A Different Kind of Market Report

If you've somehow stumbled upon this "Market Report" hoping to get an update on your IBM or Bear Stearns stock, please move on - nothing to see here. If, on the other hand, you've come here because you're interested in local food in Edmonton, come on in.

When it comes to "eating green", vegetables have it all over meat (despite the advancements in "in vitro meat"!). Even better, if you can eat in-season, organic, locally-grown produce, you've hit the trifecta.

For those of us without the benefit of a garden in our backyard (or a backyard at all for that matter), the farmers' market is our best source of locally-grown produce, much of which is grown organically. Beyond the environmental benefits, the vegetables are fresher, they taste better, and you can often talk to the folks who grew it.

My local farmers' market is the Old Strathcona Farmers' Market - held every Saturday at the Bus Barns on 83 Avenue & 103 Street. Although most of the vendors are currently limited to selling the remnants of their root cellars - carrots, potatoes, cabbage, maybe the occasional beet - there are clear signs of the spring bounty that lies ahead. For a few weeks now, Helbigs' (right at the front, third aisle from the right) have been selling clamshells filled with organic spring greens: mesclun mix; baby spinach; and, my personal favourite, arugula. For those with herb gardens, there are a number of vendors selling seedlings.

In the coming weeks and months, as Edmonton emerges from its winter slumber, the local farmers' markets will again overflow with great, locally-grown produce. In the meantime, I'll eat my arugula, and dream of the sweet asparagus from Edgar Farms, the gai lan and bok choy from Peas On Earth, and all of the great produce I know is on the way.

What's your local farmers' market? Who are your favourite vendors? Your favourite products? File your own market report here on greenEdmonton.ca.

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I had never been to the "Old Strathcona Farmers' Market" before. Is meat commonly sell at the farmers market and what are the price ranging from?

Many vendors have meat and meat products. Any farm animals are included as well as bison and elk. Prices range from slightly above supermarket to high depending on how choosy you are about products being organic, free range, meeting a special diet, or other needs. If you can handle large freezer orders - whole, half, or quarter of an animal - prices could be better.

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