Saturday, October 23, 2010

A Comparison of Edmonton’s Old Strathcona Farmers’ Market with the Saskatoon Farmers’ Market

I was up bright and early this morning in order to visit the Old Strathcona Farmers’ Market. It was interesting to compare it to the Saskatoon Farmers’ Market.

Space – Old Strathcona Market has a larger indoor space but lacks Saskatoon’s attractive outdoor patio.Old Strathcona is only open on Saturdays - a much easier arrangement for the farmers and producers.

Meal and Seating Options – There is more seating in Old Strathcona, but they don’t have the fantastic restaurant options that we have in Saskatoon (Prairie Pie Company, Riverbend Plantation, Guiseppe’s, Garlic Guru, Cava Café).

Fruits and Vegetables – There seemed to be fewer vendors in Edmonton, but each of them ran a large operation. I felt that there was more of an emphasis on organic, including organic fruit from BC.

I was very impressed by the variety of greens that were available: arugula, sprouts, rapini, bok choy, green and purple kale, rainbow chard and more. Maplewood Acres had an awesome selection of potatoes: ptarmigan, sangre, kennebec, shepody, satina, agria. Another stand had a couple of varieties of fingerling potatoes.

Old Strathcona had two big BC fruit stands – lots of concord grapes, and even walnuts and hazelnuts.

Local Products – It was nice to see locally-made cheese for sale from Sylvan Star Farm Cheese – but they didn’t have yogurt! There were also herbal teas that had been grown locally, as well as organic fruit wine from en Sante Winery.

The variety of dips from Dip Sea Chicks was amazing (and very tasty!), and The Happy Camel sells pita bread and dips. Olive Me offers an amazing assortment of stuffed olives that I’ve been enjoying all week long.

Ethnic Food – Old Strathcona Market is larger than Saskatoon’s, so it is able to include a wider variety of ethnic food – from Ghanaian goat stew to Korean kim chee to Mexican sauces.

Crafts – I thought that too much space at Old Strathcona was devoted to crafts. Saskatoon tries to emphasize the farmers and food producers, but it’s a continuing balancing act.

P.S. There was way more meat for sale in Edmonton than Saskatoon, including dog bones. But I was obviously not all that interested.

Slide Show Below
Old Strathcona Farmers' Market

1 comment:

Stephanie V said...

The folks in Edmonton seem extremely fond of word play. I don't remember seeing so many cool names in one place before!