hosted in conjunction with the Hillhurst Sunnyside Salsa Market, featuring salsa music, dancing and a salsa making competition. Attendees are able to purchase a bag of chips and sample all the salsas at the event — including, last year, a gelato salsa.

Location: 1320 5 Ave. NW
Hours: Wednesdays, 3 pm to 7 pm

Cochrane Farmers’ Market

In its 19th year, the farmer’s market takes place at the Cochrane Ranche Historic Site and is operated by Cochrane Environmental Action Committee — or CEAC — volunteers. The market features a variety of goods, from fresh produce, honey, cheese and preserves, to craft goods such as glass jewellery and woven baskets. The CEAC is also bringing a street market back for its second year in the Cochrane’s historic downtown one Thursday evening a month, for four months. Proceeds from the market go towards efforts to make Cochrane a more environmentally aware and active community.

Hot Tip: For pancake breakfast done right, one needs maple syrup done right — and Good Stuff Maple Products is the real deal. All syrups sold by the company are sourced straight from founder Robert Desbien’s family farm in Rimouski, Que.

Location: Cowboy Trail and AB-1A and Bow Valley Trail, Cochrane, Alta.
Hours: Saturdays, 9:30 am to 1 pm, June through September; Cochrane Street Markets, 5 pm to 9 pm, June 15, July 20, Aug. 17 and Sept. 14

Carstairs Farmers’ Market

Take a break from life in the city and escape to Carstairs for the day. Roughly a 50-minute drive north, the town’s farmer’s market has been up and running for 6 years — getting bigger and better each time. A registered Alberta Farmers’ Market, more than 80 percent of the fair’s suppliers are locally sourced.Hot

Hot Tip: Gather everything you need for breakfast, lunch and dinner — including fresh vegetables, pies, bread, buns and preserves — created or produced by the Sandhills Hutterite Colony. Contact Margaret and Andy Wurz at 403-947-2407 to pre-order for the weekend you intend to visit.

Location: 317 Veteran’s Way, Carstairs, Alta.
Hours: 11 am to 3 pm on June 17, July 1, Aug. 19, Sept. 9; 12 pm to 4 pm on July 15; 12 pm to 4 pm on Oct. 28

Millarville Farmers’ Market

It doesn’t get more quintessentially like a farmers’ market than this, folks. The Millarville Farmers’ Market is home to 175 distinct vendors, with a focus on providing more than 80 percent of their goods, produce and wares from local vendors. Make a day out of your venture south, and stop in scenic Black Diamond and Turner Valley on your way back from a morning of shopping.

Hot Tip: You absolutely cannot leave the market without trying one of Daryl Moore’s Yippy Pie Yay homemade, scrumptious fruit pies. Whether your poison is apple, blueberry or strawberry rhubarb — don’t be shy, indulge.

Location: 306097 192 St. W., Millarville, Alta.
Hours: Saturdays 9 am to 2 pm, June 17 to Oct. 7
Cost: $3 per car

By Sarah Comber