The smell of coffee brewing and fresh out of the oven baking mixed with the bustle of farmers straight from the fields is a stimulation of the senses that many welcome eagerly and long for in the cold winter months. It’s a sensation that goes hand in hand with summer and can almost exclusively be found at farmers’ markets.
It’s an experience that many want to share. That’s why the B.C. Association of Farmers’ Markets launched July as Meet My Market month across the province, an initiative that hopes to see regular market goers introduce a friend to the experience.
“There’s an atmosphere,” said Elaine Baglo, Goldstream Station Market manager. “Every week we’re seeing an increase in people coming,” she said, adding “that the weather helps too.”
The Goldstream Station Market is one of more than 125 farmers’ markets in the province. It runs every Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. (until Oct. 17), and Wednesdays 5 to 8 p.m. (until Sept. 2) at Veterans’ Memorial Park in Langford.
“Saturdays are always packed,” she said, which has prompted organizers to invite market goers to join them on Wednesday evenings. “It’s something different this year.”
The aim is have the public come to the park to have dinner while enjoying the entertainment and browsing booths that offer everything from farm fresh produce to artisan jewellery, honey, jam, soaps and gluten-free baking. That atmosphere that has been gaining in popularity, especially as word spreads with the Meet My Market campaign.
“Lots of people want to eat clean and healthy,” said Baglo, adding that most of the produce is picked in the morning before the market and is grown without the use of pesticides.
Along with gaining a new experience, or sharing an old treasured one with a friend, for the remainder of the month you can also win prizes just for going. Enter via social media by tagging @BCFarmersMarketwith the hashtag #MeetMyMarket on Twitter or Instagram, on the Facebook page (bit.ly/meetmymarket) or in person at the information table, which Baglo said has seen line-ups of people waiting to cast their ballot. “It’s something everyone wants to win.”
There are two grand prizes to be won that consist of a three-night weekend getaway and wine tour for two at the Sparkling Hill Resort in the Okanagan. There will also be weekly draws on social media for $50 to spend at any participating farmers’ market.
For more information go to bcfarmersmarket.org.