Thursday, November 18, 2010

Alberta Avenue Farmers Market

It may be -14 and snowing- but there is a place you can buy chard, fresh greens and garden carrots today: The Alberta Avenue Farmers' Market. Located in the community league on 93 street and 118 Ave here in Edmonton, it is a relatively new (1.5 years old) year-round market working hard to connect producers with urban customers.

The prices are exceptional, though the selection is still pretty sparse. Today, I bought $3 eggs and grass fed hamburger for $3.50 lb from Ari. I bought a decent ring of garlic elk sausage for $5.50 and ground elk for $4.30 per lb from a producer in New Sereptia. There was fresh peach pie (she uses frozen, not canned peaches!) for $5 and a loaf of banana bread for $3.  From Green Eggs and Ham I bought a bag of carrots for $5- they will have fresh greens all year round, thanks to their greenhouse outside of Leduc.

There's a real need for a thriving year-round market in Edmonton, north of the river. But its more easily said than done: to get committed producers you need committed customers, but for committed customers you need committed producers. A new steering committee has been created to develop a plan for the market's sustainability, and since its in my community, I happily joined. In a neighbourhood where there is a diverse mix of people and growing revitalization, a market like this one can only enhance our networks and the vibrancy on the Avenue.

So, all you Edmontonians who have a grocery budget to spend and ten minutes on a Thursday (from 2- 7pm) to stop in to shop- please spend your dollars at a market that promises a lot more for our community than garden produce and baked goods!


ChickaDee said...

Thanks for posting this. I had no idea about it. Will have to try and remember to get down there one Thursday soon!

Amy Beaith said...

Thanks for posting Carissa. I hope to drop by on thursday, but may have to wait until the new year after we return from holidays! I'm looking forward to the deep freeze festival!
Cheers, Amy. P.s. we should chat in the new year about doing some soapmaking workshops in the winter/spring.
Cheers, Amy Beaith

An Avenue Homesteader said...

Yes, Amy, lets connect. I really want to see your magic over a pot of soap buds (beads?)

John Schneider - Gold Forest Grains said...

It was so great to meet you in person last night down at the market. I left with a very good feeling about the whole thing. The vendors were great with some good variety and fresh food and the customers seemed to be there to buy food! Everyone I saw come in had their recycled bags with them! Awesome. We will be there again next Thursday, but this time as a vendor...our first farmers market experience. Exciting.

An Avenue Homesteader said...

I'm looking forward to trying out a loaf of bread tomorrow, in advance of the breadmaking workshop Sunday. I'll be sure to post if more water is required! I'm so excited for you guys to be at AB Ave's market. Organic, local grain is in far too small supply in this city set IN THE MIDDLE of Alberta grain fields (what's with that?!)

Shannon said...

Hi Carissa,
I was at the farmer's market for the first time Thursday and was really impressed. The vendors were very personable, and I had some great conversations - something I have not experienced anywhere else. I hope you are able to find even more vendors as spring nears.

My husband and I are considering moving into the area. Obviously you like it since you've been there so long... Any info to share? Do you feel safe? Is it a good area to raise kids? Do you think the improvements will continue? (I read your very interesting post on gentrification...) Thanks!

An Avenue Homesteader said...

So great that you found the market a warm and welcoming place to be. Great questions you have! Let's plan coffee and we can talk about them in greater depth, but the simple answers are: "Yes, I feel safe. Yes I want to raise my kids here. Improvements (this is too nuanced a word for me to feel totally comfortable with it!) will continue to be made as long as there are willing and passionate people to see it through." But, let's have coffee and we can talk further. I can be reached at