carlyn yandle for metro vancouver


Buying flowers at local farmers markets is another way to choose products that don’t travel great distances and support area growers.


If I remember my Beverly Hillbillies correctly, one episode had a man trying to convince Jethro to abandon his outhouse. It’s far from everybody, he argued. You have to leave the house, walk a long way in the woods, sometimes at night. Jethro answered: “Ain’t it great?!”

I go all Jethro when it comes to the “inconvenience” of frequent household shopping. Anyone who is accustomed to making a bi-weekly drive down to the Megalomart for 15 bags of groceries might pity apartment-dwellers’ lack of a vehicle or cupboard space for those bulk buys of 60 rolls of toilet paper or flats of San Pellegrino, but I say, ain’t it great?!

Give me that walk-and-shop routine any day (or every day) over the hassle of driving anywhere in the city core. Give me the luxury of no meal-planning beyond the next one, or trip-planning beyond tripping into the store I happen to come upon.

That routine turns into a small delight for those of us who live within walking distance of a farmers market — which up to now has not included me — and get our pick of the freshest local fruits and veggies, plants, meat, cheese, eggs and locally-prepared preserves.

I’ve long envied my friends whose Saturdays begin with a leisurely breakfast before a walk (with own bags) to the Nelson Park or Trout Lake farmers markets, or my brother’s family, who moseys over to the Nat Bailey stadium farmers market on Wednesday afternoons.

Things started looking up when I discovered the Thursday farmers market at Granville Island last year but as of this Sunday (July 15), I can finally enhance my own neighbourhood weekend shopping routine as well as my commitment to eat locally produced foods and support area farmers.

Yes, the Kitsilano farmers market is finally here, hitting the community centre parking lot, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., ‘til Oct. 14.

The other benefit of local, every-day shopping: no bag pile-ups. Instead of schlepping home a dozen or more plastic bags after a major supermarket excursion to add to the pile already dangerously close to taking over a cupboard, every-day shopping requires only a couple of bags.

I’m a big fan of the large $2 striped Ikea plastic beach totes that fold into nothing, and the nylon grocery bags that stuff into themselves to lipstick-size packs and hook onto a keychain, last seen at Paboom on West 4th Avenue.