Under sunny skies, the Langley Community Farmer’s Market opened for the season, abuzz with the tastes, sights and sounds of everything that’s lovely about enjoying local on Wednesday.
The farmer’s market will now be open every Wednesday from 2 to 6 p.m. until early October.
Vendor tents and tables covered the courtyard of Kwantlen Polytechnic University’s Langley campus as throngs of people came to check out the local food producers and artisans while musicians filled the air with song and kids lined up to get their faces painted.
“It’s fabulous how it’s grown over the years as has the quality of products and produce from our farmers,” said Langley City Mayor Peter Fassbender, who helped open the market with cake for everyone.
“Angie [Quaale] and the [farmers’ market] board have done a great job attracting a good cross section of producers with the support of the group at KPU here,” he said.
From artisan cheese from Agassiz and the most unusual but delicious chocolate from Richmond, to Langley’s own certified organic chicken, lavender products, artisan bread, honey, edible flowers and herbs, soups and more. Some of the fun is talking to the sellers and hearing their stories.
“I do all the farming myself as well as sell here at the market,” said a young Dave Reid of Langley’s Thomas Reid Farms certified organic chicken. He also sells chorizo sausage, whole chickens and other organic meat.
Wearing a kilt, “because it’s a rite of passage in our family to wear one once you turn 19,” Reid said it’s a family business he’s proud to be part of. He works seven days a week.
A large chicken breast cost around $10 but there is no comparison in the taste compared to commercial chicken, he said.
“The cost is in the feed we give the chickens. It’s very expensive and hard to source because it can’t have any GMOs in it,” he said. Also, their chickens are free range.
“We sample the chicken and often we hear, what seasoning did you use and we don’t use any, it’s that delicious,” he said.
Matthew Miller was standing in for his mom Jacquelyn Miller, maker of Lavender Avenue, which offers all products lavender and made from all natural ingredients. Even the deodorant is purely natural. She made a sandalwood scent for men, upon request from her son, Matthew said. There is olive oil based soap for the face too.
Talk to the guy who sells hostas and find out there is a lot more to these plants than meets the eye. He has a huge variety of colours and types, and what’s best is the names, which range from “moonbeam” to “summer loving.”
Seasonal 56 Restaurant and Catering, a long-time fine dining establishment, is enjoying its first year at the market. They work with local producers to create their menu and one of the farmers they work with convinced them to try. They are offering meals-to-go and soups. Langley’s Bread Affair, which has its roots here, but is hugely popular in Vancouver, offers up samples of their artisan bread.
Bob St. John, a longtime Langley resident, loves coming to the market and talking with the vendors.
“I like coming out and support everyone here,” he said. “Langley is the best place to grow things and the best place to live.”
A lot of the produce isn’t ready yet, so expect the market to be even bigger in the coming month.
The market is open every Wednesday until October.