In the market for some fresh, local fun? Well, we think we know where you’ll find some—St. Albert’s Farmers’ Market. It’s been a Saturday staple in our city for more than 30 years, and with each one, it’s gotten better. And bigger! In fact, St. Albert is home to the largest outdoor market in Canada. Know what else makes our market so special? Well, when we asked one of the vendors, he answered without blinking, “The people who visit.” As he put it, it takes two to dance. And St. Albert has that magic combination of great visitors and great vendors.
Never been? Well, you’re in for a treat—lots of them. Food trucks and musicians, farmers and wine makers, artists and crafters. Make no mistake. When it comes to great vendors, St. Albert’s got a corner on the market. Take a look.
Kerry Parayko has a passion for beachcombing. The thrill of the find, the promise of new memories, a desire to share them with others—it all led to the creation of Frog Alley.
Her one-of-a-kind, handcrafted designs all feature souvenirs from the sea, none of which are ever taken live from the ocean. Among the treasures you’ll find at her booth are sea-glass jewellery, starfish and driftwood wind chimes, and shadow-box picture framing. Can’t find what you’re looking for? She’ll happily custom design something for you—even incorporating treasures from your own collections.
“This really is meditation for me. And I’m just so lucky to be able to do the thing I love most. It truly is my passion.”
Created by: Ray Eliuk
What you’ll find: Native plants and handmade wreaths created from renewable scrap wood
Their passion: Helping people rediscover native plants that are disappearing from the landscape
Interesting facts: Heart Acres has an agreement with Public Lands to harvest renewable “scrap wood” under 3 inches from Crown Lands. Watch for Heart Acres on Etsy. They’re launching a shop this month.
“How’d I get started? Its called desperation! I was clearing the shrubs and fenceline one day and thought there has to be something I can do with this, otherwise it’s all a waste. So we started making wreaths.”
Operated by: Nathan Zdrodowski and family
Who they are: An artisan-style winery in Barrhead that produces small batches of wine with bold strawberry flavour
What you’ll find: Artisan wine made from vine-ripened fruit grown without the use of herbicides and pesticides
Interesting facts: You’re only a short road trip away from strolling their cherry orchard, marvelling at the strawberry tunnels and, oh yeah, tasting some wine. Visit their website for a list of wine-tasting events complete with tours, demos, live music, farm-fresh food and fun for the whole family.
If you’ve gone to the market to buy vegetables, you’ve likely met Eric and Ruby Chen, owners of Peas on Earth, a 65-acre, certified-organic garden tucked between St. Albert and Edmonton. It’s easy to spot them and their rows of impeccably fresh veggies, but what you’ll also find on display is their passion and gratitude for the community that supports them. We can say, having visited their farm, they truly have a slice of peace on earth.
Managed by: Neil Hochstein
What you’ll find: Bison steaks, bacon, sausage, bones, grass-fed Angus beef and a variety of specialty items for ordering
Their passion: Running 200 head of Pure Plains Bison on a self-sustaining ranch and raising them in a stress-free environment from birth to finish
Interesting facts: They raise the bison from start to finish to ensure their product is growth-hormone-free, antibiotic-free, grass-fed-finished and exceptionally high quality. You may have already tasted their bison at restaurants such as Tzin Wine & Tapas, Blue Chair Café and Bistecca. To visit the ranch or have an event there, visit www.albertabison.ca/events.
Let’s face it. The goodies you eat at the market are every bit as awesome as the ones you take home. In fact, prizes should probably be given to anyone who can leave without a mustard stain. But there are more than fabulous hotdogs to be enjoyed. Food trucks with perogies and chicken shwarma, glasses of homemade lemonade—they’re all waiting to satisfy. Our weakness that day? Uncle Milt’s Old Fashioned Root Beer. Icy cold, served from oak barrels and out of this world.
While you’re busy eating your way down the streets, keep an eye (and ear) out for musician Clinton Richardson, a singer/songwriter (and wide-receiver for the Golden Bears!) from Spruce Grove. He’s a regular at the St. Albert market and a favourite among many.