Salt Spring Saturday Market – a feast for the senses

Overview of Salt Spring Island Saturday Farmers Market

A beautiful waterfront location enhances the ambiance of the Saturday Market

Oh my! We have visited some pretty impressive farmers markets over the years, but Salt Spring Island’s famous Saturday Market outdoes them all.

Vegetable vendor at Salt Spring Island Saturday Market

There is an abundance of beautiful produce at the market

The last time we visited 20 years ago, the market was a thriving operation with, perhaps, 80 vendors – very impressive in the days before farmers markets became ‘the thing.’ Two decades later the number of booths has rocketed to 140-plus, occupying a huge portion of the oceanfront Centennial Park in downtown Ganges. While the market is large it was gratifying to see that there is also tremendous depth of quality in the products offered – the mantra of ‘make it, bake it or grow it’ resonates on Salt Spring, for many years a hotbed of inspired artists and a dedicated farming community.

Home baking at Salt Spring Saturday Market

Decadent goodies from Tony’s Tarts

The other great thing about the market is that most of the food items are concentrated in one area, with many of the craftsmen and artisans located along the leafy walkway of the park.  It makes it easy to just pop in and purchase your groceries for the week if you are so inclined, without having to wade through huge crowds.  But for visitors to Salt Spring a thorough tour of the entire market is advised – there is such a massive range of beautiful items that it is worth the time to meander along and enjoy the experience.

Flower vendor at Salt Spring Island Saturday Farmers Market

Flowers galore…..

We began our explorations at the food end, marveling at the abundant displays of fruit and vegetables, many of them organically grown. We enjoyed samples of such diverse treats as sprouted peanuts and organic cheese. Artisan bread and decadent pastries (some from an authentic French patisserie) shone in tempting displays and a huge booth crammed with gorgeous floral arrangements stole my heart.

Child playing violin at Salt Spring Island Saturday Farmers Market

Pint-sized buskers, earning money for more violin lessons

For those needing a pick-me-up (or a quick lunch) there were luscious looking pot stickers on offer along with other hot offerings.

Hand-crafted felted slippers at Salt Spring Island Saturday Farmers Market

Cozy felt slippers in a rainbow of colours and styles

The crafts offered for sale are all of such splendid quality that it wouldn’t be difficult to do all your Christmas shopping in this single location.  Gorgeous colourful felted slippers, unique clothing items, jewellery, pottery, wind chimes, fairy doors, garden and home décor, bags created from discarded clothing, giant metal bugs – the list is endless and engaging.

hand-crafted table runners and placemats at Salt Spring Island Saturday Farmers Market

Colourful and unique table runners and placemats

All-told, we spent a couple of hours wandering about, enjoying the ambiance of the waterfront location and the atmosphere of one of the most eclectic farmers markets in the area. This is not a place you should expect to visit and be done with in just a few minutes – the enchantment of so much excellent product to enjoy will draw you in, guaranteed.

hand-crafted giant metal bugs at Salt Spring Island Saturday Farmers Market

Beautiful giant metal bugs

The Salt Spring Saturday Market runs outdoors from Easter weekend to the last weekend in October.  Vendor booths are open for business between 8:30 a.m. and 4 p.m.

            Further information on the market can be found at the website:

http://saltspringmarket.com/salt-spring-island-markets/saturday-market/

wheelchair-lThe Salt Spring Saturday Market is held at Centennial Park, bordering the waterfront in downtown Ganges.

GPS co-ordinates are:

Lat. 48.852390  Long. -123.498634

N 48 51.143  W 123 29.918

 

 

Shirley

About Shirley

More years ago than I like to remember, I completed the Journalism program at Vancouver Community College and launched straight into a career as a newspaper reporter (thanks to my journalism professor Nick Russell and an opening at the venerable daily Alberni Valley Times.) My work as a news reporter/feature writer/columnist and ultimately, newspaper and magazine editor, took me to many interesting places and introduced me to hundreds of interesting characters over the years. I loved every minute of it, but burnout caught up with me while I was trying to juggle the simultaneous editing of five trade magazines, and for 27 years I abandoned my keyboard (on a professional basis, at least) and followed my heart in a variety of other careers. In 2010 I returned to the journalistic fold, thanks to the encouragement (nay – nagging!) of my husband. I feel no regret – only great joy to be back at the keyboard, and to be spending time interviewing interesting folks and discovering great places.
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