Farmer’s Market off to roaring start this year

Vendors, shoppers on the increase for Cranbrook Farmer's Market's fifth season.

The Cranbrook Farmer’s Market is now into its fourth week this Saturday, and organizers say things are going great.

Market manager Erda Jensen-Shill said that there are plenty of vendors and the numbers are growing each week.

“We had over 50 vendors this last Saturday,” Jensen-Shill said. “And we’ve got a really nice combination of the favourites, the tried and trues, and then we’ve got some brand new vendors.”

One of those new vendors is a lady doing Vietnamese spring rolls.

“It was the first time she’d ever done a farmer’s market and they were really yummy and we’re super happy to have her,” she said, adding that another noteworthy addition is Mom and Pops, out of Fernie which make fresh fruit popsicles.

Fresh fruit and produce vendors are also coming in to sell their goods.

Jensen-Shill noted that some people have talked to her about the weather at the market, since in a past story, she noted that there had never been rain at the market on a Saturday.

“This last weekend there was rain on a Saturday,” she said. “I think we had about 20 drops or something.

It didn’t even get our farmer’s market tent damp, so I decided that it didn’t really count.”

She said they are very pleased with all of those pieces.

B.C. Transit is also offering free bus service to and from the downtown from 8:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. on Saturdays.

“Just let the driver know that they are going to the Cranbrook Farmers’ Market,” she said, adding that they can ride down and back home for free.

The market also received funding for the farmers’ market nutrition coupon program from the B.C. Association of Farmer’s Markets. The program provides coupons for fresh produce, fruit, eggs and other farm items for low-income families and seniors. The program began running last weekend. Jensen-Shill said that all the candidates have been selected for this year through Bellies to Babies.

The first night market is coming up on Wednesday, July 17 in Rotary Park between 5-8:30 p.m.

“Essentially it’s going to be a celebration of local, and it’s an opportunity for folks to come downtown on a Wednesday night for those people who can’t make it down to a Saturday market,” she said. “It’s a great time to hear some live local music.”

The Rosie Brown Band will be playing their style of bluegrass folk music.

Produce, crafts and hot ready to eat food, like bratwurst on a bun and curry, will be available.

The market also welcomes buskers for the Saturday events. Jensen-Shill said anyone who wants to come and play at the market is more than welcome.

The only guidelines to follow are: only acoustic music on the street and there needs to be enough space so musicians don’t overlap too much.

“If they’re interested in that, they can either cut me an email, phone call or just show up down at the market,” Jensen-Shill said, noting that she can be identified by the green apron and big straw sun hat she often wears.

“We’d just like to thank everybody who comes out and invite anybody who hasn’t been down to the farmer’s market to come on down,” she said, adding the market is a great opportunity to “meet up with local farmers and growers and the community.”