By Jessica Duncan
Three cheers for our longsuffering, local farmers. Our farmers have waited patiently while winter lingered well beyond its welcome. Our farmers tended their land, sowed their seeds, heated their greenhouses, and prayed for sun so that they could supply us with the finest produce that money can buy. Despite a late start to the growing season, our local farmers still showed up on those May Saturdays with hothouse tomatoes, and kale, and peppers, and herbs, and plants, and more salad greens than you could poke a stick at. They endured scoldings from those few visitors who are not clear on the concept of ‘seasonal’. They persisted, and now, we all get to enjoy the fruits of their labours. This month we can indulge in locally produced berries of all shapes and sizes (think jam, if the berries make it home before you eat them all!), and cabbage, zucchini and basil (think pesto), and so much more straight out of Saanich.
And three cheers for the local artisans who lovingly and skillfully transform raw materials into wonders we can cherish. Whether it is the unique and delicious vinegars and soup mixes from the Snowdon House Gourmet kitchen, or thirst quenching alcohol from our THREE (the magic number here) purveyors of booze, quirky cards from Peridotulip Greeting Cards, or award winning face creams from Botanical Bliss, James Bay Community Market is a hotbed of creativity and talent. July is the perfect time to stock up on gifts, cards, crafts, jewelry, jams, teas, sauces, and, yes, granola.
Don’t worry if you happen to be busy on a Saturday and can’t visit the James Bay Market, or, even if you do get there, but just can’t get enough of the market vibe. For the third year in a row, the James Bay Market Society will be hosting the Breakwater Market every Sunday from June 25 – August 13. This market has a few of the same vendors as James Bay Market, as well as a diverse selection of other food and craft artisans. Of course there will be live music and hot food booths at both markets.
All summer long you have the opportunity to mingle with your neighbours, indulge in fresh, local produce, stock your pantry with locally prepared artisanal foods and beverages, and support your local artists right here on your doorstep. Be sure to visit the James Bay Community Market at the corner of Menzies and Superior (Saturdays 9:00-3:00) or the Breakwater Market at Ogden Point (Sundays 11:00-4:00) to find the best this city has to offer.