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A Country Market Rhapsody

Old Country Shops

If there is one thing I just love about summer, it is the outdoor summer markets. There are always so many neat things to look at, interesting knick knacks for sale, handmade goodies, and farm fresh produce – it just doesn’t get any better. Back in Montreal, the Marché Jean-Talon was a weekly ritual and one that I so looked forward to. They had everything (and still have)! Fresh cheeses, meats, seafood, fruit, vegetables, fresh baked goods and wacky gourmet delights. It was simply the best. Better than all the rest. Better than anything…

Feeling a little homesick, my amiga picked me up and took me out to the Coombs Old Country Market here on Vancouver Island, just outside of Nanaimo. Now, this market is famous in these parts because they have goats; not just any goats, but goats that hang out on the roof of the market! This was my friend’s fourth visit to said market, and she had yet to see a goat on the roof. I thought perhaps I saw the back-end of one from far away, but we’ll never really know for sure. So if you go and see goats on the roof, you are a magical mystical individual with lots of luck on your side.

Aforementioned Goat. Not on roof.

Coombs Market isn’t a classical outdoor market since the actual “market” is indoors, but it is set up like an adorable little village with a huge selection of different kinds of specialty groceries, little restaurants, and stores that sell all sorts of stuff. There is a garden store, a tacky souvenir store, jewelry places, a store that apparently specializes in selling bangles and pashminas, and another place that specializes in Ed Hardy Sweaters and slightly pornographic wooden statues (not pictured). There is even a statue garden, complete with that nursing giraffe statue you’ve always wanted (I wanted to take a picture of this, but there was a child sitting on top of it and I thought it might be unethical to capture that moment forever). All-in-all delightful despite the randomness of it all. There are quite a few stands selling hand-made items as well, which are definitely worth checking out. And of course there are lots of farm fresh, local fruits and veggies!

I went home with a pashmina, tomatoes, and ice cream. Great choices. I recommend them.

Photographic Evidence of Farm Freshness

Do you have any cool summer markets in your town?

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