So I am admit it, I am a farmer’s market geek.
The first sign of a sandwich board with “market” on it and I am veering into oncoming traffic with the excitement of a kid when the pony shows up at the party.
A market is a window into the heart of a community and I seek out these markets, large and small, to discover the treasurers unique to their locale. Like the birch bark berry gathering basket we bought from a First Nation artist in Yellowknife, or the roasted sea grass from a travelling artist at an impromptu market in Massett, Haida Gwaii, or the white fish and bannock breakfast on the shore of Great Stave Lake in Hay River.
Chatting with the people behind the products you can’t help but feel their energy and passion for what they do. Every mouthful has a history, every purchase, a story.
So it often surprises me to be asked “Is there a farmer’s market in Sooke?” I wonder where they get their locally grown fresh veggies, or freshly baked breads and granola, home canned jams and preserves, or their unique locally created birthday, wedding and Mother’s Day gifts? Do they know what they are missing?
What farmer’s markets everywhere have shown me is that a market is not just a place to shop; it is an experience. You forge a special connection when you buy directly from the artisan – who also happens to be your neighbour.
So what are you missing in Sooke? We boast some of the best fresh locally grown vegetables anywhere. Silver Cloud Farm, Living the Dream Farm, Red Earth Farm, Three Sisters Farm, and Cast Iron Farm – all family run and growing wonderful produce, plant starts, ethically raised meat and eggs. For fresh baking, Coastal Crunch Granola and Bird’s Eye Bakery provide a wide range of options from super nutritious – to rich and decadent. Why not pick up some energy balls for the trail or a blueberry danish for an afternoon treat?
From East Coast maple trees, Chris brings his pure maple syrup, with sizes for every budget. And for West Coast inspired art, you won’t believe the quality and variety of Mike Downey’s woodwork, Trinia’s whimsical wind chimes, Gloria’s colourful handmade creations, Crystal’s jewelry and Deb’s intricate hand-painted pots in every size and colour.
Denise attracts pets to her homemade pet treats and Twysted Sisters lure you with the fresh scent of their natural body care products. And this year we are super stoked to have the Buddha Box Food truck sharing locally made vegetarian lunch boxes with us.
Listen to the music of Gord Phillips, Ray Spencer, Chickwagon, Terry Brennan, Jennifer Taylor, Robbie Hancock and others. They will provide the upbeat musical backdrop to your stroll through the market.
So why not make this the year you visit “your” local Sooke Country Market. Come join us on Saturday, May 5, at Otter Point Road, across from Eustace, at 10 a.m. You will be so glad you finally did.