5 Farmers’ Markets to Visit This Fall

Southern Alberta is home to a wide variety of markets selling locally grown and made goods. Here are a few of our favourites.

With harvest season upon us, farmers’ markets in and around Calgary and Airdrie are teeming with freshly reaped, locally grown fruits, veggies and other items. Indeed, now is the perfect time to head out to one of our region’s many farmers’ markets to support local growers, chat with fellow shoppers and pick up ultra-fresh produce and delicious, homemade goods. Here, we’ve rounded up just a handful of our favourite spots to visit.

Airdrie Farmers’ Market

Featuring a rotating roster of more than 150 vendors, the Airdrie Farmers’ Market (AFM) is a much-loved weekly stop for locals and out-of-towners, alike. Part of the appeal of going to this market is knowing that, every week, you’ll encounter vendors who weren’t there the week before—it makes for a much more exciting and engaging shopping experience. Of course, no matter when you go, you’ll find an array of high-quality goods, from locally grown produce and freshly cut flowers to homemade products like perogies, pies, jams and more. Location: Jensen Park, 320 Centre Ave. E. Operating season: June to October 5, 2023 Hours: Every Wednesday from 3:30 pm to 7 pm Quick Tip: If you’re a food-truck fan, this is the market for you. Every week, there are six food trucks on-site for the duration of the market. And, just like with its vendors, the AFM switches up the trucks throughout the season.

Calgary Farmers’ Market

Operating since 2004, the Calgary Farmers’ Market (CFM) currently has two locations—one in the south, just off Heritage Drive and Blackfoot Trail, and a newer spot in the west, almost directly across from Canada Olympic Park. Whichever location you choose to visit, you’re sure to find an array of fresh, organic produce, not to mention local dairy products, homemade baking, artisanal goods and a bustling food hall with kiosks serving up all kinds of worldly cuisines. Both markets are indoors and have a welcoming, cheerful vibe, thanks to their spacious layouts, kids’ play zones, lively dining areas and abundance of friendly vendors and live performers. Locations: CFM West, 25 Greenbriar Drive N.W.; CFM South, 510 77 Avenue S.E. Operating season: Year-round Hours: CFM West, Wednesday to Saturday, 9 am to 7 pm and Sunday, 9 am to 5 pm; CFM South, Thursday to Sunday, 9 am to 5 pm  Quick Tip: The market’s west location is just off the TransCanada Highway, making it a perfect place to stop for fresh, healthy snacks if you’re heading out on a road trip to the mountains.

Millarville Farmers’ Market

Situated about 35 minutes southwest of Calgary and featuring 185 vendors this year, the Millarville Farmers’ Market is a dream come true for anyone who enjoys spending a leisurely Saturday morning browsing for locally grown or handmade goods. Shoppers here love to chat with the many regional farmers, ranchers, bakers and craftspeople who proudly sell their wares—and the sheer variety of products on offer means there’s something for everyone here. Location: Millarville Racing & Agricultural Society, 306097 192 St. W., Millarville. Operating season: June 17 to October 7, 2023 Hours: Saturdays from 9 am to 2 pm Quick Tip: Entry into the market is made by donation, with proceeds helping to support programming at the Millarville Racetrack. The suggested donation is three dollars per person.

Bridgeland-Riverside Farmers’ Market

Celebrating its 10th anniversary this year, the Bridgeland-Riverside Farmers’ Market is one of Calgary’s most vibrant seasonal markets. Operated by volunteers, this community market features buskers, lawn games, food trucks, picnic areas, face painting (for a small fee) and 30-plus vendors selling a variety of fresh produce, baked goods, preserves and more. And this year, to celebrate a full decade in business, the market has added a number of special events to its schedule, including its Locally Grown Concert Series, which features a local band performing on-site every Thursday between 5:30 pm and 7:30 pm. Location: Bridgeland Riverside Community Hall, 917 Centre Ave. N.E. Operating season: June 22 to October 5, 2023 Hours: Thursdays from 3:30 pm to 7:30 pm Quick Tip: The Bridgeland Riverside Farmers’ Market is open a little later than most seasonal markets, making it a fun and convenient spot to do some local shopping after dinner or on the way home from a long day at the office.

Cochrane Farmers’ Market

Another Alberta-based market is marking a milestone anniversary this year—the beloved Cochrane Farmers’ Market, a.k.a. the Market by the Bow, is celebrating its 25th season. Just a short drive from both Calgary and Airdrie, this market features a unique lineup of more than 65 vendors every Saturday. Shoppers from near and far enjoy wandering the market’s four spacious aisles and chatting with local growers and makers while sampling and purchasing garden-fresh produce, artisanal food and drinks, homemade baking and more. Location: Parking lot of the Spray Lake Sawmills Family Sports Centre, 800 Griffin Rd E, Cochrane Operating season: June 3 to September 30, 2023 Hours: Saturdays from 9 am to 2 pm Quick Tip: After filling your reusable shopping bags with freshly grown goods from the market, head over to Cochrane’s historic downtown area for another locally made treat: a scoop (or two) of Mackay’s Ice Cream.

For a longer list of Alberta-approved farmers’ markets, along with a map of where to find them, check out this website.