The West End (Nelson Park) Farmers Market opened on Saturday June 6th but this was the first week that we were able to make a trip. The market is located on Comox between Bute and Thurlow and I love to check out any rental vacancies and for sales signs along the way as we walk through this great neighborhood. I also like to check out what is growing in the Mole Hill community garden on the other side of Nelson Park.

A rainy morning had kept away some visitors and the market was not too busy with some great cherry tomatoes still available at noon. As well as the tomatoes we stopped at Little Qualicum Cheeseworks to try a few cheese samples. The cheese is made in Parksville, BC on Morningstar Farm. In addition to feta, brie, fromage fraise and other cheeses the company makes a Monterey Jill variety which is like Monterey Jack, only softer. We had previously tasted the Tipsy Jill made with red wine so this time chose the Hot Jill made with hot pepper flakes. We also stopped by the table of Artisan Foods Vancouver to check out their jams and jellies. We tried a few and settled on their first of the season Blubard Jam made with local untreated rubarb, organic blueberries and chardonnay. From Forstbauer Family Farm we bought eggs and frozen blueberries. The Farm is certified organic and located in Chilliwack. The eggs are from free range chickens and are available year round. The Northland blueberries were picked last year and frozen. Their Upicking season will start shortly. We also bought fresh strawberries from Sandhu Produce Growers of Abbotsford. All in all, it was a good shopping trip. We are looking forward to a breakfast of cheese omlettes and fruit smoothies tomorrow morning.

The West End (or Nelson Park) market runs every Saturday until October 24th from 9 am to 2 pm. There are also other local Farmer’s Markets at Trout Lake on Saturdays, The Kitsilano Community Center on Sundays and across from the Main Street VIA Station on Wednesdays. All of the markets are coordinated by Your Local Farmers Market Society (YLFMS) which is a non-profit society staffed mostly by volunteers. They also host an eat local website.