Goldstream market thrives as Colwood market folds its tent
Kelly Parkin’s eyes light up as she talks about watching people who are hungry at the market
“People are starving for fresh food,” she says smiling.
Parkin, the market manager of the Goldstream Station Market, is getting ready to launch the market’s third season at Bryn Maur Road in Langford, starting May 28.
The market is proving to be a popular venue. Last year farmers sold out in minutes on the first day of the selling season.
“It was like a locust herd,” Parkin joked.
“People want to eat local. When people choose to eat local, they need to give the farmers some time to catch up. Farmers only harvest what they are going to sell.”
Each year the Langford market attracts more farmers and vendors. The market is open to vendors from anywhere south of Nanaimo, but priority is given to Capital Region farmers, bakers, preservers and artisans
“So many vendors keep applying to get in. Word is spreading,” Parkin said. “We can push hard at 48 vendors.”
If there is one thing people should know about this market it’s “come early,” Parkin advises.
By the time the market is wrapping up each Saturday afternoon, shoppers are often upset when faced with sold out stalls.
“We don’t have a big back room to restock shelves like a grocery store,” Parkin says. “What’s for sale has come out of the ground the night before or the morning of the market. There are going to be times when you get some dirt on (produce), but that’s dirt it grew in.”
An advantage to shopping at the Goldstream Station Market, is everything is fresh, Parkin emphasizes.
“When you can shake the hand of the farmer who grew your food, you know it’s fresh.
“Shopping here reduces green house gasses. It’s the right thing to do.”
While the Goldstream Station Market is booming, the Colwood Farmers’ Market called it quits after last season.
The market was held at West Shore Parks and Recreation for the past three years. Each year it was held in a different area around the parking lot.
“It was a beautiful site, but on the wrong side of the highway,” said Parkin, who also managed the Colwood market. The market was held in the evenings during the week, when traffic returning to the West Shore didnt’ stop to shop.
Another challenge the market faced was the construction on Island Highway. People bypassed the roadwork on the Trans-Canada and were not in the area of the market.
Parkin will be discussing the option of another evening market with vendors, but is unsure if that will solidify and where it would be held.
The Goldstream Station Market spent its first two seasons as the Luxton Station Market at the Luxton fair grounds, but didn’t flourish due to a lack of vendors.
The Goldstream Station Market is at Bryn Maur Road in Langford from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturdays. See www.goldstreamstationmarket.ca.