Though the Salisbury Farmers’ Market in Sherwood Park is year-round, it’s a little out of range to be our weekly winter market. That said, I hadn’t been back to Salisbury since visiting one of their Christmas markets last year, and with the excuse of having to run some errands on the south side anyway, Mack and I stopped by again last night.
Salisbury was having their first annual Charity Fall Fair, with the MS Society chosen this year to benefit from proceeds collected during a special supper. The BBQ featured products that had been donated from various market vendors.
It was quite the spread they were offering, and all for a minimum donation of $7 a plate: hickory-smoked pork from Johnson Family Farms, buns from Prairie Mill, potato and pasta salads from Earthly Delights, vegetarian chili from Mixes R Us, all finished off with a cookie from Confetti Sweets.
Yes, it all tasted as good as it looks!
It was a little cool eating outside as the sun was starting to disappear, but the festive atmosphere made up for the cold – there was a petting zoo set up nearby, with the delighted sounds of children encountering miniature horses, goats, chickens, bunnies and (yes) a pot-bellied pig floating joyfully in the air.
Geese and goats and bunnies, oh my!
After devouring our supper, we headed inside to warm up, and to check out the market. The greenhouse really is a lovely place, with inviting, cheerful seasonal displays by the entrance.
Who doesn’t love decorative gourds?
Of course, their Christmas section had also been set-up, much to Mack’s dismay. I didn’t mind so much, particularly because we will be buying our first tree this year.
About two months to go
The market section of the greenhouse was equally merry, the lively mood partially attributed to The Dirt Merchants (such a great name) who were playing up a storm – music and markets definitely go hand in hand!
The Dirt Merchants
There seemed to be more vendors at this market than at the one we visited last year, but some people we talked to said several vendors (including Belua Designs) were there specifically for the special event. The lighting also seemed to be a bit better, which definitely helps when the space is void of natural light!
We were also excited to finally be able to try Jacek Chocolate Couture, a chocolatier based in Sherwood Park that has been much buzzed about for their beautiful creations. Jacqueline Jacek changes her collection regularly, with the Winter 2010 collection coming out next month.
We picked up a box of her current LouLou Belle collection, coloured pink in recognition of breast cancer awareness month ($2 per box is donated to Rethink Breast Cancer), but were happy to hear that her truffles are also being carried at our neighbourhood Credo (she recently started making their hot chocolate base for them). My favourite of the four varieties was the pink grapefruit sherbet – similar to the citrus/white chocolate combination of Chocophilia’s Lemon Dream, I loved the smooth centre that encased chewy bursts of grapefruit. Jacek will also be participating in the upcoming Rocky Mountain Wine and Food Festival.
Jacek Chocolate Couture
Salisbury is a charming market out in the ‘Park. Make sure to check it out Thursday evenings from 4:30-8 p.m. if you’re in the area!