Agriculture is important too

Residents make the pitch for the Vernon Farmers Market and increased support

My wife and I have been farming in the local community since 1979. We raised our five children and supported ourselves from our farming income.

People would comment on how important farming and agriculture is and how we must protect the farm land for the future. We would sell our products wholesale and found we were always getting squeezed to lower our pricing until we finally had to start marketing our own products.

Through this process, we were introduced to the Vernon Farmers Market. When we introduced ourselves to the local community through this venue our business began to flourish and the market revenue became a considerable amount of our total revenue.

The Vernon Farmers Market began on what is now the Vernon Performing Arts Centre, 35 years ago. The market was started by local farmers and some of them, or their children, are there today. The regional district needed the property for the building of the performing arts centre and asked the market if it would move. The regional district explained that it was building a multi-use facility and this would become the permanent home of the Vernon Farmers Market. The market took a hit financially with the move since as we know, it takes time for people to change habits and this was the case with the market and their customers. However, the people of Vernon eventually embraced this new location and the market is thriving today.

There was talk of a second sheet of ice to be built down the road but not to worry because it would be located to the west on the Kin Race Track property and this would be the most feasible with the infrastructure of the current building and parking.

It appears the time has come for the new sheet of ice and it also appears that politically, the west option for the expansion is not going to work so the new sheet of ice will go where the Vernon Farmers Market’s permanent location is. The market appears to be the least important component to the city in this expansion.

The city is telling the market that it can have the back portion of the parking lot that is left over after the expansion is complete. This will be two-thirds the size of the current market. We still hear after 36 years how important agriculture is: buying local, protecting farm land and that children should know where and how food is produced. However, we see that this is just lip service when it comes to future planning.

Most communities have a fairgrounds or agriculture complex and the community grows up around it. This provides a community with a constant reminder of the way agriculture plays an important role in their everyday lives. This does not mean that farmers don’t support sports and sports facilities since many of them have children and grandchildren that take part in many sports including hockey. But we feel that agriculture should be just as important and should not be shuffled as though it weren’t.

We would like the City of Vernon to show how important agriculture is in our community by giving it as much consideration as a sports facility, arts centre, library or any other public facility. Anyone that has been to the market knows the value of it.

Our Vernon Farmers Market is an amazing market and we should all be very proud of it and do everything we can to protect it and keep it growing.


Joel and Rita Allen


Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Summerland Ornamental Gardens remain closed

Staff and volunteers continue to weed and maintain plants

No bucks for Ellison park expansion, ministry tells Vernon chamber

Vernon Chamber of Commerce vows to help government connect with potential funding partners to see Chelsea Estate purchased

COVID-19: Vernon fields and courts ready for booking

Local sport organizations will soon be able to get back out on the field for limited activities

Canada’s deficit result of investing in Canadians: Minister of Middle-Class Prosperity

Minister Mona Fortier said the government is working on the next steps as the economy restarts

$500 fine for Vernon man caught near Coldstream playground

Richard Slobodian, 58, served one night in jail and ordered to pay for breaching probation

Horgan says B.C. restart making gains as more people come out of their homes

B.C. announced the easing of more restrictions on businesses, recreation and travel last month

Man drowns while swimming in Okanagan Lake

The incident happened off the shores of West Kelowna on Thursday

Conservatives say police should be called into investigate WE charity scandal

Trudeau is already under investigation by the ethics commissioner for potential conflict of interest

Amber Alert continues for missing Quebec girls, 6 and 11, and their father

Police issued the alert for Norah Carpentier, 11, and Romy Carpentier, 6, from Levis, Que.

Limit police access to lethal weapons in Indigenous communities: Justice Summit

Grassroots-organized National Indigenous Justice Summit was a free-to-attend two-day videoconference

Summerland Ornamental Gardens remain closed

Staff and volunteers continue to weed and maintain plants

Kelowna taxpayers could pay $90K for losses caused by cancelled Memorial Cup

$135,000 would be put aside for a potential bid for a future opportunity to host the tournament

Canadian policing organization calls for decriminalization of simple illicit drug possession

Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police want policing focus of opioid crisis to be replaced with a health one

Most Read