Many months ago, late May to be exact, vendors at the Quesnel Farmers’ Market were selling delicate little potted plants. They came with a promise that given the right amount of care and attention, they would grow into humongous giant pumpkins. It is now time to hold those vendors’ feet to the fire. Were those just hollow promises or are there some 100 plus pounders out there?
The annual Giant Pumpkin Contest at the Quesnel Farmers’ Market will again be held this coming weekend, Oct. 11. Everyone with a squash (pumpkin, hubbard, zucchini, maybe even a rutabaga) is challenged to bring them to the Helen Dixon Site. Weigh-in is at 10:15 a.m.
Prizes are $100, $50 and $25 for first to third, and are paid in “Market Bucks”, fully redeemable at this Market or at the three pre-Christmas Markets.
There is still a large selection of fall vegetables at the Market. In fact, those few nights of freezing temperatures triggered a response in many vegetables that converts starches to sugars, thereby sweetening the produce. You will find the crunchiest of carrots, the best broccoli and all the other fall crops, such as onions, squash, potatoes, kale, kohlrabi, spinach, garlic and so much more.
There are also many choices when it comes to home-baking and preserving, from breads and cookies, to the best of pies, syrups, jams and jellies. Customers have been enjoying some great lunch options all season long, with Indian food, Dim Sum, pirogies, tacos and European sandwiches. The Market is also a great place to find that one-of-a-kind wooden bowl, tasteful jewellery and so many other handcrafted items.
The Thanksgiving weekend marks the end of the outdoor Market season. The last of the music for the season will be provided by the Correlieu Band, who are always popular.
The three pre-Christmas Markets, held a the Arts and Rec Centre, will be Nov. 29 and Dec. 6 and 13. Those interested in booking a table for the events are encouraged to call Maggie at 250-747-8543.