Cochranites have just two Saturdays left to stock up on their favorite produce from the Cochrane Farmers’ Market, which goes into its annual hibernation after October 1st.
Cochranites looking to stock up on root vegetables, make preserves, or perhaps bake (or eat) a pie this fall should take advantage of the final Cochrane Farmers’ Market of the outdoor season on Saturday, October 1 at Spray Lake Sawmills Family Sports Center.
As always, far more than fresh fruit and vegetables is offered. Farmers’ Market Manager Valerie McCracken said the goal is to have something for everyone at the farmer’s markets.
Local artisans have opened their stalls. A new stand that is very popular with children is a 3D printer that creates small toys right in front of them.
“They make little animals and other cute little things and oh my god they’re hugely popular with the kids,” McCracken said.
The last market of the outdoor season is a good opportunity to stock up on the larger quantities of products that are not always available in the summer months.
“As the last market, it’s the only one where the vendors bring in their potatoes in bulk, so you can get these 50-pound sacks that you can store away for the winter, or a 20-pound sack of carrots,” says she said.
McCracken said Beck’s Innisfail carrots are always in high demand.
“These are my favorite carrots, they are very sweet. They claim it has something to do with the ground around Innisfail,” she said.
Other seasonal vegetables – like the root vegetables – will also be plentiful.
“It’s been a very good (growing) summer – they’re still bringing in pickles [cucumbers] last week, which is crazy,” she said, adding that local growers brought in “hundreds of thousands of pounds of cucumbers” over the summer.
She hasn’t guaranteed pickles will be available last Saturday as the frost may have taken its toll by then, but canners will have plenty of other produce to choose from, such as peaches, pears and plums.
This year also saw a bumper crop of Saskatoon berries, so some may be available.
The bakers are always bringing more produce than usual to the last market because they know people are stocking their freezers for the cold season.
In addition to fruits, vegetables and other groceries, many non-edible items will also be available such as jewellery, clothing, beauty products and soaps to name a few.
The Cochrane Environmental Action Committee (CEAC) runs the farmers’ markets with volunteers. CEAC’s mission is to make Cochrane and the surrounding area a more environmentally conscious and active community.
All of the money they make at the markets goes back into the community to support a variety of programs like this year’s tree planting at Riverfront Park. They also support other environmental groups like the Bighill Creek Preservation Society.
The Spray Lake Sawmills Family Sports Center is located at 800 Griffin Rd. E. The market takes place on Saturdays from 9am to 2pm.