With music playing, children frolicking and fresh food at one’s fingertips, the Goldstream Station Market has all the key ingredients for a fun Saturday in the park.
In its first year operating out of Veteran’s Memorial Park in Langford, the eight-year-old market is proving that changing locations can be a good thing.
“What I like the most is there feels like there’s so much a sense of community there,” says market manager Kate King, who’s in her first year in the job. “It just seems like such a positive place. Everybody there is having a good time and the vendors are great.”
Roughly 80 different vendors, mostly local farmers and artisans, have set up stalls at the market at one time or another this year, which King says is an all-time high.
It has become a place where many West Shore residents come to stock up on their produce and other fresh foods for the week, she adds.
“We try to stick to our mandate. We have so much variety there and everything is either homemade, homegrown or handmade. You’re not walking into a flea market.”
Such is the reputation of the market that new vendors are inquiring almost daily about getting involved. It’s largely through word of mouth from other vendors, King says.
Colwood resident Paul Young, whose Paul’s Plants stand was a stalwart at the Metchosin farmer’s market the past two years, is in his first year selling homegrown herbs and decorative plants at the Goldstream market.
He grows in his home garden all of the plants he has for sale, including such herbs as mint, basil, oregano and lavender.
Young does his best to bring out plants that most people may not have seen before, as a way to introduce customers to something new for their palate.
While he admits he doesn’t make much money, he enjoys the camaraderie with customers and fellow merchants alike.
“More than anything it’s for the joy of it. I talk to people about gardening, which I love. It’s a great way to spend several hours in the day,” he says.
“It’s a tough thing (selling) plants, but the people who sell the baked goods and fresh produce do really really well.”
King says the park has proven to be a wonderful setting for the market, one that accommodates the whole family.
“It is a great place to just unplug and get connected with your community.”
The market runs from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. every Saturday through Oct. 25.
For more information, visit goldstreamstationmarket.ca.