By Nicole Fitzgerald
What: Whistler Farmer’s Market
When: Sunday, June 17, 11 a.m.–4 p.m.
Where: Upper Village
Grant Cousar of Whistler Cooks gave village strollers browsing the 2007 Enviro Fest in Whistler Village last weekend a preview of what is to come this Sunday.
Whistler’s beloved outdoor Farmer’s Market returns every Sunday starting Father’s Day, June 17 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the Upper Village.
Cousar demonstrates the Slow Food philosophy by preparing a regional meal of lightly smoked salmon, fresh arugula, potatoes, poached rhubarb and Whistler Cooks Candied Ginger Seseame Vinaigrette at Enviro Fest.
“I had no idea you could use your dressing with salmon,” said one excited onlooker at the fresh bouquet of local produce and fare.
Cousar shared a few other cooking tips: soaking potatoes for 10 minutes before cutting to shed any excess dirt and blanching potatoes for only eight minutes so they maintain their shape and flavour.
Cooking demonstrations will be a regular showcase at the Farmer’s Market, along with Whistler Cooks dressings.
“We’ve got recipe suggestions right on the bottles,” said Hilarie Cousar, co-owner of Whistler Cooks and a Whistler Farmer’s Market board member.
“There are people that come back every week and replenish their stock, which is true of many of the vendors at the market. People get favourite food items and they come by on a weekly basis.”
There are more and more reasons to come back to the market, starting with the peace of mind that everything displayed is 100 per cent B.C. made and/or grown, from eclectic greens from Across the Creek Organics in Pemberton and Albert’s Organic Apricot Butter from Lillooet to organic cherry jam from Magik Dandelion Farm in Mount Currie and apple cider vinegar from Moon Farm in D’arcy.
Walking through the market, situated picturesquely at the base of Blackcomb Mountain between the Fairmont Chateau Whistler and the Glacier Lodge, is like browsing the Sea to Sky corridor, with one step covering miles at a time.
In addition to local produce and artisan foods, the farmer’s market also wields a plentiful harvest of crafts, art, jewelry, pottery, glassware, clothing, woodwork and body products.
“I think the diverse showing and quality of product and craftwork really makes us different from other markets,” Cousar said. “The atmosphere through the stroll is amazing and the back drop of the mountains is pretty sensational.”
Other sensational finds new to the market this year include plants, bison, homemade gelato, fruit smoothies and air-brushed face painting.
Favourites return as well: apple turnovers from Golden Crust Specialities, delicate and colourful homemade chocolate morsels from Sweet Sarahendipity, semi-precious jewelry from Bijoux, and Vulture Design notecards by painter Vanessa Stark.
The market is a one-stop shop you can feel good about; shoppers are supporting the local economy and they know exactly where their money is going — more often than not to the seller who is right in front of them.
“It’s a wonderful meeting and gathering place for locals and tourists,” Cousar said. “The whole idea of buying farm fresh products from local farmers is a strong point for me. The whole sense of community that weaves its way through the market is amazing.”