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Last call for cukes? Cochrane Farmers' Market set to host final market the year Oct. 1

Cochranites have just two more Saturdays to stock up on their favourite products from the Cochrane Farmers' Market, which goes into its annual hibernation after Oct. 1.
Shoppers peruse booths at Cochrane’s Farmers’ Market last summer.
Cochrane's weekly farmers market is going into hibernation after its Oct. 1 event. File photo/The Cochrane Eagle

Cochranites looking to stock up on root vegetables, do some canning, or maybe make a pie (or eat a pie) this fall should take advantage of the last Cochrane Farmers’ Market of the outdoor season on Saturday, Oct. 1 at Spray Lake Sawmills Family Sports Centre.

As always, there will be much more than fresh fruit and vegetables on offer. Farmers’ Market Manager Valerie McCracken said the goal is to have something for everyone at the weekly markets.

Local artisans will have their booths open. One new and very popular booth with the kids features a 3D printer that makes little toys right in front of their eyes.

“They make little animals and other cute little things and – oh my gosh – they’re crazy popular with the kids,” McCracken said.

She said the last market of the outdoor season is a good opportunity to stock up on the larger quantities of products that aren’t always available during the summer months.

“Being the last market, it’s the only one where the vendors bring in their bulk potatoes, so you’ll be able to get those 50-pound bags you can store for the winter, or a 20-pound bag of carrots,” she said.

McCracken said Beck’s Carrots from Innisfail are always a hot item.

“They’re my favourite carrots, they’re very sweet. They claim it has something to do with the soil around Innisfail,” she said.

Other seasonal vegetables – like the root vegetables – will be in abundance as well.

“It’s been a very good (growing) summer – they were still bringing in pickling [cucumbers] last week, which is crazy,” she said, adding local growers brought in “hundreds of thousands of pounds of cucumbers” over the summer.

She stopped short of guaranteeing that pickling cukes will be available on the last Saturday, as the frost may have taken its toll by then, but canners will still have a lot of other products to pick from, like peaches, pears and plums.

There was also a bumper Saskatoon berry crop this year, so there may be some available.

The bakers always bring in more products than usual to the last market, knowing people are stocking up their freezers for the cold season.

Besides fruit, vegetables, and other foods, plenty of non-edible items will be available as well, such as jewellery, clothing, beauty products, and soaps, to name just a few.

The Cochrane Environmental Action Committee (CEAC) runs the farmers’ markets with volunteers. The CEAC’s mission is to make Cochrane and area a more environmentally aware and active community.

All the money they make at the markets goes back into the community to support a variety of programs like this year’s tree planting at Riverfront Park. They also support other environmental groups like the Bighill Creek Preservation Society.

The Spray Lake Sawmills Family Sports Centre is at 800 Griffin Rd. E. The market runs from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturdays.

Howard May

About the Author: Howard May

Howard was a journalist with the Calgary Herald and with the Abbotsford Times in BC, where he won a BC/Yukon Community Newspaper Association award for best outdoor writing.
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