What’s at the U of A’s Farmers’ Market

Yet again, the University of Alberta’s Students’ Union Building was bustling with energy Thursday, September 27 at the second week of the Farmers’ Market. By the end of the day, many of the vendors were running low or sold out on some of the hot ticket items. Every Thursday, be sure to get to the market early and enjoy some amazing local foods. The market runs from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Happy Camel

Happy Camel is a staple in Edmonton’s Farmers’ Market circuit, with products produced locally by Sara Larson and her team in Edmonton’s Callingwood neighbourhood. Happy Camel sources many of its ingredients locally, including cheese from local farmers and vegetables from her fellow market vendors.

“It’s just like home cooking,” Larson says with a smile as she describes her offerings.

Larson points to the Pita bread as the food of choice at Happy Camel. Made thicker than other pita bread, Happy Camel’s bread doesn’t dry out, offers a big pocket which is good for stuffing and freezes well.

“Nobody else is making pita bread like this in Edmonton,” noted Larson.

Here are some details:

  • Produced locally
  • Sold mostly in local farmers’ markets
  • Special Artisan pita bread is made fresh with no preservatives
  • Sells and produces Mediterranean dips, including sweet sheep chipotle, creamed roasted vegetables, labanen yogurt cheese, spinach and tzaziki
  • Pita Bread available in white, whole wheat and fresh spinach w/ carmelized onions and poppy seeds
  • Visit Happy Camel online at http://www.happycamel.ca

Shergood Gardens

Nelson Hicks, owner of Shergood Gardens, makes the trek from his farm in McBride B.C. to the UAlberta’s Farmers’ Market every 2nd Thursday with a wide variety of vegetables, fruit, baked goods and breads. Although he often quickly sells through his vegetables and fruit, Hick’s has been making waves at the Farmers’ Market with his unique stone oven breads.

“We use a modern stone oven with a stone bottom in it, gas fired,” Hicks points out.

Not your standard farm, Hicks is also quick to note that Shergood operates with some sustainable farming ideas based on heirloom practices.

“We follow as much to the organic side as possible, things like we mix our own fertilizer.”

The effects of these practices can be seen in the garden’s vegetables but also in the flavourful ingredients added to the bread, such as spinach and dill.

Here are some details:

  • Locally-farmed vegetables
  • Country style bakery with modern stone oven
  • Breads include whole wheat, jalapeño and cheddar, spinach and feta, and more
  • Baked goods include cookies, real fruit pies and banana bread
  • Bread ingredients are sourced locally from Rogers Mills with grains from Alberta/B.C. farmers
  • Supports community-based and global farming through the Workaway and World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms (WWOOF) programs

Three Sisters Baking

Located Northwest of Ponoka, Three Sisters Baking is a family affair which involves sisters Michelle, Nicole and Yvonne. After surveying the initial market last year, the sisters started the operation full force in 2012 and are finding their wide selection of baked goods including cookies, muffins, puff wheat squares and marshmallow pops are popular with the University community.

“They can just grab them and go!” noted Michelle.

The family operation runs a greenhouse in the summer which provides some ingredients for their goods including the zucchini used in the loaves.

Here are some details:

  • Cookies, loafs, muffins, puff wheats, marshmallow pops and more!
  • Local Honey used in puff wheat as parents are beekeepers.
  • Operate a greenhouse in the summer.
  • Flour is organic from a local vendor in Wetaskawin.

West Parkland Honey

Werner Schmid has been producing honey for a long time and his knowledge of it shows. Schmid started in the honey business over 20 years ago after coming to Canada from Germany. His company, West Parkland Honey, includes over 300 hives and up to 100,000 bees in peak months.

Along with his unpasteurized honey, Werner produces Lemon flavoured honey and unique relishes, all with natural ingredients.

When asked what he uses honey for, Schmid said with a smile “We do everything that we can with honey. My wife does baking, we do all our canning with honey and usually with breakfast, I have honey!” Schmid’s daughters are also involved at the market as they operate Three Sisters Baking, making every 2nd Thursday a family affair.

Here are some details:

  • Honey house, located Northwest of Ponoka.
  • Federally approved and inspected facility.
  • No chemicals or pesticides used.
  • Relishes made with honey, all natural ingredients from the family greenhouse.
  • Lemon flavoured honey, with natural lemon flavour added with a special process.

Who is your favourite vendor at the market?

Let us know with a comment! For more information about the market, visit the University of Alberta’s Farmers’ Market Facebook page.

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