i made it to a few royal city farmers market dates this summer, but yesterday’s felt like the best one of all. even though it was raining and my gumboots were locked up in the trunk of a car way on the other side of town, it was the first time this season i didn’t just dash in and out in a matter of minutes. nope, by some unique alignment of the stars and despite a reduced number of booths, this version of the market provided a lot more material to pique my interest.
i’m spoiled. the market is almost literally a stone’s throw from my building. just a leisurely block and a half stroll down the hill and i’m there. unfortunately, markets happen on thursdays, though and that doesn’t exactly suit my summer schedule. i don’t get to go every week, but i make an appearance as often as possible.
flowers are one of my staple purchases; i almost always walk away at least one bouquet in hand. i will usually add a fruit and/or veggie to my shopping bag, but no promises. my one absolute must from the market? kale. for the most part, selective shopping at a chain grocer can harvest a top-notch version of any other vegetable, but kale direct from a farm is like no other bunch. remember that. especially if you’ve tried kale off the shelf and decided you’re no fan. you can’t beat the stuff delivered straight earth to kitchen.
all that said, this was the one time i walked away without that superstar leafy green peeking from the top of my sack. instead, i had filled it (and my hands!) with other goodies. there were dahlias and squash, popcorn and lavender! honey, cake and donuts (mini, even!) i also indulged my recent late-afternoon coffee obsession. (yum!) and i am amazed i got all the way home without spilling one thing or another.
(market master jen, if you ever happen to read this, please tell me that someday that vendor who sold those tacos that were absolutely to. die. for. will be back someday. renee and i still talk about those every time we get together.)
only two more markets left for this season. sad, yes, but the good news is that royal city farmers winter market has found a great home at river market (formerly new westminster quay.) i finally took a trip down there this week and even though it’s still a virtual ghost town inside, the shops that are in there are superb. the tea! the crepes! the high(er) end grocery store! yay for new west! so good to see new life injected in to this (fantastically) old city.