Happy Long weekend everyone! We started off our long weekend with a trip down to the Millarville Farmers Market. This market is located 45 minutes from Calgary, heading south off of Highway 22X. My husband a month ago came to me with an idea, he suggested we go to the market and pick out ingredients for our supper and for dessert at the farmers market. I loved the idea, so today we did it and I think we now have a new tradition for the long weekend as a little family.
As you turn off into the entrance you are greeted by some lovely staff who collect 3$ for parking. Once parked, you walk over some of the horse race tracks and enter into the big long row of vendors. There are lots of awesome smells going on, one of which is like kryptonite to me, and that is the mini donuts truck. I did resist, which was a miracle.
What is great about this market, is that there is a good amount of space in the market, so you don't feel like you are on top of people and vice versa. There is also a great variety of hand crafted, locally grown and made goods available for purchase. Some of the vendors even have credit card and debit card machines, which is nice. I strongly suggest bringing an abundance of cash. If you run out of cash on hand there is an ATM available in the main racing hall in the basement.
It was a beautiful day and ended up being scorching hot, so from the looks of the picture you can tell I was not wearing clothing appropriate for 30 degree Celsius weather. I guess I am jumping the gun on fall attire.
Back to the point, the market was full of life, excitement, music and lot's of wonderful goods. I was trying to soak it all in, my kids were as well, but they were really only there for the food. They loved sampling everything they could get their little hands on. Everyone was so generous with tastes of their products. I think that is why I love going to farmers markets the most, because they have the philosophy of the European markets, how can you know that something is good enough to buy without having tasted it first.
Every vendor I came across were so friendly and kind, they had smiles on their faces and were so generous to us. My husband bought the kids some geodes from the rock vendor, and the owner helped the kids pick out a perfect one, and then he gave them a free smaller one. That made my kids day.
We found some wonderful Saskatoon berry juice and also a wonderful strawberry and rhubarb pie from Solstice Berry Farm. We had the pie for dessert tonight, with a side of Saskatoon berry ice cream, it hit the spot!
Along with the juice and pie, we bought some gorgeous vegetables from a Hutterite colony, they let the kids eat some of their beautiful fresh carrots. They had some gorgeous purple potatoes which we bought and were part of our meal tonight. If I hadn't have done all my pickles while in the Okanagan, their stand would have been the place to pick up some pickling cucumbers, they were the perfect size for dill pickles. I was so excited to see that their veggies were 3 bags for 10$, that was an amazing deal for the quality you get.
As we winded around the shops we came across a cheese vendor, if you have been following my site so far, you know how much I love cheese. This made me so happy, they had samples of every kind of cheese they had there. Crystal Springs Cheese had the most amazing selection of Gouda I have ever seen. One sample they brought out that brought a big smile to my face, was their freshly made curds, that were made the day before. When I popped the large cheese curd in my mouth, it had that perfect squeaky feel that you are looking for in a good cheese curd. It had a nice flavour to it and would be perfect in a poutine. We ended up buying their peppercorn flavoured Gouda. They had a deal that if you bought three cheeses they would give you their herbed feta cheese for free.
We saw all sorts of fun things, hand crafted clothing, toys, home decor, soaps, iron pans, dog treats, you name it there was something for everyone at this market. We had one thing we were on the search for, and that was honey. I was gifted a large amount of creamed honey as a wedding present (I was so excited about this gift), but that honey stash of mine has dwindled down to a less then 10 pound bucket. So we have been on the search for the big buckets of honey, that won't break the bank. While I was in Kelowna I searched around but they were between 80$ to 100$ for a 10 pound bucket. So while we were at the market today we found a place that sells their honey for 40$ for a 7.7 kg or a 15 pound bucket of creamed honey. Best deal I have seen ever for honey Griedanus Honey Mill is the place you should go if you need a large amount of honey.
As we neared the end, there was a company that was selling different kinds of meat. I took a look and BAM inspiration for our meal finally pulled together. Meadow Creek Sausage & Meat Ltd had a unique selection of frozen meat. We decided on the wild Boar patties, and then I saw their beef brisket and I had to get that as well. The wild Boar we had for supper tonight, and the brisket will be for a meal next week.
Right by the meat, was a specialty foods vendor. Blue Kettle sells an abundance of sauces, marinades, dips and dressings. I asked them what they thought would be a good pairing with wild boar, and they suggested a mango spicy BBQ sauce. They recommended making it into a spread with some mayo, their recommendation was bang on, it made for the perfect sauce with our wild Boar burgers.
So if you live in Calgary or the surrounding areas, I highly recommend making the drive to the Millarville Farmers Market. I am going to be going back again, and not just for the brisket, but also for the experience. Remember to bring lot's of money, you will need it because you won't want to leave without pretty much everything you lay your eyes on.
Stay tuned for Monday, I will share with you all the recipe that was inspired by all the wonderful vendors we saw today. For a sneak peak I will leave you with this picture! Have a wonderful weekend!
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