Tucked away just on the outskirts of Vancouver and along the banks of the Fraser River is the quaint historic village known as Ladner. Named for one of the founding families, it was initially developed as a centre for farming and fishing. It is a part of the Municipality of Delta, British Columbia, Canada, and is now considered a suburb of Vancouver. Although the community is growing, Ladner has maintained its charm and has preserved much of its heritage. This makes it the perfect setting for an outdoor summer market.
Every year, starting mid-June, the community hosts the most wonderful outdoor market. Started in 1996 the Ladner Village Market has grown to take over three city blocks, runs rain or shine, and has over 140 local vendors. It is part farmer’s market, part craft fair, part block party and a whole lot of fun. The vendors may vary from Sunday to Sunday, but you can always find fresh produce, plants, cut flowers, garden accessories, hand-crafted jewellery, home made soaps, artisan crafts, local cheese, fresh bread, and specialty treats like fudge and nougat. Don’t worry if you come hungry, there are many food vendors as well as restaurants and coffee shops nearby to meet just about any craving.
Some of the vendors that stood out for me included:
- Beaver House Fudge from Duncan, B.C. According to my friend Alison who lives in Ladner, their fudge is “orgasmic”. Her favourite is the hazelnut cream fudge. Although I didn’t have a “When Harry Met Sally” moment, I did enjoy the chocolate peanut butter fudge. Max and Karel, the owners, are very proud of their fudge and are quite fun to chat with. Funnily enough, this wasn’t the first time they were told that their fudge elicited this kind of reaction. www.beaverhousefudge.com
- La Belle Auberge from Ladner, B.C. Known for its exquisite food in a beautiful heritage house in Ladner, Chefs Bruno Marti and Tobias MacDonald have taken their food to the road and created the best dang street food I ever had. It was tough to chose between the bison burger and fresh trolled pink salmon on a lemon crepe, but I went for the salmon and it melted in my mouth. Scrumptious deal for $5.00 – just be prepared to wait in line for a few minutes. www.labelleauberge.com
- The Pepper Truck from the Applebarn in Abbotsford, B.C. This is perhaps one of the best deals of the day, a large bag of incredible fresh red and orange peppers for $4. I love to roast peppers and marinate them in garlic, oil, and balsamic vinegar. Throw in some eggplant, zucchini and an onion and you have yourself a perfect little snack is good on toast with cheese or on its own with crackers. www.applebarn.ca
Although an easy drive from downtown Vancouver (about ½ hour) on a Sunday, you can also get there quickly by bus. The 601 South Delta bus which used to go along Granville Street now has to be caught at Bridgeport Station in Richmond. You have to catch the Canada Line (new Skytrain route) to Bridgeport and then transfer to the 601. Check Translink for specific details on which bus or Skytrain to catch from your area to connect with the Canada Line at www.translink.ca. Also, keep in mind that as the market grows in popularity, parking is a bit of an issue any where near the market area. Just be prepared to walk a little bit and you will be fine. For more information on the market and to see when the market is happening (not every Sunday in the summer), check out their Web site at www.ladnervillagemarket.com
If you didn’t find all that you were looking for at the Ladner market, there is another produce market just past the tunnel on Steveston Highway called The Richmond Country Farms. Great deals here as well and in October they have the most amazing Pumpkin Patch festivities that include a hay ride to the pumpkin patch, live music, and a corn maze: www.countrypumpkinpatch.ca
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As part of my love of all things secondhand, I have become known as a person who can find just about anything. And, along those lines I am also known for finding a good home for most things. It’s not something I do for money, but rather for sport. I truly believe that there is always someone looking for something that you might want to get rid of…the trick is finding them.
In the Vancouver area there are now many wonderful ways to sell or donate your stuff but where some people get stuck is finding a home for things that matter. For those who are not sentimental, this is not an issue. But for the rest of us who get easily attached to things and the stories that go along with them…letting go is not easy.
If we can find a friend, family member, or even a stranger who might cherish or need that object then letting it go is much easier. My dear friend Mollie’s husband recently passed away, he was 84. They had been married for over 60 years and up until a few months ago, they were both still living in their own apartment. After he died, she went through all his clothing and asked if I could help her find a place to donate everything. Down the street from her there was a donation bin, but she didn’t want to send it to Value Village. She wanted his clothing to make a more personal impact for someone. There was quite a bit of clothing, ranging from casual everyday wear to more formal suits.
I contacted a few charities that I know and was eventually able to drop off all five bags to a drop-in program that is run by the Developmental Disabilities Association here in Vancouver. Many of the people who use their services are often on income assistance and don’t always have the funds to buy good quality clothing…especially suits and ties.
Mollie came with me as it was important to know where it was going. It was somehow comforting for her to know that her husband’s clothing would directly benefit a group of men who could really use it. Sharon, the manager of the facility, came out and personally greeted us and thanked Mollie for the donation. She also later followed up with a Thank You card. This meant the world to Mollie and gave meaning to having to let go of her husband’s clothing.
This was a good match, one that had a huge impact on many levels. But sometimes I am also asked to find homes for things that are kind of fun and even a tad quirky. My latest challenge is to find a home for an older model Hohner Accordion. It comes equipped with the case, stand and how-to books. The owner used to play it but is downsizing. He doesn’t want to sell it but rather find a good home for it. In speaking with a musician friend, looks like we might be able to match it up with a student from the Waldorf school on the North Shore who is keen to learn to play.
And, last but not least my friend Jamie contacted me today to see if I could help him track down a pair of wooden oars 6’6″ or longer…if anyone has any leads let me know!
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This is a blog for those of us who love all things secondhand (aka used, previously loved, recycled, and so on)! I believe that we quietly live and breathe all aspects of this lifestyle – that of mindful consumption. We consciously choose to reuse and creatively recycle while also finding ways to connect with our past and with our communities. And, if you are like me it was once because of circumstance, but now it is of choice. A very proud choice – I wear and use my secondhand items like a badge of honour.
There are many aspects to this lifestyle but the common denominator is that we don’t like waste! And, there are many ways to delay and potentially deter stuff from entering our landfills. Whether you consign, sell outright or donate your used goods – there always seems to a place for it or someone who really needs it.
Together, I hope that we will find our collective voice and share fun and creative ways to help others to join our movement…or at least to embrace that there is nothing shameful about buying used goods or in hand-me-downs. In our own way we are being green while supporting local businesses and saving money. And, being a quirky bunch we generally know how to have fun with the process.
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