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Edmontonian moving to Calgary; looking for FM

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I am an Edmontonian about to move to Calgary and I am sad, sad, sad that I will be giving up my Saturday morning jaunts to the Strathcona Farmer's Market. I have only been to the Currie Barracks market in Calgary and I think any ex-Edmontonian Calgarian will agree with me that the Strathcona FM is far superior. I mean the CB FM sells fruit and veggies from the US and Mexico! I think Edmonton and area has a far greater number of farms? I will dearly miss Peas on Earth, August Organics, Four Whistle Farms, Sunworks (I know they're at CB but it's just not the same - and more expensive!).

The CB market is far too trendy (more so that Strathcona) and "commercial" and doesn't offer the same local, quality, organic produce that I am used to. Can anyone suggest a better farmer's market in Calgary to go to?

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  1. The Strathcona Market doesn't sell fruit or veggies at all in the wintertime? Or only sells potatoes? If we want winter produce, it can't be local. There is tons of local (well mostly BC but still) in season. That said there are more "farmers" in the markets at both Crossroads and the more rural markets, in places like Millarville.

    I'm guessing that Strathcona shuts down in the winter. There is no "local" produce in northern Alberta in the winter, or am I misunderstanding some geothermal miracle that happens in E
    dmonton?

    3 Replies
    1. re: John Manzo

      Produce selection is reduced in the Winter, but there is a lot of hothouse produce available locally year round at the Strathcona market. Farming has moved quite a bit from Little House on the Prairie. No excuses not to buy local.

      1. re: Jkher

        I was at the Strathcona market in March and let me just say that the selection of turnips, potatoes, carrots, cabbage, and onions was incredible. Strathcona, in enforcing the "local" aspect, has made a decision to go in a certain direction.

        Of course, local stuff when in season simply can't be matched. And even greenhouse grown peppers are able to be sold in Edmonton much fresher than when trucked in long distances. But it kind of annoys me that I have to make multiple stops because I can't buy bananas, oranges, and all that other stuff at Strathcona.

        1. re: egon61

          The Calgary Farmer's market has it's charms and little unique items.

          Here are three things I go back for all the time... 1) Lemon Tart from Ladybug 2) boneless leg of lamb (across from greek place can't remember the name of the kiosk) 3) White Clover honey from Jammin' it - the most amazing honey ever, harvested by bees from white clovers exclusively. This honey tastes and smells like flowers, truly incredible. I haven't had a cup of tea without this honey since I discovered it.

          O think once you get into it, you'll find things you love as well.

    2. I think you missed Alf's "the cucumber man", and Gull Valley greenhouses, they have beautiful pesticide free tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, lettuce and they're located in AB. Also, Lund's isn't at the market right now but that's because they sold out before their new crop came in. IMHO they have the best carrots around. Come summer Walker's Own will have a bunch of BC fruit and vegetables, and the colonies will be back with their wares.

      FWIW if you'd like tips from Calgarians I'd suggest not coming off so confrontational. "The Strathcona FM is far superior." Comments like that aren't going to win friends and influence people. Currie Barracks has LOCAL produce you just have to know where/when to look.

      1 Reply
      1. re: maplesugar

        I picked up some lovely pesticide free tomatoes & peppers from Gull Valley just today. Also, almost all of the produce vendors have prominent "Grown in Alberta" labels/tables, etc.

      2. Check the Alberta Agriculture site, they list several markets for Calgary.

        1 Reply
        1. re: pepper_mil

          I think this is the one you're referring to:
          http://www.agric.gov.ab.ca/app21/rtw/...

          I'm not certain how up to date it or thorough it is, but many of the listings are definitely accurate.

        2. Actually as someone who recently made the move the opposite direction, I found the opposite. The Strathcona market (especially in the winter) had a few tables of winter vegetables and lots of non food stuff. And if I can't eat it I am not interested in seeing it at the market. There were many local/southern alberta booths at CB when I was shopping there, mostly hot house but still. But then I am more a local prefered than a local mandatory shopper so maybe that made the difference.
          The Crossroads market is much more like the Strathcona one, except they separate their non food section out (and I do miss the Art Market upstairs).
          None of the Calgary (or Edmonton) markets compare to 104st market in Edmonton and I am so glad it is back for the summer.

          1. Currie Barracks has something every market should have... A Brewery!!

            Ice cold, no preservatives, unique brews, local Wild Rose beers...mmmmmmm.. Velvet Fog,

            2 Replies
            1. re: Scoot174

              Their framboise ("Wraspberry") is superb!

              1. re: John Manzo

                If you like IPA, I think Wild Rose has one of the best in Canada. Are we allowed to talk about beer on this board? I'm giddy.

            2. Lol, I'm in the same boat (but moving north on the QE2 instead of south.

              I'm gonna miss all the places dining places here in Calgary and looking to find new stores in Edmonton. Perhaps you can send me some tips! ;)

              BTW, are you in the market for a end-unit townhouse? :)

              1. As a native Calgarian having just visited the Strathcona's FM, I sadly have to agree about the comparison with the CB market. It feels like the CB market is run by a bunch of conservative people while Strathcona is run by a more liberal group (opens up can of worms...). I found that the market in Edmonton is more energetic, dynamic and has more artisan vendors, I came across at least four vendors with their own spin on pies (sorry Simon pies just don't cut it). The one thing that is lacking is the food court in Strathcona, CB's is pretty good on that front. If CB was located in a more dynamic part of town like Strathcona's was, it would probably be much better.

                4 Replies
                1. re: slingshotz

                  I don't see how you or anybody can say CFM is in any way. shape or form "conservative." This is one of the most preposterous statements in an already preposterous and insulting thread.

                  1. re: slingshotz

                    I wouldn't put the very concept of a Farmer's Market anywhere right of centre on the spectrum thanks.

                    1. re: slingshotz

                      I find this whole thread a bit interesting. As an American who moved to Calgary 4 years ago, I learned early on that you need to stop with the comparisons between two places. No two cities are going to be alike in every way. Deal with it and move on. You have to take your time to find the gems in either place. I doubt that Strathcona market has the AWESOME schnitzel on a bun like at Margurites Dishes at CFM. I'm sure there are other things that are better at Strathcona. Calgary has a few options for Farmer's Markets....if you don't like CFM, check out one of the local ones that pop up in the summer. We are lucky to have great places to go buy local produce (when there is local stuff to be had). Is it the best place, ever? Probably not, but it's still darn good.

                      1. re: Merry113

                        well spoken, merry113