Margaret & Nigel explore and share their Shuswap culinary discoveries.
One of the first things we did when we moved to the Shuswap was visit one of the many local Shuswap Farmers Markets. It was July and the market was full of seasonal bounty, local artisan crafts and delicious tastes. It was hard to decide so we simply didn’t and just bought everything! We came away with a bulging basket of goodness. So many great flavours and smells and colours. We were hooked.
What also made a huge impression on us was the market ambiance. There is a distinct feeling of friendly as the farmers can be seen trading their own wares with other vendors. Any one will also willingly tell you which other vendor might have what you are looking for. Shoppers are happy to stop and chat and the merchants are delighted to share stories and suggestions. No rush, no fuss, just casual, down to earth pleasure. Just like the Shuswap.
Over the past six years we have seen the Shuswap Farmers Markets grow tremendously in popularity. It is certainly acknowledged that encouragement to shop local has heightened awareness, but it is that same amazing atmosphere of friends meeting friends that makes Shuswap Farmers Markets stand out. The pride each farmer has in telling the story of their harvest, the impact of the weather on the growing season or something new they are excited to have you try is special indeed.
It is also evident that the Shuswap is enticing new families. Every week we meet new farmers or foragers, bakers or beverage makers. They tell us how much they appreciate the opportunity to grow and make beautiful food and how incredible local support is. We have welcomed so many new vendors that each market is literally spilling out into the streets. The addition of food trucks to many markets means that you can spend the entire morning or afternoon purchasing specialty items only found in the Shuswap and then enjoy a freshly made breakfast sandwich or hot lunch delight. Along with that tasty treat, you’ll experience the background sound of guitars and ukuleles, sax and keyboards accompanied by some pretty cool voices. Many Shuswap Markets feature local entertainment, and you know within the first few strains you’ll find yourself tapping or singing along with a new friend you just met!
Virtually every community in the Shuswap is home to at least one Farmers Market many of which are lengthening their season and some now operate year round. The friendly Market Coordinators are social folk and for the most part you will find up to date details on their Facebook pages. Seasonal market days range from Wednesday to Sunday so depending where you are in the Shuswap, there is likely a market happening near you! The range of products is extensive and the quality is outstanding.
A visit to a Shuswap Farmers Market is not to be missed and Shuswap Tourism has a fun and easy itinerary builder that makes visiting them so easy. If you are feeling that summer chill vibe and don’t want to do the work, we’ve built a sample itinerary for you or, explore on your own and build one yourself. Either way you’ll come away with hearts and bellies full as you experience all the senses. We hope you get out and enjoy a Taste of the Shuswap at a Farmers Market soon!
Taste of the Shuswap Farmers Market Itinerary – Four Days Full of Market Tastes
So many things to love about this market but what makes it special is that all the products have been certified organic and we think this might be the only one in BC. Vendors have to be approved and we 100% approve of all the amazing options including two favourites – Crannóg Ales Canada’s first certified organic farmhouse microbrewery and Pure Armstrong, a husband and wife team of Dutch bakers who fell in love, then fell in love with BC and now bake delicious Dutch treats!
It’s time to top up for the weekend and what better place to do that then at the Enderby Farmers Market. Located right on Cliff Avenue the “main street”, you’ll find a wonderful assortment of farmers and artisans. We love picking up in season fresh haskap berries from Belle Meadow Farms. If you haven’t tried haskaps you’re missing out. So good and so good for you they have three times the antioxidants of a blueberry and more vitamin C than an orange. While you can pick them up frozen all year round, we love getting fresh!
Impossible for us to choose, we often find ourselves visiting both markets – just a 20 minute drive apart, between the two you can stock up on everything the Shuswap has to offer and spend hours bantering with the vendors and choosing special delights for your weekend boating excursion. First stop for us in Sorrento is Forest & Food Fixation where Amanda always has fresh from the oven artisan breads and pastries. A master forager, in season she will offer you a selection of morels and is happy to tell you how to prepare them!
Next we travel to the Shuswap’s largest Farmers Market and the Keenan Family Farms booth where Chelsea greets us with a big smile and fresh farm eggs and pork products. Their pasture raised animals are Certified Animal Welfare approved and this young family is making a big contribution to the community through their support of local food security programs. You’ve never had better bacon I swear! Say hi to Chelsea and all the other amazing local vendors.
Sunday Fun Day – Scotch Creek Farm & Craft Market
The only Sunday market in the Shuswap, a visit to North Shuswap must include a stop at Scotch Creek Farm & Craft Market. Here you will find some familiar faces and some that only sell at this market which makes them extra special. If you haven’t met Chris from Spotted Moose Farm yet, here is your chance! Spotted Moose (and don’t you love the name!) is an organic farm producing a wide range of the most flavourful vegetables you can imagine. Practising organic and regenerative farming, this young family brings so much goodness to every market they sell at and a conversation with Chris is pure delight.
Well that’s our tour. We’ve only scratched the surface and we are now hungry and thirsty thinking about all the market options so its time to get out our market basket and go tasting!