Out for a … Summer Farmers Market – A Gathering Place

story and photos by Scottee Giles – 

At the first light of dawn, life on a farm begins to stir and a round of chores is set into motion: feeding animals, checking on crops and irrigation, organizing staff and planning the day. A lot goes on behind the scenes, even before our local farmers markets open the gates. Hundreds of hours of talent go into creating art and handcrafted goods. Inventory is tallied and tables are strung with banners. The atmosphere is festive as trucks are unloaded, canopies set up, and stalls packed with wares. People have been gathering at markets for thousands of years and although some modern technology has evolved, much of the process has remained the same.

I have the good fortune of living near the Peninsula Country Market that is held at the Saanich Fairgrounds on Saturdays, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., from June 1 until Thanksgiving weekend. Entry is free and there is ample parking on site.

A crowd had gathered by the time we arrived. If you are from the area you are bound to run into lots of people you know. If you’re not, it’s well worth the trip: a place to make new friends and learn about the neighbourhood.

We found more than 50 vendors welcoming us, live music in full swing, a shaded seating area to enjoy a cold slush or other refreshments, and a Kid Zone with crafts, face painting, games and activities for the littles. Some of our favourite local products we stocked up on or stopped to admire included:

  • Fruit
  • Veggies
  • Freshly baked goods
  • Pottery
  • Hats
  • Leather works
  • Knit clothing
  • Photography prints
  • Free range eggs
  • Sheep’s wool
  • Pet treats
  • Spices
  • Skin care products
  • Home décor
  • Jewelry
  • Apple cider
  • Organic meats
  • Woven baskets
  • Jams and jellies
  • Flowers

Two other markets you won’t want to miss are the North Saanich Farm Market, also Saturday mornings, and the popular Sidney Street Market that runs on Thursday evenings. Check websites for up to date hours and volunteer opportunities. Farmers markets are a great place to find truly unique gifts that tell the story of our community.

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