Written by Heather Maxwell Hall.
Tiny cherry tomatoes, bursting blueberries, and sweet, ripe plums that drip juice down their chins. Taking your kids to the farmers market and letting them check out local, organic food straight from the source is guaranteed to open their eyes and broaden their culinary adventure.
Trout Lake Farmers Market
We went to East Vancouver’s Trout Lake Farmers Market on a recent Saturday and our toddler loved every delicious minute. Bring a bag or basket and your child can help you fill it with a cornucopia of fruits, vegetables, free range eggs, bread, cheeses and whatever else tempts you (Hint: bring a big bag). You’ll find local food grown as near as East Van’s Strathcona gardens and as far as the Okanagan’s vast orchards. The farmers market puts on seasonal events like Trout Lake’s Tomato Festival on September 10, where you can learn all about the “love apple” with special features, interactive displays and best of all, samplings.
Whenever you decide to go, your little ones will enjoy the multi-coloured displays of fresh food, live music, and buzzing crowd of kids, dogs, and happy shoppers.
Kid-Friendly Fun at the Farmers Market
The farmers market really is fun for all ages. Here are some ideas for involving your kids in the experience.
- Chat with a farmer: you and the kids can ask questions about how and where they grow their food.
- Let the little ones sample organic fruits and veggies: it’s a perfect opportunity to teach them about where food comes from, what’s in season, and about the hard-working farmers who grow it.
- Make a game of finding something they’ve never eaten before: bring it home to eat. Kohlrabi anyone?
- Grab a meal while you’re there: we shared an apple compote and ricotta crepe that was out of this world.
- Get their faces painted and watch the buskers: we were greeted by a rousing rendition of ‘Baby Beluga’. There’s usually a talented singer and instrumentalist to get the little ones dancing or at least mesmerized.
- Save the best for last: let them get hands-on by helping you cook a farm-fresh meal for the family once you’re home.
Vancouver Farmers Markets happen at four different locations and assorted times around the city. Summer markets run until the end of October. Visit the site for specific locations, dates and times.