This week is Farmers Appreciation Week in B.C.

The week is meant to celebrate B.C. farmers and local food and runs Sept. 12-19

This week is the sixth annual Farmers Appreciation Week.

The week is meant to celebrate B.C. farmers and local food and runs Sept. 12-19. It was created by the BC Association of Farmers’ Markets’ (BCAFM).

The Cranbrook Farmers’ Market will have out-door markets each Saturday until Oct. 10.

The association noted that as much of the province experienced the highest drought ratings and water restrictions this summer, Farmers Appreciation Week is an important time to reflect on the contributions of farmers in BC.

For the 98 per cent of BC farms that are family-run, agriculture is not only a business, but a way of life.

Elizabeth Quinn, the association’s executive director, noted it is the farmers that feed us and  contribute to our every-day lives.

“Whether it’s by providing fresh food throughout the year at farmers’ markets, grocery stores and farm stands, or by preserving farmland and green space,” Quinn said.

Studies have shown that 48 per cent of what British Columbians consume is produced by BC farmers.

British Columbians can show their appreciation for BC farmers through-out the week by choosing products that are grown close to home.

According to the association, there are around 20,000 farms operating in B.C. leading the way in the national sales of blue-berries, sweet cherries, raspberries, pears, apricots, Brussel sprouts and rhubarb in 2012.

They contribute over $170 million in economic benefits, farmers’ markets are also key places where the public can connect with local farmers and learn more about local food.

The BCAFM is a not-for-profit association that represents 125 farmers’ markets across the province and works to support, develop and promote farmers’ markets in all regions of BC. For more information on the BCAFM or to find a farmers’ market near you, visit www.bcfarmersmar-ket.org.