The Creston Valley Farmers’ Market (CVFM) is teaming up with the BC Association of Farmers’ Markets to encourage visitors to bring along a friend while they shop for local produce and goods.
Throughout 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 via social media or in person at participating markets.
“Last Saturday was our biggest market yet, with 42 local vendors,” CVFM manager Jen Comer on Monday. “We continue to grow — our spring market attracted 13 per cent more vendors than 2014, when we experienced a 26 per cent growth over the previous year. But we always want to bring more customers to our vendors.”
“There’s no doubt that people in B.C. are passionate supporters of their local farmers’ markets,” said Elizabeth Quinn, executive director at the BC Association of Farmers’ Markets. “With Meet My Market month, we’re encouraging our loyal visitors to introduce a friend to their market — and to show off the beautiful in-season foods, and the great neighbourhood experience they love.”
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.
B.C. Agriculture Minister Norm Letnick agrees on the importance of these local markets.
“There’s something special about every farmers’ market and I encourage everyone to share their favourite with a friend, as well as visiting a few more,” he said. “When you visit your local farmers’ market you can see and taste what B.C. has to offer and all while supporting local jobs and businesses.”
A draw box at the CVFM allows visitors who bring along a friend to the market in July to enter for a chance to win one of two getaways for two at Sparkling Hill Resort in the Okanagan. On social media, weekly prize draws for $50 gift certificates to spend at your local market can be won by posting a photo of your favourite farmers’ market on Twitter or Instagram (#MeetMyMarket or @BCFarmersMarket). Entries can also be sent to the BC Association of Farmers’ Markets Facebook page (bit.ly/meetmymarket).
“It’s going really good,” Comer said of this year’s market. “We are even starting to get more interest from out-of-town vendors, and that helps us fill gaps in what we have available locally. Maria’s Dumplings from Cranbrook, for example, has been a huge hit.”
Comer said that the market benefits local growers by giving them an outlet for direct sales and providing them with some economic stability.
“We are the little market that could!” she said.