Get to know your local market

The BC Association of Farmer’s Markets has declared July as Meet My Market month.

Have you met your farmer’s market? The BC Association of Farmer’s Markets is hoping that, if the answer is no, then this will be the month. That’s because July has been declared Meet My Market month by the provincial association. That of course includes the Cranbrook Farmer’s Market.

“We’re happy to take part in it,” said Erna Jensen, manager of the Cranbrook Farmer’s Market. “It’s something we kind of toyed with over the years — how do we get people to bring their friends?”

Jensen said there is a committed group that loves the market, but there are others who have not yet been down to see to the market. So this is one way to invite them to come out.

Throughout the month of July, anyone in B.C. can participate in Meet My Market month by bringing a friend to their local B.C. farmers’ market and entering a grand prize giveaway through social media or in person at participating markets.

Across the province, more than 125 farmers’ markets offer an abundance of locally grown food and locally made goods, along with community fun including live music, children’s activities, cooking classes, artisan workshops and a place for neighbourhoods to come together.

Meet My Market month kicks off on July 1 and runs until July 31.

“It’s nice that the provincial farmers’ market association has sort of taken on this roll in offering some pretty awesome prizes for people who want to come out and participate,” Jensen said.

“It’s a nice way to encourage people to maybe bring a friend, a neighbour, a family member — somebody who hasn’t been to the market to help them discover the things that we all know and love about shopping at the farmer’s market.”

Ballots for the contest will be on hand at the market and people can also participate through social media to have a chance at winning prizes.

Jensen said the market itself has been going really well.

“We’re just two weekend into our outdoor summer season downtown and we’ve been seeing somewhere in the range of 50 vendors a week, which is great,” she said. “The number of shoppers and patrons, while I don’t have counts at all, just sort of anecdotally, the traffic has been really strong.”

She said the traffic kept up even through the hot weather we’ve been having.

“People were out enjoying the market, shopping away, and enjoying the fresh produce,” she said.

“Of course it’s getting to the time of year when we get more and more every week. Things like cherries and beans and all those kinds of things are coming around now.”

The outdoor market runs every Saturday from June 27 until October 10. From now until September the market is from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. near Rotary Park downtown.

“We’re just always happy to see people come out and the support for the market has been and continues to be strong,” she said, adding that the Meet me Market campaign will help to encourage people to come down to see what’s at the market.