Salt Spring Island Part 1 – The Saturday Market

*Warning – photo-heavy post ahead!*

 

When deciding on what activities to plan for my birthday weekend in Victoria, I was inspired by my blogging friend Kelsey from Snacking Squirrel and her recent adventures on probably the most well known Gulf Island – Salt Spring Island. It has been years since I last visited, and I thought why not take a trip over as part of the weekend festivities? They have the most amazing outdoor market on Saturdays, and the weather was perfect for the short ferry ride over. It really didn’t take much to convince my friend that we should go. So Saturday morning we woke up bright and early, and headed out to the ferry terminal. Soon enough we were on our way.

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See ya later Victoria!

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A short 30 minutes later, and we could see our destination – Fulford Harbour, Salt Spring Island.

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From there, we made the short drive over to Ganges, the main town on the island, and the site of the Saturday Market.

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When we arrived just after 9:30 am, the place was packed with shoppers and vendors.

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Like many other farmer’s markets, you can find an array of goods – fresh produce, baked goods, pottery, jewellery, clothing, art, cheese, etc. But what makes the Salt Spring Island Market unique is that the vendors must “make it, bake it, or grow it” themselves, so you know that everything offered at the market has been produced and sold by the vendor themselves. This guarantees a unique experience for visitors to the market, and it’s a great way to showcase the artisan spirit of Salt Spring Island.

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We slowly worked our way through the crowds, taking stock of all the beautiful, unique, and delicious offerings – mostly so we could make a second round and purchase wisely. I think I will let the pictures do most of the talking.

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I love how the whole community gets into the market spirit – there were a few tables with kids selling their own homemade crafts and baking.

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Those delicious treats would be Island Mudpies, from a company called Mystic Munchies. The name is so appropriately Salt Spring 😉

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I think I took a good 15 photos of garlic braids alone. I wish I could have taken one home with me.

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It was hard to not want to buy one of every baked good – they all looked so drool-worthy!

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So many beautiful fresh vegetables. I could have easily stocked my kitchen if it weren’t for the commute.

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But it wasn’t just produce and sweet treats – there was also cheese, such as the goat cheeses from Salt Spring Island Cheese Company.

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And fresh baked bread – so many delicious looking loaves!

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When we first walked past this booth, the baskets were full. An hour later, nary a crumb was left!

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This jam was amazing – I should have bought some.

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Totally missed out on trying these rice balls as well – by the time I got back to their location, they were sold out. Sometimes doing the rounds without purchasing on the spot isn’t the best idea.

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Although food was my photo subject of choice, I also loved the displays by Saltspring Soapworks.  Not to mention they were formed in my birth year.

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So I know what you are thinking – with all of these amazing market offerings, what exactly did I deem worthy to take home with me? It was tough to decide, let me tell you. Had I the foresight to bring a cooler with ice, I probably would have splurged on a few more perishable treats (hello amazing goat cheese). Alas, the sun dictated what made it into my reusable shopping bag.

I did pick up a bunch of gorgeous beets and some black kale.

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They still got a little wilty from all their travel.

A cat toy for Sienna – these were all made with recycled fabrics, and filled with catnip.

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A baked treat…or two…

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Apricot Ball and Coconut Surprise from Bite Me Treats.

…or three.

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Island Mudpie, eaten all melty as I waited in the ferry line up to take me back to the mainland at the end of my weekend.

And something that sounds edible…

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Green Tea Body Gelato from Saltspring Soapworks

…that really isn’t.

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Or maybe it is?

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As you can see, I had a great time at the Salt Spring Island Market. I just enjoy how unique and varied it is compared to some of the farmer’s markets here in Metro Vancouver. Totally worth the trip to Salt Spring for. Just make sure you take a cooler with ice so you can take home even more awesome treasures.

 

Of course, this isn’t all I did while on Salt Spring…

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…but that, my friends, is for another post. I’m such a tease 😉

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Categories: BC, Farmer's Market, Local

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14 Comments on “Salt Spring Island Part 1 – The Saturday Market”

  1. August 25, 2011 at 6:19 am #

    GREAT photos, Marianne! Now I want to break free from this desk and go to the market!! 🙂

    PS: just borrowed Quinoa 365 from my boss…. 😉

    • August 25, 2011 at 1:56 pm #

      You’ll love the book, I’m sure!

  2. August 25, 2011 at 10:58 am #

    oh wow, island mudpies totally remind me of green cuisine’s mudpie bars or whatever they were called but i think they were like peanut and chocolate- but these ones look so much better because they are thicker and larger.

    im going to see if i can get over there again in time to catch one of the last days of the market, cuz i NEED one of those cookies, or any sort of delicious baked good! this market
    truly is a fabulous event!

    oh and btw, the figs i picked were ripe, yea its kind of confusing with the greeness of them but the variety of fig i have don’t get darker and stay green. when i touched the ones i picked they were uber soft, definitely a sign of their sweetness.. the others were still a little too firm. the green variety are more savory than the sweeter black mission, but i think the green are better because they can go so well in both baked goods and protein-based dishes 🙂

    xoxo ❤

    • August 25, 2011 at 1:57 pm #

      Good to know about the figs. The ones at my sister’s place look like those green figs, so I should get them to check for ripeness 🙂

  3. August 25, 2011 at 2:05 pm #

    Ahhh that market looks amazing!

  4. August 25, 2011 at 5:08 pm #

    I think we were there on the same day! We just ended up with a late start due to the one sailing wait.

    We had the exact same treats from Bite Me too. That coconut bomb was deeeelish!

    • August 26, 2011 at 10:54 pm #

      Great minds think alike when it comes to baked treats, eh? The coconut was rather good, but I think I liked the apricot just a little bit more. Wish I could have tried out a bunch of their stuff 🙂

  5. August 25, 2011 at 6:15 pm #

    Wow! What a market! I need to visit Gulf Island one of these days…

    • August 26, 2011 at 10:53 pm #

      Salt Spring is the only one of the Gulf Islands I’ve had a chance to explore, but I would love to get to some of the other ones like Mayne, Saturna, Pender, etc. Lots of local farming and producing, as well as wineries. It’s all so laid back – perfect for relaxing.

  6. August 29, 2011 at 6:32 pm #

    omg just noticed the burger at the end- i can’t believe i missed that the first time around!! ❤

    • August 29, 2011 at 11:04 pm #

      Ah, but did you see the next post, with the photos of said burger? Delicious!

  7. September 3, 2011 at 9:21 am #

    What a beautiful farmers market!! Glad you had such a great time!

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Salt Spring Island Part II – Lunch At The Tree House Cafe | french fries to flax seeds - August 26, 2011

    […] you catch the first part of my Salt Spring Island experience? Because you should – so many great […]

  2. The Chocolate Chronicles – Denman Island Chocolate Rosemary, Baby | french fries to flax seeds - September 12, 2011

    […] I have yet to explore any of our amazing Gulf Islands other than Salt Spring (remember my trip – part 1 and part 2). But I imagine it would be just as amazing, but less busy. One day I will get there. […]

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