Article by Brittany Harrison
With clear skies and a high of twenty one, I watch a group of four ‘market veterans’ discuss the effects of the recent hail storms over brunch, as quick tents adorn Hillhurst Sunnyside’s first Saturday market from 9:30 to 1:30 (August 8 to September 12). It is my first time here and as I peruse the vendors for my own brunch, I decide upon Munmun, for a delicious Thai mango sticky rice, which I reluctantly share with my companion. As we step through the winding vendors my eyes find the welcoming smile of Pat at Alberta Native Plant Restoration where her decades of propagating local flora assist me in picking the perfect Alberta wildflowers to send to a British Columbian friend; asters and purple prairie clovers.
It is at 11:00 that local artisans, foodies, and Hillhurst Sunnyside community members gather to hear Tim Kitchen, former HSCA chair, discuss “the need to connect back with food, linking plate to source” and how the market strives to source the community quality, flavourful food and goods produced by local farmers, food creators, and artisans of their craft. As an Alberta Approved Market, the market is committed to ensuring that at least 80% of vendors sell products that they, a relative, a staff member or a member of a producer-owned cooperative has made, baked, or grown. Upon introduction, Deputy Mayor Diane Colley-Urquhart resonates how being born and raised within a farming community has instilled in her the hope the “gate to plate” concept illustrated by Hillhurst Sunnyside Farmers’ Market is one she soon sees rolling out across Calgary communities.