Five must visit stalls at the Penticton farmers market

The Penticton Farmers Market. Photos by Claire Sear

Heirloom Tomatoe

PENTICTON

The Saturday morning Penticton Farmers’ Market is one of the best in British Columbia. The market is held in the heart of downtown, stretching over four city blocks and closing Main Street to all vehicle traffic. With over five thousand estimated visitors (not including pets) every Saturday, it has become one of Penticton’s main tourist attractions. It is also a Saturday morning tradition for locals – both for grocery shopping and for catching up with friends.

 

What’s the draw? You can wander pretty tree-lined Main Street and meet the South Okanagan’s local farmers selling the best of their in-season fruit and vegetables, enjoy the entertainment of buskers and musicians on every corner, visit the regular stalls for homemade treats such as baklava and spinach pies from Penticton’s Greek Orthodox Church. Don’t forget the handmade tarts like the old-fashioned “Love is a butter tart” from the Twisted Tart and homemade soups from the soup stall. Find frozen at sea wild British Columbia spot prawns, as well as jams, salsas, vinegars and preserves.  In the centre of the market there is an array of food trucks and stalls with organic smokies, Pad Thai, sweet and savory crepes, smoothies, gluten-free baked treats, potatoes-on-a-stick, freshly squeezed lemonade, meat pies, perogies, and the famous chip truck, Jeffers Fryzz.  The Penticton Farmers Market is a food-lovers paradise with plenty of nearby grassy areas including downtown Gyro Park to enjoy an impromptu picnic breakfast or lunch.

Five must visit stalls at the Penticton farmers market:

Joy Road Catering

Joy Road Catering  www.joyroadcatering.com Run by the Okanagan’s top catering chefs, Cameron Smith and Dana Ewart sell their signature galletes (a traditional French tart) filled with the best of  in-season Okanagan fruit including cherries, peaches, pears and apples along with their heavenly breads, jams and preserves.  Also not to be missed are their wonderful cinnamon buns perfectly paired with nearby vendor Backyard Beans coffee. http://www.backyardbeanscoffee.com Backyard Beans happily sells their coffee in real mugs and asks customers to drop them off in the recycling mug bins located thru-out the market.

Rain Shields is the owner of the fabulous Starsicles Gourmet Popsicles. www.starsicles.ca These handmade popsicles have become a local favorite. With over twenty flavors to choose from there is a gourmet popsicle sure to please every palate. Choose from adult-only flavors such as the Crimesicle – a refreshing tequila, cranberry and lime combination or the OooLaLasicle made with rum, watermelon and lime. Most popular flavors include the BlimeyLimeysicle a perfect combination of lime and honey, the PieceofmyHeartsicle a scrumptious raspberry and cream blend or the BiteMesicle a heavenly marriage of dark chocolate mousse & raspberry. Starsicles are a perfect treat for a hot market day.

Little Farm dark chocolate baguettes

Rhys Pender and wife, Alishan Driediger were the original founders of Kelowna’s Okanagan Grocery Artisan Breads and now sell their wonderful artisan breads at the stall called Little Farm Bread. Don’t miss their to-die -or dark chocolate baguettes as well as their rustic French loaves (locals know to arrive early or face bitter disappointment). Alishan’s beautiful hand-painted French linens tablecloths are also available for sale at the side of the stall.

Blackbird Organics

Corey and Colleen Brown of Blackbird Organics from the Similkameen Valley have a cult following for both their eggs and chickens. Blackbird Organics raise their chickens the old-fashioned way as well as sourcing the best organic feed, free of all animal-derived byproducts, antibiotics, hormones, pesticides and GMO grains. Chickens, due to market regulations, are available freshly frozen. Taste the difference of a farm-raised organic chicken and you will join the Blackbird Organics Saturday line-up for your weekly chicken roast.

Jars of Similkameen Honey

Blair and Cheryl Tarves of the Similkameen Apiaries sell their pure honey in glass jars with beautifully decorated colored lids. Their certified organic apiary is located in Cawston, Canada’s organic capital. Their honeybees enjoy a local diet of honey plants such as sweet clover, alfalfa, elderberry, goldenrod, and mint as well as the fruit of the nearby orchards. The result is a wonderful intense and unique flavored honey, hotly coveted by local chefs. Similkameen Apiaries2098 Ritchie Drive, Cawston, BC.
(250) 499-2555

Heirloom Vegetables – Don’t miss the opportunity to try the many heirloom vegetables for sale including tomatoes, dragon carrots, purslane, stinging nettles and onions. Various stalls.

 

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