Winter farmers’ markets could be harvesting a new crop of business locally.
The Coldstream Winter Farmers’ Market will hold its last sale of the season today from 2:30 to 6 at the Women’s Institute (9909 Kalamalka Road). But along with resuming the market next winter, local farmers are pursuing a summer market in Coldstream.
“The community has well received it and are asking for us to bridge the gap between now and October,” said market organizer Anita Fletcher, who is hoping to set up a summer market – same day, time and place.
Fletcher, who operates an organic orchard in Coldstream with her husband Richard Enns (a Coldstream councillor), will need the District of Coldstream’s approval for a summer market at the Women’s Institute.
Even though there is already a market in Vernon, Fletcher says the timing and location won’t conflict.
“The timing is different because there are so many people who cannot make a morning market,” said Fletcher of the Coldstream market that catches people after work/school.
The Vernon Farmers’ Market runs every Monday and Thursday morning at the Wesbild Centre – its season opener is Thursday from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.
There is also the potential for a second winter market in the region.
Lynn Piva used to run the Coldstream market with Fletcher but is starting her own winter market in Vernon.
Calling it, The Very Best of the Best Indoor Farmers’ Market, Piva plans to start the market for the 2012/13 winter season.
Featuring dried and fresh fruit and vegetables, farm fresh eggs, meat and poultry, baked goods, crafts, artisans and more, the new market will run every Wednesday from 2 to 6 p.m. at the Wesbild Centre (beginning Nov. 7, 2012 and wrapping up April 24, 2013).
“This new market is not going to be restricted to food vendors,” said Piva.
Vernon used to have a winter market at the Army Navy Airforce, but it was cancelled during the 2011/12 season, which is when Coldstream’s winter market started.
The Coldstream venture proved to be a success with anywhere from 10 to 15 vendors selling to customers from across the region, said Fletcher.
“The people that we get come from Lumby, Cherryville, Lavington, Vernon, Coldstream and a couple have come up from Winfield too,” said Fletcher of customers who come for everything from potatoes, garlic and baked goods to fresh juice, flowers and preserves.