Farmers markets across the region are getting their ducks in a row for opening day. Most are planning a modified setup to continue complying with provincial health restrictions. (Photo courtesy of the Goldstream Market)

Farmers markets across the region are getting their ducks in a row for opening day. Most are planning a modified setup to continue complying with provincial health restrictions. (Photo courtesy of the Goldstream Market)

West Shore and Sooke farmers’ markets gear up for opening day

Markets modified to comply with health restrictions

Farmers’ markets on the West Shore are set to bloom this spring.

Goldstream Market will begin on May 8 and will feature around 10 food and farm vendors, and more are lined up if restrictions are loosened. The market runs from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturdays through October in Veterans’ Memorial Park.

All of the farmers’ markets in the region were facing the same reality, only being able to include vendors of a food-based variety last year. However, the B.C. government lifted restrictions last week, allowing for the return of artisans and florists.

It’s an announcement Shirley Obersteller, Goldstream Market treasurer, and others have been waiting for.

Also on the West Shore, the Metchosin Farmers Market opens May 9 on Sundays from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Metchosin Fair Grounds.

Jacqui Anderson, president of the Metchosin Farmers Market, said she is looking forward to providing a welcoming place to bring people together, offer fresh produce, meat canning and unique crafts. The market runs until Oct. 31.

READ ALSO: Artisans once again allowed to sell at B.C. Farmers’ Markets

The summer is also looking bright for markets in the Sooke region, which expect to be open and active this summer.

The Sooke Country Market is planning to open a little earlier than usual this year, on April 24. Running from Saturdays, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., that market relocated to John Philips Memorial Park last year to allow space for more vendors, while still being able to practise physical distancing.

The Sooke Night Market will welcome the community on the first Thursday in June, and is expecting to take vendor applications by the middle of April. Lee Boyko, market manager, said he hopes to see more entertainment and games re-introduced this year, should restrictions lift.

The East Sooke Farmers Market is having difficulty securing a location this year, so organizers say they will have a late start in either late June or July.

The Shirley Farmers Market website states their market will be held from June 28 until Sept. 6 in Pioneer Park beside the Community Hall. The market is open from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Organizers from all markets assured health guidelines will be set in place to ensure safety for vendors and shoppers. For information on markets and farms in the region, visit islandfarmfresh.com.


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