Region’s farmers markets preparing for season

A farmers’ market in Rocky Mountain House will be one of the first rural markets in Central Alberta out the gate this season when it opens today.

A farmers’ market in Rocky Mountain House will be one of the first rural markets in Central Alberta out the gate this season when it opens today.

About a dozen other rural farmers’ markets are preparing to open across Central Alberta, allowing local producers to sell their food and other products close to home.

Sam Leavitt, manager of the Clearwater Farmers’ Market, said she is kicking off a week earlier this year. She decided to start earlier because they will end the season a little earlier on Oct. 6.

The market is entering its third season, Leavitt said. It averages about 24 vendors, and sees 300 to 400 shoppers. Later in the season when they run the Thursday market alongside the town’s public market — Marketplace on Main — vendors will see between 1,000 and 3,000 shoppers.

Homemade fudge, waffles, B.C. fruit and asparagus, jams, jellies, pickles and other preserves will be available at the location in the Brick parking lot from 5 to 8 p.m.

Most farmers’ markets in Central Alberta will begin to open next week around the May long weekend. There are markets from Sundre to Sylvan Lake to Lacombe to Three Hills and points between.

Edgar Farms, a member of the Innisfail Growers co-op, sell their produce including their popular asparagus at many local markets, including the Red Deer Winter Market in Eastview, which just closed for the season in late April.

This year’s asparagus crop at their farm almost made the winter market, said Elna Edgar, who farms with her husband Doug.

They have been growing asparagus since 1986 and this is the earliest they have ever started picking. They began on April 19. The earliest previously was May 5. Usually they start about May 15 but have started as late as May 25, she said.

The warm winter and hot spring are likely the reason the asparagus is popping up so early.

They’ve seen good yields so far this year, Edgar said, but rain is needed. Like last year, they will not hold the annual Asparagus Festival in June because a 2014 hail storm killed a lot of their older plants.

It takes five years to get a patch established and they just weren’t sure what their supply would be, she said.

A new mobile app offering information about farmers’ markets was released by the Alberta Agriculture and Forestry last month. The app is called Alberta Approved Farmers’ Market and is available for iOS and Android mobile phones.

More information about Alberta farmers’ markets can be found at albertamarkets.com

barr@bprda.wpengine.com

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Trudeau unveils details for emergency payment for Canadians

Applications for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit will be accepted starting Monday

‘It’s like ghost towns:’ Canada’s border communities adapt to COVID-19 changes

Entry between Coutts, Alta., and Sweet Grass, Mont., is one of the busiest on the Canada-U.S. border

COVID response offers chance to shift direction of Canadian economy: experts

Many are asking how the economy can be restored without greenhouse gases tagging along

WATCH: Red Deer emergency call centre hours change starting next week

Hours at the City of Red Deer’s COVID-19 emergency call centre will… Continue reading

Alberta Health Services provides COVID-19 prevention tips

Alberta Health Services has a number of recommendations for people amid the… Continue reading

Alberta government website has latest COVID-19 statistics

Red Deer Advocate readers can stay up to date on the COVID-19… Continue reading

With workers at home, feds eye ways to fast-track training program, groups say

How to help workers stuck at home or out of work to prevent their skills from becoming

Hajdu brings anthropology, public health experience to COVID-19 fight

“There’s a piece of me that’s still an anthropologist at heart, if you will”

Spring cleaning can’t be avoided

It’s the perfect time for spring cleaning now that we are confined… Continue reading

Drake does the ‘Toosie Slide’ in new video, shows his mansion and empty T.O. streets

New creative outlet during the COVID-19 pandemic: The “Toosie Slide.”

Singer Pink says she had COVID-19, gives $1M to relief funds

The artist and her three-year-old son displaying symptoms

US braces for more virus deaths; Europe hopes crisis peaking

The number of people infected in the U.S. has soared to more than 300,000

Most Read