One of the biggest, most eclectic and delicious farmers markets on Vancouver Island is located in Comox, about three hours north of Victoria. The market has offerings from no less than 80 food vendors in the spring, summer and fall while located at its outdoor location; the indoor winter market is smaller but nonetheless very impressive.
The Comox market has a great family feel to it, with live music performances and an ambience conducive to wandering amongst the vendor stalls, chatting with friends and neighbours, and searching for elusive ingredients not to be found in your everyday supermarket. Families arrive each Saturday morning with kids and/or dogs in tow, purchase their groceries, pick up a treat or a cup of coffee and settle on to the straw bales to relax, visit and enjoy whatever music is on offer.
Bison, pheasant, partridge, artisan cheeses, drool-inducing home-made baked goods,
seafood, pizza, amazing pasta, fruit, vegetables, stunning flowers, breakfast crepes that make my mouth water at the mere thought of them…the vast array of provisions is thrilling and way too tempting for anyone with a genuine fondness for great food. The first time we went to this market, in the late summer of 2010, the stalls were overflowing with more tomatoes (and varieties of tomatoes, heritage and otherwise) than I have ever seen in one place in my life. Much of the produce on offer is organically grown, and virtually all of it is locally produced – vendors from outside the area are not permitted, ensuring that whatever you purchase is going to be incredibly fresh and flavourful.
The history of the market goes back to 1992, starting with just a handful of vendors, but the growing love affair with the ‘fresh, local’ mantra has seen the market grow and flourish over the years.
The outdoor market is located during the warmer months of the year at 4835 Headquarters Road, at the Comox Valley Exhibition Grounds.
GPS co-ordinates are: Lat. 49.706817417719414 Long. -125.00323534011841
The market moves indoors when the weather cools in the autumn, and runs (with a brief break at Christmas/New Years) right through to the re-opening of the outdoor market in the springtime.
The winter market is held at the Native Sons Hall in Courtenay at 360 Cliffe Avenue.
The GPS co-ordinates are: Lat. 49.69262993523984 Long. -124.99813914299011
N 49 41.558 W 124 59.888
Both the indoor and outdoor markets run from 9 a.m.– noon. Further information can be obtained at the market website: www.comoxvalleyfarmersmarket.com
The market’s slogan is ‘Come for the freshness, stay for the fun.’ They’ve sure got that right!