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Market Thymes Newsletter - December 16, 2017


 Market Highlights

 On our last market day for 2017, vendor products offered include chocolate treats, our two amazing bakers, hot sauces and marmalades and produce from Friesen Farm. Redl’s Beef is rejoining us after a 3-week absence and our North Thompson honey producer, Bootstrap Apiaries is back as well. And drop by the Goat's Pride Dairy booth for something very different - duck eggs.



Message from the Manager:                                 


It is our final market for 2017 and the end of my participation as market manager. When I took on the role of manager in 2006, I promised the Board of Directors two years of my time. Little did I know how much I would enjoy the position and how quickly time would pass.


Sometimes we get lucky with our careers; hit a spot where all of the stars align and everything progresses as if it were well planned and executed. I had the good fortune to take over a market that was given a great start by Donna Dixson. Donna put over a year of her high energy talent into planning and launching the market so that it, as they say, “hit the ground running”.


I also inherited an amazing group of vendors who then (and now) function like a family and who have consistently shared a vision of a successful, vibrant market in Abbotsford.


That vision has been echoed by the Board of Directors. Several people have contributed to market growth as Board members over the years, but also a core of folks have been with the market since it started.


Of course a big part of any market’s success is the customer base. In Abbotsford, that base has continued to grow steadily over the years and there is among the group a loyal and long lingering core of people, many of whom seldom miss a Saturday.


I hit the scene at the start of what proved to be a significant growth period in the farmers’ market movement in BC. I’ve had the opportunity to ride that wave and to associate with managers, Board members and other stakeholders from markets around BC through our Provincial association. I learned much from them as the years passed and always treasured the chances we were given to compare notes and brainstorm around management issues and opportunities. They, like virtually everyone involved with farmers’ markets are incredibly willing to share.


Trinity Memorial United Church, the City of Abbotsford, the Downtown Business Association, local businesses, radio and newspapers and sponsors have all played roles in helping us plan events and activities, tell our story and bring awareness into the community. 


I sat down recently and started going through files, e-mails and even memories trying to count the number of people who have interacted with the market over the years. I had to give up and take an Aspirin so did not finish. But it is a staggering number.


Over my 11 years with the market our team of manager, volunteers, vendors and customers have braved everything from sweltering summer heat to the occasional snow day. The market alone has put up over 5,000 pop-up canopies and some number more than that of tables. We’ve chased wind-blown canopies (and lots of other stuff) down the street. We’ve wrung ourselves out at the end of monsoon-like rainy days and we’ve suffered sleepless nights after summer days where we forgot to apply the sunscreen often enough.


Did we smile through all that? Heck no! But I can tell you that, for me there were days when I’d arrive on site at about 6:30 on rainy, windy cold mornings and start set-up wishing that I was still at home warmly tucked under the covers and perhaps not totally my usual jovial self. But even through those conditions and in a somewhat down mood, when vendors and some of the volunteers started arriving for set-up things started to change. The “family” greetings, ribbings and story-sharing would begin and the energy level would start growing. By opening time at 9:00, even soaked to the skin, there was nowhere else I would rather be.


They say that the key to happiness at work is to find something that you like to do and then find someone who will pay you to do it. This job found me rather than me seeking it out; but same end effect. There is nowhere else that I would have rather been. I have all of you to thank for that.


I’ll be back, but as a customer. Merry Christmas everyone.





 Where’s Abbie?


Our market mascot, Abbie spends market days visiting with vendors. We invite our younger customers to find Abbie, come to the Market Info tent and tell us where you found her. Then you get to choose gift out of Abbie’s prize trunk.













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Today’s Recipe-

Chewy Christmas Granola Bars

 This recipe is a Christmas-ified and health-ified version of Smitten Kitchen’s ‘Thick Chewy Granola Bars’ ( The original is also excellent and Deb gives a number of good troubleshooting tips on her blog.

Makes 12.

  • 1 1/3 cup quick oats (or rolled oats whizzed in a food processor)

  • 1/3 cup oat flour (or rolled oats whizzed even more in food processor – see note below)

  • ½ cup ground flax

  • ½ cup dried coconut

  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar

  • ½ teaspoon salt

  • ½ teaspoon ginger

  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon

  • 2-3 cups dried fruit, nuts and seeds, chopped into 1cm or smaller pieces (I like to toast my nuts and seeds first to give better flavour – a quick 2-minute stint in the microwave should do the trick)

  • 1/3 cup nut butter (peanut, almond or cashew)

  • 6 tablespoons melted butter

  • 3 tablespoons honey

  • 3 tablespoons molasses

  • 1 tablespoon water

  • zest from 1 orange

**Note on food processor: I never have anything but rolled oats in my house so use a food processor to make oat flour and quick oats. Start with 1/3 cup oats and pulverize it into flour, then just add in another 1 1/3 cups and whiz until oats are broken up but not dust. If you’re dirtying a food processor anyway, you might as well use it later on to chop up nuts and dried fruit!

 Directions for Granola Bars:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line 9x9” pan with parchment paper.

  2. In large mixing bowl, combine all dry ingredients, including dried fruit, nuts and seeds.

  3. In glass measuring cup or medium-sized bowl, stir together butters, honey, molasses, water and zest.

  4. Add butter-honey mixture to oat mixture, using a rubber spatula to make sure everything is evenly coated.

  5. Using wet hands, press mixture firmly into prepared pan, paying special attention to the corners.

  6. Bake 30-40 minutes, rotating halfway through. When ready, edges should be browned and top golden (but not too crispy).










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