Charity Fall Fair at the Salisbury Farmers’ Market

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.

Banquet

Banquet set-up

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.

Supper

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.

Animals!

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.

Pumpkins!

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.

Christmas time!

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

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!

Salibury Market

Vendors

It was great to see Smoky Valley Goat Cheese out, as well as Steve and Dan and Prairie Mill (the latter two being our City Market mainstays).

Salibury Market

More vendors

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

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!

Salisbury Farmers’ Market

While I do constantly lament the hiatus of my favourite (City Centre) farmers’ market over the winter months, I know I really ought to look on the bright side and take in one of the several year round farmers’ markets in Edmonton. One such market is located in Sherwood Park, at the Salisbury Greenhouse. Mack, Grandma Male and I checked it out for the first time last week.

Besides being my first visit to their market, it was also the first time I had been to the greenhouse. I wasn’t expecting their enormous Christmas decoration section – between their enormous assortment of ornaments and tree varieties (including a few trees hung upside-down), I almost felt like I was at the Festival of Trees! Salisbury is definitely worth a peek if you’re looking to deck the halls.

Christmas Central!

How about a palm tree for Christmas?

Can’t forget the poinsettias!

The market itself is fabulous, and a lot larger than I anticipated. It isn’t fair to compare Salisbury to an outdoor market or even to the Old Strathcona venue because of its dual purpose space, but aside from a too-dim interior, I loved it.

Salisbury Farmers’ Market

The vibe was great – patrons chatting up a storm with vendors, and as a bonus, the market was giving away $5 gift certificates to the first 50 people who asked for them, so between Mack and myself, we rang up $10 worth of free food. They said the promotion will continue until the December 17 market.

Produce!

I appreciated the variety of vendors there, which was a mix of familiar (Irvings Farm Fresh, Medicine Man Bison and enSante) and not so familiar (we picked up some baked goods and veggies from vendors that I neglected to note down). We also discovered another locally-roasted coffee company called Blackdoor Coffee based out of Camrose. The beans are fair trade, obtained from a women’s co-operative, and some of the profits from sales are donated to a women’s shelter in Camrose.

In addition, the market featured a non-profit organization that rehabilitates miniature horses as therapy animals – one of their charges was greeting customers all over the space, too cute!

Almost actual size

While I can’t say I will be back to Salisbury frequently (Old Strathcona is definitely more central and easier for me to get to), if you live in the area or don’t mind the drive, it is a worthwhile market to visit.

Salisbury Farmers’ Market
52337 – Range Road 232, Sherwood Park
Thursdays year-round, 4:30-8pm