Harvest Fair 2019 | Your chance to win local bragging rights!


Last fall, I found myself in my garden, examining my sad attempt at growing buttercup squash. All I had were 3 measly mini-squash, the size of a baseball each. After a summer of losing tomato plants to blight as a result of heavy hail, and sad bean yields from all the smoke and lack of direct sunlight, I was feeling disheartened. So much so, I almost wanted to give up gardening all together! But then I remembered... despite the disappointment in the garden, I had a GREAT shot of winning a red ribbon at the Hillhurst Sunnyside Harvest Fair! Suddenly, it didn’t matter that my husband and I had to buy all our vegetables that year; my excitement for gardening had been renewed and I even felt great pride as I entered my mini-squash in the category of “Most Pathetic Vegetable”.

With over 50 categories to choose from, there is certainly something for everyone. Whether you love to bake, cook, ferment, compost, create art, or grow food (as successful or unsuccessful you may be!), you have a chance to be a Blue Ribbon winner. Our panels of local celebrity judges, including John Gilchrist, Sylvia Kong and Rod Olson, always have a blast sampling pies, weighing pumpkins, and interpreting recycled garden art.

This year, we are excited to have the Harvest Fair and Farmers’ Market combined and out in the sunshine. On September 11 from 3-7pm, you will be able to do your weekly shopping along with viewing all produce, art and culinary creations that have been prepared for ribbons and bragging rights. Join in some square dancing, eating contests, play games, listen to live music, learn how to save seeds, and become part of our garlic bank!

See our Harvest Fair page for details of categories and rules. 
To enter your submissions, bring your items to the HSCA with the attached form completed on September 10th from 4:30-8:30pm or September 11th from 10-11:30am.

Which red ribbon will you take home this year??

Recipe Highlight | Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp

It is mid-August and that means we are in peak harvest season! It is astonishing, the amount of local food that is now available at Farmers’ Markets, from Alberta farms and BC orchards.

This month, we want to feature a classic dish using a combination of Alberta and BC gems- rhubarb and strawberries! Of course you can get most of the ingredients necessary for this simple dish at our Farmers’ Market (try GardeNerds YYC or YYC Growers for rhubarb, and The Apple Lady or Walker’s Own for strawberries!), but if you aren’t up for baking in the summer heat, come by our event Flavour next week to sample some fruit crisp from Chef Alex!

Original recipe from Dinner with Julie



4 cups strawberries, hulled and halved

3 cups chopped rhubarb

3/4 cup sugar

2 Tbsp. all-purpose flour


1 cup old-fashioned oats

1/2 cup all-purpose, oat or barley flour

1/2 cup packed brown sugar

1/2 tsp. cinnamon

1/4 tsp. salt

1/2 cup butter, chilled and cut into pieces


Preheat the oven to 375F.

Put the strawberries and rhubarb in a medium bowl. In a small bowl, stir together the sugar and flour; sprinkle over the fruit and toss to coat.

Transfer the fruit to a baking dish or 9-inch cast iron skillet, shaking all the excess sugar overtop. In the same bowl or in the bowl of a food processor mix the oats, flour, brown sugar, cinnamon and salt. Cut in the butter with a pastry cutter, fork or your fingers (or pulse in the food processor) until the mixture is well blended and crumbly. Scatter over the fruit, squeezing to create larger clumps as you go.

Bake for 45 minutes or until the fruit is soft and bubbling, and the topping is pale golden and crunchy. Serve warm, with ice cream or whipped cream. Serves 6-8.

Guest Post | Calgary Dollars- a complimentary currency unique to YYC

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by: Hunter (Resource Worker at Calgary Dollars)

Calgary Dollars is a local and complimentary currency created to promote sustainability and community engagement. Founded in 1996, it is used by an incredibly broad and diverse group of community organizations, businesses, and users.  As a local currency, Calgary dollars can be used to pay for portions of goods and services offered by participating users and businesses. It exists as a physical and digital currency and can be used on our Calgary Dollars online listings website and through the Calgary Dollars app. Businesses and Users set the proportion of Calgary Dollars accepted, which ranges anywhere from 10-100%.  With this in mind, the driving force behind Calgary Dollars is facilitating strong relationships and connections between local businesses and community members to facilitate sustainability. 

The HSCA Farmers market, as a popular community driven market, promotes sustainable and local businesses and engages community members to buy locally,  perfectly in line with Calgary Dollars! Calgary Dollars is at the HSCA farmers market to encourage people to purchase goods from their fellow community members, while also facilitating the many economic benefits of a local currency. Vendors at the HSCA farmers market can pay part of their vending fee in Calgary Dollars. We encourage visitors, shoppers, and businesses alike to sign up at our Calgary Dollars booth that will be present at the market, and complete our intake survey for a free C$15 $Calgary Dollars!

We are happy to participate in the HSCA farmers market this summer, and are looking forward to meeting the many fantastic people and businesses that participate. Over the summer, we will also be bringing our Open Streets pedal power bikes to help demonstrate the importance of energy efficiency in our everyday lives. Our bikes can power and charge various electronic devices and cellphones, but also demonstrate the amount of energy these devices consume on a regular basis. Finally, to help promote sustainable and active transportation within the city, we will be raffling a MEC Origami bike that can be folded and carried on Calgary Transit trains and buses at any time of the day.

Community building and shopping locally are concepts at the heart of Calgary Dollars, and we hope to see you come to the HSCA Farmersmarket. Come check out fantastic local businesses, enter to win our MEC bike, and use Calgary Dollars!

The Year of the Farmer steps into the sun- Hillhurst Sunnyside Farmers’ Market Outdoor Season begins May 15th

May 15th will be our first Outdoor Market of the season! See you in the East parking lot 3-7pm.

May 15th will be our first Outdoor Market of the season! See you in the East parking lot 3-7pm.

When the Wednesday tents go up outside the HSCA, you know summer is just around the corner. It is the beginning of the outdoor Farmers’ Market season! Sure, we might be a little keen, making the move outside the week before May Long weekend, but as a year-round market, our vendors are eager to get out of the confines of our indoor set up, and into the sunshine and fresh air!

To reflect our excitement of being back outside, our Outdoor Season Opener –the first special event of many for the 2019 season- takes on a street party feel.  On May 15th, we make the move; come celebrate local with us from 3-7pm! Our strong line-up of local vendors bring you the best in YYC produce, honey, soap, bread, meats, prepared foods and more. Two food trucks provide great on-site dinner options. Get to know your grower to win prizes, and participate in games with your neighbours! Kids will also have a chance to plant their very own bean seeds to take home and nurture. Local favourite, The Sadlier-Brown Band will be playing the Sweet Beet Stage from 5-7pm. They are a family trio playing bouncy bluegrass, sure to get you groovin’. Our Outdoor Season Opener is a great way to kick off a season of community connection, outdoor play, and healthy habits.

Beyond our Outdoor Season Opener, our Farmers’ Market family gathers in the East parking lot of the HSCA every Wednesday until mid-October when we find refuge from the cold back inside the Hearth Room. Until then, expect to find our tents out there, filled with smiling vendors bringing you their high-quality products no matter the weather. We are so much more than a venue for growers to connect with their consumers, and in an effort to ‘grow a good food community’ we are always coming up with ways to make your Wednesday’s something special that you can look forward to week after week. Each week our Sweet Beet Stage hosts live local talent, our Community Booth gives you the opportunity to engage with important grassroots work being done in your neighbourhood, and our Incubator Booth gives you the chance to test new products all season long. We also have special events planned for each month from our Pollinator Party, to our Teddy Bear Picnic, our annual Salsa Fest and Harvest Fair. Keep up with all these events and more on Facebook.

2019 is our Year of the Farmer and we can’t wait to take this party outside! We will transform your weekly grocery shop from complicated to conscious, and give you a reason to love Wednesday’s again. See you at the market!

Let us know you will be coming on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/events/1055341777982075/