The Bulkley Valley Farmers’ Market outdoor season kicks off on May 12. File photo

Bulkley Valley Farmers’ Market looks forward to upcoming 27th season

Some updates on the Smithers Farmers’ market as it starts its summer outdoor season.

The Bulkley Valley Farmers’ Market’s outdoor season is just around the corner.

Pretty soon Central Park will once again be bustling on Saturday mornings as vendors set out their wares and residents wander down to shop, listen to live music, and mingle with friends and neighbours.

As we get ready to ring the ceremonial cow bell and open our 27th season, we’d like to share a few updates with local residents.

Our recent strategic planning sessions at the Old Church gave the Market Association’s board and members a chance to reflect on some of the market’s key principles. Our online survey drew 66 responses. It showed that vendors and customers alike value the “make, bake or grow” criteria and want to retain membership in the B.C. Association of Farmers’ Markets.

We recognize that the decision a few years ago to change the market hours caused some discord among vendors and customers alike. Last year, in an attempt to find a happy medium, our board decided to split the difference and set the hours from 8:30am until 12:30pm. We will be continuing with these hours this coming season.

We have also decided the return to our tradition of kicking off the market’s outdoor season on the Saturday of the Mother’s Day weekend, which this year falls on May 12.

Are you interested in becoming a Farmers’ Market vendor? It’s a great way to try out a new business concept, connect with the community, and make a bit of money. Products can include locally grown produce, meat, prepared foods, read-to-eat food, crafts, art and more — as long as they are made, baked or grown. If this interests you, we encourage you to email us at info@bvfm.ca.

For many folks, the Farmers’ Market is a social hub — a place to connect with community and enjoy the lively atmosphere. To help enhance this aspect of the market we will be working to once again bring live music to the market each week. We’ll also be doing more to involve community groups, hosting special themed markets, and creating other new and engaging experiences.

The vision of the Bulkley Valley Farmer’s Market Association remains “a community in which a vibrant, well-organized, year-round market is fully supported by the community; local production is economically viable and meets local needs; and locally produced goods are people’s first choice.”

We think it’s a vision worth continuing to strive towards. We hope you do too.

See you at the market!

-Megan D’Arcy is the President of the Bulkley Valley Farmers’ Market Association.

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