Vancouver's Farmers Markets- Yes, Please!
I’ve never really been one for attending farmer’s markets, but as their popularity in Vancouver seems to grow I thought I’d better check them out and see what they’re all about. I have to say, what I’ve learned has surprised me!
The first thing that surprised me is the markets are an organized group. Vancouver Farmers Markers (VFM) was founded 24 years ago as a non-profit society. They have 9 different weekly markets with annual vendor sales of $10 million! I was also surprised to learn that there are markets all year round – seven in the summer plus two weekly winter markets!
I was wondering what’s for sale at the markets and who is allowed to sell there. It turns out there’s over 250 producers on the vendor roster and all vendors and products are from BC. ‘Within the provincial boundaries’, is how the VFM defines ‘local’. The vendors must make, bake, grow or catch what they sell. No imports or re-selling of products is allowed. You will find fruit, vegetables, meat, poultry, sustainable seafood, eggs, dairy, craft beer, wine, spirits, artisan food products, handmade crafts, wild harvested foods and hot food and coffee.
After my research, it was clear it was time for me to visit a market. So on a beautiful Sunday afternoon I grabbed my cloth shopping bag, went for a walk along the Arbutus Greenway and then veered off at 12th Avenue and headed to the Kitsilano Farmer’s Market. What a vibrant atmosphere!
I was hot after my walk so the first thing I did was line-up and get a popsicle from Johnny’s Pops. A very refreshing raspberry-lime! I then wandered up and down stopping to check out the produce in one stall and the baking in the next. I bought some cheese from Little Quilicum Cheeseworks, wine from Forbidden Fruit Winery and a bunch of peonies from Warmerdam Flowers. Wine, cheese and flowers! Pleased with my purchases I decided it was time to go, but I made a mental note to come back the next Sunday to pick up some of the heirloom tomatoes and purple carrots! I am now definitely into the Farmer’s Market scene!
Check out the VFM website for all the information on addresses, hours and what’s featured at each market that week.