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Calgary Farmers market

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  • CJL Feb 26, 2007 08:46 AM
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It was my first time there this weekend and I left with lots of good stuff. What are some peoples favorite places or things to get while at the Calgary farmer's market?

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  1. My favourites: the croissants, the mixed berry crepe with organic yogurt, and other sweet treats from the Ladybug Bakery stall; the guava cookies and moccacinos from the gelato booth; and the maple fudge walnuts and chili lime pepitas from the nut mix booth.

    1 Reply
    1. re: diamondintherough

      Vital Green Farms cream from Blush Lane Organics. Lund's Farm carrots are the cripest and most flavorful in season.

    2. Sylvan Star Gouda - medium to aged - from the Sylvan Star Cheese booth in back.

      Swiss Chicken Pie - Simple Simon Pies

      Lemon tart & frozen croissants - Ladybug

      1. Diamond- I am with you on Tutti Fruiti, in fact I'd say they have the best gelato, bar none, in Calgary. Their tiramisu flavour is as good as the best in Vancouver, much richer than Fiasco and better prices than Amato.

        But this is the thing- after the owner (who is a WONDERFUL PERSON) and I were chatting about coffee (they're from Colombia after all) she tells me that her husband is a magician with espresso, so I buy one, and it is just disgusting. Pull for a double was maybe 4 seconds, gushing diarrhea espresso, the worst imaginable- I threw it in the garbage. Another visit I notice the fratello signs (they get beans from fratello, a good Calgary roaster who supplies Good Earth) has a pic of latte art, so I ask if they do that there- and she assures me that her magician-barista hubby does "all sorts" of latte art. I have a very hard time believing this since I got one of the worst espressos of my life there, but you mention their moccaccinos, so did I just have a bad accident there? And do they do latte art at this gelato place, because they sure as hell seem to have given up any pretense of quality at Bit O Beans- last time I was there, their espresso machine (a beautiful Elektra Moderne) was "broken."

        OH, at the market I LOVE the Ukrainian food stand!!!

        3 Replies
        1. re: John Manzo

          John - Tutti Frutti is no Caffe Artigiano, which is where I go whenever I'm in Vancouver for some top-notch espresso and the latte art of which you speak. I personally enjoy their mochas when I'm wandering around on a cold winter day, but would not recommend them to a true coffee conoisseur, and although I think they have the best coffee drinks in the market I wouldn't drive all the way there for one. I've never seen anything particuarly fancy in terms of art being done there either..

          1. re: diamondintherough

            Bit o Beans has better sourced coffee (they use Big Mountain, same as Bumpy's and Cafe Koi, two places the do latte art), so it disappointing to see how uneven they are. I think the market can use a REALLY good coffee purveyor just as there is a brilliant JJ Bean at Granville Island Mkt in Vancouver.

            I was just asking because what I got at Tuttti was so terrible, I mean TERRIBLE, when their gelato is so spectacular!

          2. re: John Manzo

            Debbie and Henry are fantastic people.

            My dog loves the pet bakery at the market too...Bon a Pet Treat...love the name : )

          3. I love the cranberry pecan bread from the bread booth. Unfortunately if you go after noon on Saturday there's never any left.

            Veggie Currie Pies from Simple Simon Pies

            Chocolate Croissants from Ladybug

            1. The cabbage rolls, and everything else at European Home Cooking, aka ukrainian booth is awesome. Go see Dan and Megan, then finish off with a lemon tart from Ladybug. A perfect weekend lunch.

              1. I shop the Calgary Farmers Market every Friday morning for my weekly treats and couldn't agree more. It is just the best shopping in Calgary. First stop is always milk and butter from Vital Green Farms at Blush Lane. Then Lund carrots. Around to Sylvan for cheese cheese cheese. I live a block from Janice Beaton but I have to say, I buy most of my cheese here. I agree with John Manzo that the Ukranian booth is one of the best stops. Love their seafood salad. Also love the soup from the Stock and Soup Company. I recently started buying roasted organic chickens - pricey but worth it! And speaking of pricey, I bought a whole lobster last week flown in fresh and was it every good. A couple of very cute young men have just started up their own business bringing in lobster, mussels, prawns etc from the east coast every week. For special occassions only!

                1. Sometimes the farmer's market can be expensive, so you have to really know what you're buying. My favs and reasonable:

                  Valta bison - freezer steaks (rib eye especially)
                  Greek Gals - tszatiki
                  Sylvan Star Gouda
                  BC Fruit from the Cherry Pit
                  Cucumbers from the stand across from Cookbook Company stall (can't remember their name)

                  6 Replies
                  1. re: eateat

                    Gull Valley Green Houses...best tomatoes and eggplants in town

                    1. re: Limes

                      they have great living butter lettuce too?

                      1. re: eateat

                        Yup, how could I forget about those? Oh, and the beans...if you can find any

                      2. re: Limes

                        I completely agree, that is the only place in town to buy tomatoes, aubergines, and mini-cukes!

                        1. re: nutellaluvr

                          I like Gull Valley, particularly their tomatoes & beans however 'The Cucumber Man' also has excellent mini cukes and bell peppers. I also buy fresh basil from them quite often, and just picked up some of their pesto - it's absolutely fabulous - the jar got emptied in under a week.

                          1. re: maplesugar

                            Thanks for the tip maplesugar, I will try the Cucumber Man for the basil. I usually get fresh basil up at the italian Store ($2 or so for a rather generous bag), but CFM would be more convenient!

                    2. Note my discussion in late feb about how the market could use a top-notch coffee place? Well, my prayers are being answered- the former Bit O Beans space is being taken over by Phil and Sebastian, www.philsebastian.com. These fellows sell what some consider the best beans in North America- Hines Public Market in Vancouver (formerly of Seattle, Hines moved its operations to Vancouver maybe a year ago). Phil+Sebastian are supposed to open this weekend but we'll see. In any case, this is exciting news for the coffee "community" in Calgary and for the market.

                      4 Replies
                      1. re: John Manzo

                        Wow that is exciting news!

                        I must agree with diamondintherough that Caffe Artigiano always serves up a beautiful cup of joe. Simply best cup of coffee I have ever found in all my travels. It is always my first stop when I get to Van, and I just can't get enough of there vanilla latte!

                        As for the market:
                        The little mexican booth makes a killer salsa verde.
                        Eve at Ladybug is a true master of the pastry. all his wares are amazing, and nothing impresses at a brunch like his hot fresh wholewheat organic croissants . (frozen to bake at home)
                        The bison from Valta has spurred my once lost now found love of red meat.
                        The Quebec booth, on and off has maple sugar pies! THE REAL DEAL! they are to die for!
                        Cookbook Co has all the in betweens you need.
                        And Sylvan Star for crackers and cheese!

                        1. re: John Manzo

                          Awww yeah. Bit O Beans sucked. I can't wait.

                          1. re: John Manzo

                            Where in Vancouver is Hines Public Market? The one in Seattle was in the Eastlake district was it not? I used to enjoy Torrefazione coffee, but Starbucks purchased the franchise and ended up closing most if not all of the cafe's.

                            1. re: canucks1619

                              Hines doesn't have a caffe in Vancouver- but you can get their beans at several places; the one I know pretty well is Cafe O in Yaletown (Opus Hotel). Every shot there is a god shot, amazing coffeehouse.

                              EDITED because I just saw on coffeegeek.com that Cafe O has closed :(

                              but what the heck, I can get hines in Calgary now :)

                          2. There is a 'tomato' guy that attends in the summer months. There are a number of varieties to choose from and they taste amazing!!!

                            20 Replies
                            1. re: tubtub

                              I think the tomato guy you are referring to may be named Milan and he's from Kelowna. His Sungold tomatos are some of the best tomatos I have ever had

                              1. re: canucks1619

                                Help guys - I need to find out if the Farmers Mkt is open this Good Friday --- does anyone know ? They have the BEST Hot Cross buns there and I forgot to buy last weekend ! The mkt website says nothing.
                                BTY -- I am a LOVER of butter tarts and pumpkin pie and the absolute best of both is the shop at the end, in the middle facing the food court, you know, the place that has samples of goodies ....
                                Also, my good friend Angela just had to close her coffee shop (Tumblebeans on 14th St SW, by 26th Ave. The building was bought and after 11 yrs. she was pushed our with no where to go. She is Italian and she insisted on great beans and she made the best espressos, lattes, whatever ..... because she made them to order - when you came in regularly she knew what you wanted without asking and made it exactly to perfection - each person's perfection !! AAahhh.... we miss Tumblebeans SO much, not JUST the coffee and Angela & Gerald but all the other regulars. You just don't find coffee shops like that anymore. We tried Cadence in Bowness and a few others but not the same - Sat. afternoons everyone was talking to everyone. We didn't know their last names or sometimes even their first but everyone would chat and enjoy the company AND the coffee!!!
                                That's my first post and I've got out quite a bit - PLEASE need to know about Gd Fri mkt hours - if open !!

                                1. re: 1stephanie

                                  I am 99% certain the market is open Good Friday.

                                  1. re: 1stephanie

                                    I agree with John. I was there this weekend & there was a sign saying that they are open on Friday.

                                    1. re: 1stephanie

                                      They are always open fridays before holiday weekends.
                                      But if I may suggest, there is a new bakery on Elbow Drive and about 90ave S.W. called COBBS and they have beautiful hot cross buns year round. I tried there blueberry twisted bread, which was to die for, so moist with a simple sugar/egg wash glaze. mmmm.

                                      1. re: CookieGal

                                        Do you mean COBS?

                                        Yep- 7610 Elbow Drive. I'd heard they were expanding to Alberta (apparently already 4 in Edmonton)- and ugh, every single location is in the damn suburbs. If they can open on Davie in Vancouver and on Bloor St in the Annex in Toronto why do they have to open in the 'burbs here?

                                        I got one of those hot cross buns when I stopped in the one in the Annex I just mentioned- it was very, very delicious.

                                        1. re: John Manzo

                                          coming from vancouver, i was very excited to hear that cobbs had arrived - but in the burbs? my boss was talking to the owners and they said that's where they will be expanding to as well - nothing downtown yet, only more locations in the burbs....very disappointing. this city needs more cafes, groceries, bakeries, butchers, etc downtown!!

                                          1. re: pants

                                            Well 17th does have eiffel tower and rustic sourdough, not to mention buttercream bake shoppe and, soon, a second location for crave cupcakes. Oh, and euro bakery, which makes the best bureks- they're albanian and are sort like a pizza, hard to describe, nothing close to the ones they sell at crossroads.

                                            Having said all that, cobs is an interesting chain and it would be nice to see them somewhere inner city- how about kensington getting a decent bakery?

                                            1. re: John Manzo

                                              i guess i'll just have to wait for the giant sunterra market to open in the keynote project. co-op on 11th is pretty good, but we find we have to drive for any specialty groceries. kensington would be a great place for a cobs! it would also be great if the farmers market was open more days!!

                                              1. re: John Manzo

                                                Don't forget that just on the end of 17th (on MacLeod and 14th) is Manuel Latruewe as well. And on 10th across from MEC is Decadent Desserts.

                                                I've been to several Cobs in Edmonton several times - and they are decent. I like that they are open late, and open all the time. But there's better bakeries imo.

                                                1. re: John Manzo

                                                  Oh John... don't you think you downtown folks get all the goods? I'm tickled that there is a cool bakery in my burbs! I wish there was more, we are innondated with chain store out in the burbs, and I often (always) have to treck downtown, or North for more cultural shopping. All the above mentioned bakeries have there 2 or 3 key items they excel at... but we are really lacking an all encompasing bakery cafe in this city.

                                                  remeber the Breadline? that little place had potential. what we need is a rebirth of that sit down and enjoy some warm carbs, with a great cup of coffee, socialize, and take some treats home.

                                                  1. re: CookieGal

                                                    Well, I think this is a bit of a compromise since it's not exactly in Okotoks. And yeah, the burbs deserve good things, but seeing as Cobs is clearly- in other cities- committed to urban storefronts, I find it a bit of a slap in the face when new chains open here that have been in and thrived in urban settings in other cities (witness Fatburger- NOBODY lives walking distance from Deerfoot Meadows! But where was their first location in Vancouver? Why, on Denman in the heart of the west end!) and head straight for sites way, way out of the core or its surrounding area. I want to see both- the suburbs need a break from chain ennui but good chains like Cobs should serve an urban market too just as they do in Toronto or Vancouver.

                                                    Breadline? Before my time- I moved here in 2000.

                                                    1. re: John Manzo

                                                      Just to drive John Manzo crazy, COBS is opening up in WestHills and Crowfoot next :)

                                                      1. re: Shazam

                                                        That's actually not so bad for me- the LRT is being extended to crowfoot, and westhills is a heck of a lot easier for me to get to than is Elbow Dr and just about anything!

                                                        Thought gilchrist was writing about Phil and Sebastian for this week's column- maybe next week's I guess...

                                                        1. re: John Manzo

                                                          I got some Phil and Sebastian coffee this weekend for home - yummy!

                                                          my only complaint is that they didn't want to grind it for me...i don't have a coffee grinder - they did it in the end but....

                                                          1. re: pants

                                                            I purchased coffee from Phil and Sebastian at the Calgary Farmers Market both this weekend and last and there were no complaints when I asked them to grind it for me. Yummy!
                                                            Love the brew in the Clover too - amazing.

                                                            1. re: higgika

                                                              i've bought coffee since the first time and they were much more accommodating - they said the only reason they may have been hesitant was because it's better to do it at the time of brewing.

                                                              1. re: pants

                                                                It is indescribably better- if you're making drip or french press, just get a blade grinder for $10 or thereabouts- they're far from ideal but get the job done, and take up next to zero counterspace. Heck, you can even use a mortar and pestle.

                                                        2. re: Shazam

                                                          COBS normally starts out in suburban parts of cities then eventually opens in more central parts. There is nothing creative about COBS though, its production is done by portion control, much like Moxies, the Keg, Kelsey's and others that many on here were complaining about. So if COBS does not open up in the DT area or the inner city I will not be upset

                                                          1. re: canucks1619

                                                            I noticed that there is a Cobs Bakery going in at Westhills mall. It is just at the beginning of construction on the space so it will be a little while. It is going in between Shoppers Drug Mart and the UPS store - where the old Rocks (fake diamond jewelery) store was located.

                                      2. i think i'm done with the market - i just got back from another miserable experience. let's see, it was already packed by 10am (don't people work?), more than one person stepped on me, i got tripped by a giant baby stroller and my wallet is empty....

                                        i just paid $11 for 4 tomatoes and a few beans - huh!?! yes, they are local and yes, they are good quality - but seriously $11?!!?!!!!!

                                        apparently there isn't a recession in calgary, if we are lined up to pay a fortune for fruits and vegetables (most of which aren't even local yet)

                                        granville island and traditional farmer's markets do NOT cost that much - for $11 I'd walk away with at least one FULL bag of fruits and vegetables probably two. and the real farmers' markets were always very inexpensive.

                                        OK, my rant is over - but someone give me a good reason for accepting this kind of pricing? i've found plenty of good, local produce at co-op for a fraction of the price.

                                        22 Replies
                                        1. re: pants

                                          actually, i found granville pretty expensive last time i was there, especially given that bc supermarkets seem a lot cheaper than our safeways. having said that, co-sign on everything you had to say about the cfm. I'll be sticking to chongo's and the other stalls at the crossroads.

                                          1. re: pants

                                            Pants, I hear ya... I still remember the time at little farmer's market on Vancouver Island, I brought a huge basket of veggies up to the till and wasn't paying attention as the girl rung them in... I handed over my debit and she said "um, I have to charge you an extra 25 cents when the total is under five dollars."

                                            I still shop at the Calgary farmer's market for the experience, but for deals I go to Chongo's and some of the other vendors at Crossroads.

                                            1. re: pants

                                              I stopped buying groceries there when the woman in front of me in line bought an organic chicken, a handful of veggies and a few pieces of fruit for her kids to munch on while they finished shopping for a grand total of $69 and change! Eariler that day it also cost me over $30 for the ingerdients to make burchetta.

                                              1. re: pants

                                                totally with ya ,way over priced .crossroads 100 percent my patronage .the only thing i buy now at cfm is creton at the quebec spot ,but if i find another supplier that place is toe up and i wont go back .fighting for parking is enough for me

                                                1. re: pants

                                                  I hear you pants. I like supporting local producers but the prices there sheesh Have the prices gone up or has my wallet shrunk?

                                                  My daughter just got back from a school field trip to Hotchkiss. While I love their produce I'm not nuts about the premium retailers are charging. I think I'll be going on a few field trips this summer and finding my way to farms gate sales.

                                                  1. re: maplesugar

                                                    maplesugar,
                                                    dont know if you have used this interactive "gate sales" map but thought I'd post the link anyways..
                                                    its not the most user friendly but its a great way to find local growers.

                                                    http://www.agric.gov.ab.ca/app21/rtw/...

                                                    1. re: cdn

                                                      Thanks for the link cdn, I'll make good use out of it and ShopTalk this summer.

                                                      Btw I was talking to the folks at Gull Valley today and there's talk of a greenhouse at the next incarnation of CFM :)

                                                  2. re: pants

                                                    If you live in the NW, come on over to my place later in the year and I'll give you tomatoes and beans for free.

                                                    The tomatoes at CFM are garbage. They're still the usual greenhouse varieties - Vendor, Beefmaster, et al. Ug.

                                                    1. re: Shazam

                                                      I'm pretty happy eating "garbage" like Gull Valley's tomatoes.

                                                      1. re: 23skidoo

                                                        Hey, whatever floats your boat. Gull Valley tomatoes are one step up from grocery store tomatoes.

                                                        Places like Gull Valley have the exact same problem that grocery stores have - how to move product from where it's grown to where it's sold without it falling apart. Therefore, they need to grow thick skinned tomatoes with a high gelatinous content (basically, they've bred out the juice and replaced it with the gelatin that's around the seeds). I grow some tomatoes that can barely make it from the garden to the kitchen because they're so thin skinned and so full of actual juice.

                                                        I've bought Gull Valley tomatoes, and well, they're better than the typical grocery store's, if that's really saying much. Not to mention their outrageous prices.

                                                        1. re: Shazam

                                                          Ummm....

                                                          Gelatin comes from within animal's ( human foodwise usually pigs & cattle) skin and bones.

                                                          Don't think there is any gelatin in tomatoes!!!!

                                                          1. re: graemejw

                                                            touche! Methinks some do protest too much.

                                                            1. re: graemejw

                                                              Shazam is right according to the good scientists at UC Davis, it is a gelatinous membrane.

                                                              http://www-plb.ucdavis.edu/labs/rost/...

                                                              Just got my curiosity up so I did a couple of searches. Tomatoes are also a fruit (ok most of us knew that) in fact a berry, AND is also the ovary of a flowering plant. Just thought I'd add that "ovary" part so it runs through everyone's mind when they eat a tomato!

                                                              1. re: Scary Bill

                                                                "gelatinous" doesn't mean "made of gelatine." No vegetable has "gelatine."

                                                                1. re: John Manzo

                                                                  Gelatinous means having the qualities of gelatin.

                                                                  And yes there are vegetable gelatins, but I will leave it up to your research abilities to discover which ones.

                                                              2. re: graemejw

                                                                Gelatinous = gelatin-like. Too hard to understand?

                                                          2. re: Shazam

                                                            I am game for home grown Tomatoes.

                                                            1. re: Shazam

                                                              Completely disgree. I've had some of the best tomatoes of my life from Gull Valley.

                                                              1. re: John Manzo

                                                                Feel free to come over and you can have some of mine.

                                                                1. re: John Manzo

                                                                  Is Gull Valley no longer at the CFM?...I could not find them last week.

                                                                  Not only do they have great tomatoes, The fresh Habeneros are the best in the city!

                                                                  1. re: Major_9000

                                                                    Gull Valley is there seasonally, I'd say they'll be back about the end of the month.

                                                                    1. re: maplesugar

                                                                      Thanks!

                                                            2. my favorite thing there is Klaus' sausages. pure meat, no filler. the best sausages i think i've found in calgary. the woman that sells chicken sausages at the farmaers market at northland are good too, but i prefer kalus' cause they are more traditional.

                                                              1. My favorite stall is Sylvan Star cheese where you can't go wrong with any of the choices. There are a variety of good meat venues but I usually pick up sausages which are of good quality at Old Country. If you like meat pies try the Swiss chicken and the ham,onion at Simple Simon. Stay away from the Shepherds pie which tends to fall apart to mush in the microwave. The Going Nuts vendor has a wide selection of nuts and seeds that I add to baking or my morning cereal, and I like that they have small sizes so I can use them before they get stale. I can't recommend the fruit and produce as I find it mostly overpriced. Crossroads Market,especially Chongos, fits the bill for that when they bring in Okanagan and local stuff in the summer.

                                                                1. Am I the only one who dreads waling past that NE corner where you have to do the "No I don't want a taster of you pies" gauntlet, ya probably I am. Wish I could get a no thanks to the pie button to wear.

                                                                  11 Replies
                                                                  1. re: fotze

                                                                    lol I thought it was just me! :)

                                                                    1. re: fotze

                                                                      I'd like one of those buttons too, please.

                                                                      1. re: fotze

                                                                        Add me to the list, too. When the market first opened, I dared to give the pies a try. The crust was rather insipid, underbaked and soggy. :-(

                                                                        1. re: Fid

                                                                          Better order a dozen of those buttons! Horrible, horrible pies. I frequent the CFM every week. Yes it is expensive. Yes I hate those stupid big strollers -- what's wrong with making kids walk these days? It tires them out! But yet I go every week to see whats new, poke around, get a good cappucino at Phil & Sebatistian's. Grazing Acres is my favorite haunt right now. The best jumbo eggs and chickens are even better than Sunworks (sorry Sunworks I bought yours for 2 years!). And tomatoes -- you can't get good ones at regular grocery stores (i.e. Safeway/Co-op etc.) so thats what keeps me going back. I hate the prices too but I am addicted to good igredients!

                                                                          1. re: lynnrb

                                                                            i've had reasonably good luck at downtown co-op with decent tomatoes - i noticed the nice yellow ones (alberta grown) yesterday.

                                                                            the only thing that will get me back is an extreme craving for butter tarts(i haven't found better ones) - soon phil & sebastian will be open in marda loop so that will solve that :)

                                                                            1. re: lynnrb

                                                                              I feel I must defend the pies....I like the quiches. They are quick and the spinach feta is really tasty. I also must say that asking an 18month old walk in that crowd doesn't work, thus the stroller.

                                                                              I appreciate that this is a forum for people to air their opinions but I don't see why people have to attack people who are at different places in their lives (i.e. with strollers). Maybe I'm just a pansy but I always try to think the best of people & not be mean when you haven't met me (or any of the other mothers with strollers)!

                                                                              1. re: Merry113

                                                                                I have no problem with strollers as long as the drivers are careful. They are getting a bit big but that just means more care is needed.

                                                                                I also like some of the pies but I don't like having a sample pushed on me when I just want to walk past. That corner is just mad.

                                                                                1. re: Merry113

                                                                                  Until recently I was one of those Moms with a big stroller too(Valco). I have 3 kids 7, 4, and just turned 3. When the kids were smaller I wouldn't have been able to carry the groceries, a-n-d have a hand on the 4yo and 3yo. Youngest went up front in the stroller, groceries got the back seat and 4yo "helped" me push. Always mindful not to park said stroller in the middle of already crowded aisles and yielded to faster moving customers.

                                                                                  The now 3yo is a "big boy" doesn't want to sit (who can blame him) so we tend to take up more space than the stroller... youngest two each holding a hand and groceries and purse slung on my shoulders. It was easier to er herd them when both hands weren't full. :D

                                                                                  1. re: Merry113

                                                                                    I'm with you on the pies! I like the Swiss Chicken & Jamaican Beef. And I've been a Dad at that stage in life too!

                                                                                  2. re: lynnrb

                                                                                    Yes another convert to Grazing Acres! Their lamb is also incredible but it's not always available. Try their bacon next time as well, combined with their great eggs its a real breakfast treat.

                                                                                    1. re: slingshotz

                                                                                      Yep, had the bacon...bagel bacon is good for my teens who like doing the breakfast sandwich thing. Hey stroller mamas-- don't get so uptight! I had 4 kids under 6 at one point and I dragged those kids everywhere with me so believe me I understand the logistics of shopping with kids. So I am not by any means unsympathetic. Its just that some strollers like the ones that have the big wheels that are meant for running paths are too big for narrow spaces with lots of people. I had a twin stroller but this was kept for mall visits and walking in the neighborhood and I kept a smaller umbrella type stroller for busy places. Anyway, this forum isn't about strollers and I didn't even start that topic so don't hate. Back to food!

                                                                              2. I agree with the general concensus that the market is getting way too crowded and overpriced. Plus I had a bad experience with "Simple Simon" and stopped buying from him years ago -- his pies ain't all that.

                                                                                I'm finding beautiful campari tomatoes from Windset Farms at Costco that are almost as good as Gull Lake and at half the price -- which is important as I have 4 kids. They are grown without pesticides as well like Gull Lake's. I can also find quite a bit of local produce during the summer/fall at Amaranth which is somewhat cheaper than CFM. I still go to CFM with the kids for fun and will buy a few things, but have stopped going religiously once a week like I once did.

                                                                                I have found a good time to go is around 4:00 pm on Sunday, maybe it's sheer luck, but it wasn't too crowded. Plus I found Blush Lane marks down their fresh chickens by about 20% by that time as well.

                                                                                3 Replies
                                                                                1. re: sweeterpea

                                                                                  I agree that the market is a bit overpriced... the one reason I go there is actually the stall that sells maple products from Quebec. I LOVE their maple and blueberry pies.

                                                                                  But the crowding is horrible. When I do go down I usually go for the instant they open and get out after about an hour. Which saves my wallet too. :)

                                                                                  1. re: sweeterpea

                                                                                    Actually, 4:00pm on Sunday is probably a bad time to go as the market closes at 4 on Sundays. It's open till 5pm on Fridays and Saturdays, but closes at 4 on Sundays.

                                                                                    Good tip about the Windset Farms tomatoes. While the large majority of the produce are absolutely fantastic at the market, there are several stalls selling inferior goods and using the fact that they are situated within a farmer's market as a cover to it.

                                                                                    1. re: Hoj

                                                                                      woops! meant 3 pm. Did not mean to mislead anyone! The Windset grape tomatoes at Costco are amazing. I had to buy 2 pkgs this week as the kids are eating them like grapes.

                                                                                  2. I don;t even mind the pies but have never been a fan of in your face marketing, I'm a shy person and don;t want unnecessary chit chat. I actually feel bad to turn someone down so I avoid the situation.

                                                                                    Also, I am the guy with the Valco stroller, but I am the guy trying to chase my wife who is scurrying around touching everything, I usually end up waiting outside in a huff (at the wife) due to the fun involved in navigating the market and trying to keep that #$%^^&% stroller out of people's way. and yes the child is much less annoying in that boat than me trying to control him wirelessly with a broken remote control.

                                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                                    1. re: fotze

                                                                                      lol don't you wish they came with a remote? fwiw if I go about an hour before close it's a lot quieter (still busy but not craaazy)

                                                                                    2. Gull Valley tomatoes and the coffee from Phil & Sebastian Coffee Co. As you can see, Farmers Market is a great start to a Sunday.

                                                                                      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4EtG37...

                                                                                      1. Just wanted to let everyone know CFM has expanded their Christmas hours:

                                                                                        From the Missing Link Sausage Co hours are as follows:

                                                                                        Friday, December 18th – 9:00 am – 5:00 pm
                                                                                        Saturday, December 19th – 9:00 am – 5:00 pm
                                                                                        Sunday, December 20th – 9:00 am – 4:00 pm

                                                                                        Monday, December 21st – CLOSED
                                                                                        Tuesday, December 22nd – 9:00 am – 5:00 pm
                                                                                        Wednesday, December 23rd – 9:00 am – 5:00 pm

                                                                                        The market is then closed Dec 24-Jan 7, back to their regular schedule again Friday January 8th

                                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                                        1. re: maplesugar

                                                                                          That's awesome that they're open on the Tuesday and Wednesday. I can do my grocery shopping a little closer to Christmas. Thanks maplesugar!

                                                                                        2. Forgot how overpriced the market is. Spent 18 bucks on a crappy cornish pastie that was not good at all and a small steak pie, which was actually pretty good....but not THAT good. Also it seems to be lots of people selling stuff for other people rather than the producer selling directly to the consumer. Didn't see many farmers either.

                                                                                          4 Replies
                                                                                          1. re: greenboy

                                                                                            Not everything there is overpriced- far, far from it in fact.

                                                                                            1. re: John Manzo

                                                                                              got any tips on the non overpriced?any secret deals?

                                                                                              1. re: howlin

                                                                                                No secrets but eg blood oranges are cheaper that at safeway. I know there are better deals at eg crossroads. I'm just getting tired of all the CFM bashing that goes on on this board.

                                                                                                1. re: John Manzo

                                                                                                  maybe some of the bashing is justified.it is overly expensive for what you get ,although there are things there(creton) that i just have to bite the bullet on.but more and more people are starting to see the fact that most of it is a ripoff and better of retreating and regrouping.then beating a dead horse.how can you honestly argue for higher prices?mabye cause they are close to you?the setup sucks(no parking,confusing streets,)no farmers ,everybody there it seems sells other peoples stuff at a huge increase.let it die so theycan start over again with a new found sense of honor and truth .anybody who has been to crossroads will know ,although even there its getting pricey, but if people are willing to pay then they are gonna raise prices.i think the cfm was a bad influence on actual (real) farmers markets.let the dog die already so we(those who want real food at real value)can get something worthwhile cfm rip

                                                                                          2. we are in utter love with the bread at the back wall vendor sorry do not know the name as we are from edmonton and only fleetingly get to the market at curry banks. anyhow the fig anise and the wild rice green onion are to die for!