The Prince Albert Farmer’s Market is best known as a showcase for local vendors, but there are exceptions.
© Herald photo by Matt Gardner
Sara Zacharias (far left) and Carolyn Carleton (far right) shop for scarves at the Prince Albert Farmer's Market as Jean-Claude Ancelin and Babs Lucas look on.
Vancouver-based clothing designer Babs Lucas is a notable example of this tendency. Lucas, the owner of a trendy boutique in Vancouver’s South Granville district, joined 15 other vendors at the farmer’s market this week to sell her colourful selection of silk scarves with fiancé Jean-Claude Ancelin.
“I’m originally a Saskatchewan girl,” Lucas said. “My parents and family live at Wakaw Lake. I was visiting them this summer and had all my designs and wares with my fabulous fiancé Jean-Claude in the van, and we just thought we’d give the Prince Albert Farmer’s Market a shot.”
The pair’s visit to Prince Albert comes at the tail end of a tour through Western Canada that has taken them from Slave Lake, Alta. north to the Yukon, then east to Winnipeg and back to Saskatchewan.
On this particular Wednesday at the farmer’s market, business slowed due to a rainstorm. But like postal workers, vendors refused to let bad weather interfere with their work.
“Rain or shine, we’re out here,” farmer’s market president Shauna St. Amand said. “Even in that horrible blackout, we still had members come and set up.”
Lucas was nonchalant about the rain.
“We’re used to it,” she said. “We’re from the wet coast, so we can handle it … Mind you, the scarves are colourfast, so the dye doesn’t run. If you wear it in the rain it’s totally good.”
Lucas and Ancelin contacted Amand after hearing about the farmer’s market to sell their silk scarves and jewelry, and were welcomed with open arms. After arriving and setting up her booth, Lucas took a walk to Stacy D’s Antiques on Central Avenue that proved fruitful.
Our farmer’s market is becoming more of a social outing for most people. Shauna St. Amand
“The owner noticed my scarf and she’s going to carry the scarves in her store after we leave and move on,” Lucas said. “So people can still get the scarves after we carry on our tour across Canada.”
Despite the newcomers’ presence, the heart of the market remained the old food staples — meat, produce, baked goods and wine.
“New to market, we are seeing a lot of potatoes, carrots, beets,” Amand said. “The melon guy and fruit truck should be pulling in within the next two weeks.”
Local farmer David Neubuhr was in his second year at the market, standing at a booth selling clay-baked bread. He plans to continue attending for the foreseeable future.
“I guess I’m finally doing what I like to do, aside from farming,” Neubuhr said. “I have bread that’s locally-grown wheat that I grind myself, and just add water and salt to it.
“It’s very rewarding and it sells well.”
The farmer’s market is currently running in conjunction with the Prince Albert Downtown Business Association’s “Summer on the Square”, which offers kids’ activities, face-painting and entertainment until August. The market itself lasts through the first week of October.
“Our farmer’s market is becoming more of a social outing for most people” said Amand. “On Saturdays we have tables and chairs set up, so they’re welcome to sit down and visit as well.”