Saturday, 10 May 2014

Opening Day 2014

Mark your calendars for this wednesday, May 14th, our opening day this spring! Happening every Wednesday from 4:30 to 7:30 pm in the Terwillegar Community Recreation Centre's south parking lot, it is a great place to come, meet your neighbours, family and friends and spend some time supporting the local economy.

Booths brim with fresh, seasonal, locally grown fruits & vegetables, ethically raised meats, delicious prepared foods (with gluten free, vegetarian, vegan and nut free options available), and artfully crafted artisanal goods. There is scrumptious baking, wonderful take-away ethnic meals and artisans who design jewellery, lightly scented soaps, and artful home decor. Each week there are also food trucks, buskers, and so many things to keep your wee ones (we like to call them sprouts) busy: a gigantic bouncy slide to play on; popcorn, cotton candy, mini cupcakes and slushies to eat; a face painter to create a fun tableau of vibrantly colored little faces; a balloon man to design festive bursts of colour; music to entertain; and farm-themed kids crafts by momstown to keep wee hands occupied.

On opening day, the Edmonton Food Bank will be on hand to launch the market’s 2014 participation in Plant A Row, Grow A Row. This is your opportunity to help get healthy, fresh, locally grown, nutrient-dense food into the large cooler rooms at the food bank. Real food.

The Food Bank truck will be on site collecting non-perishable canned, bagged and boxed food at this kick off event, and will return the last Wednesday of August and of September to collect your fresh food donations. As always, you can purchase food from our vendors to donate, and cash donations, egg cartons and empty shopping bags are also welcomed. 

Bring the kids up to the SWEFM tent and have them plant a vegetable for the Food Bank. This free craft, sponsored by momstown, will see the kids make a compostable newspaper pot, and fill it with soil and a carefully planted vegetable seed. This is a real way to teach your kids about growing and giving in their community. By planting their craft in a deck pot or garden plot at home, they participate personally in Plant A Row, Grow A Row, and become stewards of urban agriculture in the process. After tending it for the summer season, they can return their produce in the fall and help feed Edmonton’s most vulnerable populations.

This year will see a few good changes happening up at the market: we plan to add some more picnic tables so you can find a greater number of comfortable places to stop and share a meal and create memories with your family, friends & neighbours.  And we plan to launch our SWEFM Sprouts Kids’ Club, an initiative to help support your efforts as parents to encourage your children to eat healthily.

Bring your children, ages 4 to 12, up to the SWEFM tent to enroll them as Sprouts. There, they will receive a free passport and a special reusable shopping bag  (filled with fun goodies) that they will bring back with them each time they visit the market. Each week on market day, kids can come to market and have their “passport to health” stamped and receive a $2 token to spend at the market.  The catch is that it can only be spent at market booths that sell fruit, vegetables or food plants. And it is theirs to spend. A very special thank-you goes out to Dr. Darcy Dietz of Towne Square Orthodontics for financially sponsoring this program and to the nutritional grant of Communities Choose Well for investing in the nutritional health of our children and our community. Thanks also goes out to Brookview Montessori and AJM's Out of School Care for jumping on board and contributing financially to this initiative, and to Café O'Play for providing passes for the children's bags.

Now in its 4th season, the market is run by a dedicated volunteer board and backed by a host of volunteer supporters and sponsors. Without their help, generosity and expertise, the market would not be the successful, vibrant and fun community gathering spot that it is today. Should you like to be involved, we could always use more hands, brains, muscle, financial support & enthusiasm behind the scenes. Check out the opportunities under the "Get Involved" tab of the market website at or contact us by email at

Opening Day will be a perfect opportunity to grab dinner with your friends, family and neighbours at a food truck and spend a lovely evening together. Servus Credit Union will be on hand hosting a special draw. The huge, inflatable bouncy slide will be there (weather permitting) for the kids, along with face painters, balloon buskers, sprouts registration, a food bank momstown craft and puppets on a string performers. Complete with four food trucks, many concession stands, musical buskers, and lots of high quality food and artisanal vendors, it will be a terrific way to spend one of what are sure to be many warm spring & summer evenings up at the market this year.

See you at the market!

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Contributed by Sheri Hendsbee, Volunteer Chair

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