Pick up some fresh B.C. cherries at the Kimberley Farmers’ Market (KFM file)

Kimberley Farmers’ Market to return June 22

The highly anticipated Kimberley Farmers’ Market will soon return to Howard Street with many new and returning vendors from Kimberley, Creston, Cranbrook and Windermere.

Wild sight began the market five years ago as part of Wildsight Kimberley/Cranbrook’s local food sustainability initiative. Kimberley Farmers’ Market Coordinator, Linda McVetty says that since the market began in 2012, the number of vendors and patrons has grown steadily each year, and this year the market block will be full for all markets.

“We have many returning vendors as well as new vendors that we are excited to welcome to the market,” said McVetty. “Some of the products include fresh fruits and vegetables, potted plants, wild harvested mushrooms, farm eggs, cut flowers, honey, hand made jewelry and other crafts, jam, jerky, tea, dried herbs, locally handcrafted and distilled spirits, hard cider, sparkling wine, fresh baked artisan bread and many more baked treats and hand crafted products.”

Not only are there lots of exciting products for sale at the market, but this is Wildsight’s second year participating in the B.C. Association of Farmers’ Markets, Farmers Market Nutrition Coupon Program.

“This is an alternative created in 2012 to offer lower income expectant mothers and seniors access to fresh nutritious food at their local market,” said McVetty. “We are excited that we will be able to include 20 families in the program this year.”

McVetty explained that the market also provides a local marketing alternative for small scale agricultural and specialty products.

“Farmers’ markets are a great incubator for new businesses to develop their entrepreneurial skills and see how popular their products are so that they can adapt to the market and receive immediate feedback from their customers,” said McVetty. “Many vendors have gone on to open retail locations or expand their businesses through online sales.”

Vendors apply by filling out a form online and sending Wildsight photos of their products and goods. According to their website, Wildsight gives priority to those who offer produce and value added food products, in order to strengthen and support local food production.

Although it is the responsibility of the vendors themselves to set up and take down their own booths, Wildsight always has volunteers to help assist with the main market set up of picnic tables, barricades and signs, as well as traffic control, and any other tasks as required.

When asked why Wildsight chose Thursday for the market, McVetty responded by saying, “weekend markets have been attempted in the past in Kimberley but never quite caught on.

“Erna Jensen, the previous market manager was visiting Whitefish and was impressed by their bustling weekday market. Kimberley is a very similar town, with many of our residents focusing on outdoor adventures on weekends.

“There are also many other weekend markets in the area that we did not want to compete with. It turns out that the Howard Street location on Thursday evenings is the winning combination.”

This year, as it has been in the past, the market will run on Thursday evenings from 5p.m. to 7:30p.m. starting June 22 and going until September 7, rain or shine.

 

Wildsight strives to provide local, sustainable food at the Kimberley Farmers’ Market (KFM file)

Wildsight strives to provide local, sustainable food at the Kimberley Farmers’ Market (KFM file)