Wednesday, 8 May 2013

One Week Until our First Market Day(!!!): Market Update

The warm weather we experienced at the beginning of the week is heralding in our market season. And things have certainly been heating up behind the scenes as well! We are getting quite excited!

We have a long list of vendors lined up, bringing you a wide variety of wonderful items to purchase from specialty food items through to the creative work of artisans. There are large plants and potted arrangements to make it FINALLY feel like spring, and there are wee seedlings to purchase for pots, kitchen windowsills and gardens. There are special treats to sample. And there are food trucks to explore with many sumptuous offerings for dinner for your family, friends and neighbours.

In short, there are quite a number of things to look forward to at our market in the upcoming weeks! Let me highlight a few...

for the kids
  • Inflatable Slide Kids' Zone:
  • Starting May 22nd, we will have a towering, incredibly huge, ever-so-fun giant inflatable slide on site each week that is sure to excite the kids! It's 16 feet wide, 30 feet long and 22 feet high!! Just think how much energy your kids will expend racing up and down this slide... and how well they'll sleep at night! Rides will be $1 each, or $5 for unlimited slides. (Please note: unfortunately it is not able to be there for opening market day... it begins with the second market day of the season.)
  • Buskers: 
  • Each week we will have special performers at the market, playing music, creating balloon art, doing face painting and creating a fun & vibrant atmosphere for families with their very special, highly creative & engaging talents.
  • Puppets on a String:
  •  On May 15th, these puppet performers will be at the market, performing their very popular puppet shows. These will be happening in the centre of our market, along the avenue of trees.
  • Special Garden Project: 
  • On May 29th, children can take part in our Plant A Row, Grow A Row kick off event with a special garden project. Sustainable Food Edmonton will be on hand helping everyone create a newspaper pots and planting seeds to begin to grow their very own donations for the Food Bank.
for everyone
  • Edmonton Public Libraries
  • EPL will be on hand May 15th, handing out free library cards as part of their birthday celebration. This is a terrific opportunity to save yourselves a little cash and support your community library, all at the same time.
  • The Truck Rally!
  • Starting May 15th, Don't forget to make Wednesday night, "Dinner At the Market Night" for you, your friends, neighbours and family. There will be lots of food on hand from gourmet comfort food to ethnic food (Greek, Mediterranean), from hot dogs to gourmet poutine, and from vegan to gluten free food... and there will be treats galore! Think cotton candy, fudge, ice cream, mini donuts, cupcakes, pastries and many other decadent delights.
  • Blog Format Change
  • When our market is in season, from May 15-October 2nd, our blog will change its format. Each week there will be two posts. One will be a "fresh sheet," a place where we can tell you what things to expect at the market that week... what vendors will be there, what fruit and veggies will be in season, and it will draw your attention to new and unique things that are going on. This will happen on Tuesdays, the day before market day. Wednesday, of course, is Market Day!  On Thursdays, the blog will post a rceipe that you can try at home, based on things that are in season at the market that week... you can try it out with purchases you made the day before, or plan to purchase the ingredients at next week's market. Sometimes it'll feature one of my recipes. Sometimes it'll feature yours. And sometimes it'll feature a vendor's favourite. We plan to hold recipe contests throughout the season, so get your thinking caps on, your spatulas in hand, and your tastebuds fired up...
  • Garden Festival, May 29th
  • This is our special kick off for Plant A Row, Grow A Row... our unique partnership with the Edmonton Food Bank. Keep collecting those egg cartons to bring to the market in two week's time. Also, remember to buy a bag of rice for the food bank and bring it to market at our Garden Festival kick-off for Plant A Row, Grow A Row and help us fill our wheelbarrow (the food bank will be on site collecting any & all donations May 29th... so you can also feel free to bring boxed, canned & bagged food as well). There will be garden demonstrations. Expert gardeners will be on site, ready to answer any questions you may have about gardening. Master Composter will be there, ready to inspire you to grow your own compost (it's easier than you think!). There will be a planting project for the kids to do & take home, free of charge. And our wonderful farm vendors will be at the market with beautiful hanging baskets, tomato plants and vegetable seedlings, ready to entice you to bask in all that your garden can possibly be (for your own enjoyment, your own local food production, and to help you grow a donation for the food bank).

a few reminders

  • Don't forget that the market has moved slightly to a new location... no longer hidden to the west of the rec centre, you will find the Southwest Edmonton Farmers' Market in the first parking lot, bordered by 23rd Avenue on its south side. Look for the signs, inflatable slide (after the first week), flags and tents... you can't miss it.
  • Remember that there is always overflow parking to the west of the Terwillegar Recreation Centre. Many of the parking lots between the west doors of the rec centre (down the arena hallway) and the Catholic High School (Mother Mary Margaret) are often virtually vacant.
  • Please drive slowly when visiting the Farmers' Market. Leger Road and the parking lots surrounding the Terwillegar Recreation Centre will have lots of people on foot at market time. There are 2 crosswalks that lead to the market location. Please be mindful of our traffic patrol volunteers.
  • Volunteers will be on site doing everything from answering questions, manning the Community Tent, entertaining kids and directing traffic to schlepping things, handing out shopping bags and directing people within the rec centre itself. Please be sure to give them a smile and thank them for helping to make our market such a community driven, friendly & inspired place to be.

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    Contributed by Sheri Hendsbee

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