I like supporting local businesses, and local craftspeople. For this reason I buy a lot of my fresh groceries at the Strathcona Farmer's Market. Not only do I appreciate that my money stays in the community, I like the atmosphere.
I try and get to the Market every Saturday. My list usually looks like this:
- totos (cherry & regular)
- green onion cakes
People usually ask me if it isn't way more expensive to buy groceries at the Market instead of at Walmart or something. Prices are a bit higher, but lately I have also noticed that the prices in the grocery stores are getting higher than usual as well, and the Market has become very competitive. I always try to explain that I am picky about where I buy my food for a reason, and again, I would rather give my money to Doef's or Riverbend Gardens than Walmart every frickin day of the week.
When Dude tags along he is in charge of holding my bag, helping me pick out sausage flavours, and then sampling the sausage. I show him how to be a respectful market-goer, pay attention to where he's walking, and what we're buying, and encourage him to talk to the vendors.
I treat this as a regular grocery shopping trip, so we don't do a lot of browsing. I know what I want and where those vendors are located in the market and I can be in and out of there in under 30 minutes.
But sometimes I get distracted and end up chatting with Mandy & Cory of Frickin Delights Donuts for an extra half hour. Time not wasted, that's for sure.
It is in part thanks to these extended visits at their table that Dude met his favourite vendor. You see, Mandy & Cory's market neighbour sells "bath bombs" and My Dude is a fan of baths. He has to smell every single bath bomb "flavour" on the table. He likes the bright colours, but doesn't really have a favourite. He talks non-stop of course, narrating his movements. She tries to listen to what he's saying, but he's not actually talking to her. Or to anyone really. I make sure Dude pays her, so he learns that part of the Market as well. She puts our purchases in a green bag, and thanks us for stopping by. I wonder if she remembers us from week to week. I have a feeling she does. Reason #98 why I love the market.
Parking is free in the lot across the street, but we park a couple of blocks away because I don't have the time or patience for that lot. And the Market has been getting busier and busier as the seasons change, so it is doubly annoying right now. Note to Market Newbies: park in the neighbourhood!
Note to ALL market goers: Leave your jogging strollers at home......
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Strathcona Farmer's Market
Frickin Delights Donuts