Saturday, 5 May 2018

Farmers' Market Nutrition Coupon Program Expansion Annoucement

VANCOUVER – To help more lower income British Columbians and expectant mothers gain access to healthy, locally grown food, government is expanding the BC  Farmers’ Market Nutrition Coupon Program, Health Minster Adrian Dix and Agriculture Minister Lana Popham announced.

“Farmers’ markets support better nutrition, as well as local entrepreneurs and growers throughout B.C.,” said Dix. “On that note, our government is making the most  significant provincial increase to the BC Farmers’ Market Nutrition Coupon Program since it was introduced, to raise the value and number of coupons provided to people.”

“Many communities support this program, and we are thrilled to increase its positive impact on families and local food producers, and to promote our agriculture sector,”  said Popham. “Residents and municipalities all over the province are united in their praise for this program, and have been eager to see it continue and grow.”

The funding provided to the BC Association of Farmers’ Markets will increase by $750,000,

to expand the BC Farmers Market Nutrition Coupon Program.

As a result, the total amount of the coupon will increase by nearly $100, from $240 per participant household, to $336, provided in weekly coupons for four months. The number of expectant mothers participating in the program will also increase by 450 by March 2020, and the number of participating households is expected to rise from  3,708 to over 3,900.

The BC Farmers’ Market Nutrition Coupon Program is delivered by the BC Association of Farmers’ Markets, and will run from  June 11 to Oct. 31, 2018at participating farmers’ markets in 57 communities. The program provides participants enrolled in the nutrition and skills-building programs, which are offered by community agencies associated with each participating market, with coupons to help them purchase local food including vegetables, fruit, nuts, eggs, dairy, herbs, meat, and fish.

“We are excited with the Minister of Health’s announcement ahead of farmers’ markets reopening in many communities around B.C. this summer,” said Wylie Bystedt,  president of BC Association of Farmers’ Markets and Cariboo rancher. “We know there are significant benefits as a result of this program, ranging from improved population health to economic activity. The program has increased and sustained the customer base for local and regional farmers, which in turn has allowed them to grow and diversify.”

The BC Association of Farmers' Markets is a provincially registered, non-profit association, which represents over 145 farmers' markets throughout the province. At member markets, the focus is on selling B.C. grown or processed, farm-fresh foods, and vendors must either make, bake or grow the products they sell.

The BC Farmers' Market Nutrition Coupon Program builds on the work government is doing to reduce poverty in British Columbia. Thousands of people participated in a comprehensive public consultation, where they discussed the challenges and shared their ideas about how to reduce poverty in British Columbia. the Ministry of Health

Learn More:
For more information on the BC Farmers’ Market Nutrition Coupon Program or to locate a farmers’ market in your community, visit:

For a list of farmers’ markets and community partners participating in Farmers’ Market Nutrition Coupon Program in 2018, visit:

Find out more about the work to develop B.C.'s First Reduction Strategy: Kristy Anderson

Kristy Anderson
Ministry of Health Communications
778 678-5200

Friday, 27 April 2018

The 2018 Season

We are excited about our 2018 season starting on April 28th.

We have been busy getting the grounds cleaned up - we had about 30 people show up on April 18th to help with raking, cleaning, pressure washing, and some good camaraderie as well.  We will be having work parties the 2nd Monday of every month from 10-3pm.  Everyone is welcome to come and help.

Heres's what you can expect to find at our market for the first couple of weeks from our local farmers:

Tuesday, 6 March 2018

Sunday, 25 February 2018

Vendor Registration Coming Soon

Powell River Farmers' Market 

Vendor Registration opens 

Thursday March 8th, 2018

The season runs from April 28th, 2018 through to the last weekend in September 2018.  
The market takes place at 4365 McLeod Road, Powell River, BC

Our farmers' market is comprised exclusively (100%) of vendors who grow, make, bake, raise or wild harvest the products they sell.

Tuesday, 26 September 2017

Here’s How To Turn Your Garden Into A Fall Haven For The Honey Bees

Many thanks for this great article from our guest blogger:  Christy Erickson,  Saving our Bees.

You can transform your garden into a honey bee paradise with careful planning and a few smart choices.  Adding appropriate plants and landscaping will help the bees flourish through the seasons, even as winter approaches.
Image Courtesy of Pixabay

Choosing flowers
By offering consistent sources of pollen, bees will routinely visit your garden until winter.  The Honey Bee Conservancy has these great tips for helping these important pollinators:

  • Plant native flowers.  Find out what flowering plants are native to your area.  They will be particularly hardy and draw local bees.  Contact your local extension office for good choices in your growing area.
  • Single flowers.  Single, simple flowerheads will produce more pollen than more elaborate flowerheads.  For a bonus, plan on perennial plants which come back year after year.
  • Some great fall-blooming choices with single blooms would be:
    • Black-eyed Susan
    • Japanese Anemone
    • Sunflower
    • Tickseed

  • Keep blooms coming.  Think about when individual plants flower.  Plan for blooms from early spring through late fall.  For example, offer crocuses in spring, cosmos in summer, and sedum in the fall.  HoneyLove has a handy list of plants that draw bees and their bloom times.

  • Consider containers.  If you don’t have a full size garden, even container gardening helps bees.  Follow the same guidelines for selecting your plants.

Besides blooms
In addition to flowers, there are other things you can do for bees to keep them happy in your garden.  Here are some important points to consider:

  • Avoid chemicals.  Skip the chemical pesticides because they often kill good bugs in addition to pests.
  • Thirsty bees.  Offering a water source to bees will draw them to your garden.  Allow a few shallow mud puddles to be available for the bees.  This way the bees will get salt and minerals from the soil when they drink.

Add trees and shrubs
Adding a few well-chosen trees and shrubs to your landscape provides interest throughout the year.  Those same plants can also assist in drawing bees to your garden.  Here are some selections that will both look fabulous through the seasons and offer food for the bees.

  • Hydrangeas.  Consider including hydrangeas in your landscape as a plant that is attractive year round.  Professionals explain that these shrubs are easy to grow and typically begin blooming in early spring and keep going into late summer.  When the growing season is winding down they maintain their sturdy blooms throughout the winter months, providing beautiful texture and interest.

  • Pagoda dogwoods.  Experts note that pagoda dogwoods are an especially nice tree for specimen planting.  They are worthy as a focal point because they lend interest to the garden all year.  These small, ornamental trees have an elegant, asymmetrical branch growth.  Pagoda dogwoods have flowers in spring followed by bluish-black berries in summer.  Leaves are dark green and turn yellow or red in the fall.  When the foliage drops the graceful form of the tree gives winter interest in the garden.

  • Ninebarks.  Ninebarks offer attractive foliage in a variety of colors, depending on the cultivar.  Their springtime blooms attract bees and other pollinators.  Leaves typically turn brilliant colors in fall, then drop to reveal the peeling bark which gives the plant its name.  Experts note that this shrub is easy to maintain and is drought tolerant once established.  

Your haven for the honey bees
By making some simple additions to your garden this fall, you can keep bees coming throughout the growing seasons.  Plant flowers that will blossom in spring, summer and fall.  Remember to also help bees by avoiding chemicals and offering them a water source.  Adding well-chosen trees and shrubs can provide food for bees and bonus beauty in winter.  By incorporating these simple tips, your garden will be a haven for the honey bees.

Friday, 15 September 2017

Fall Fair 2017

From Powell River Peak
The Powell River Peak wrote a fabulous article on our annual Fair and we're so thrilled to be at it again this year.

Powell River Living also did a wonderful story in the Sept issue for Fall Fair as well.

Here are the details:
When:  Sept 16 & 17 from noon - 5pm
Where:  4365 McLeod Road in beautiful Paradise Valley
How:  You can get there by car, bike or city bus.  No shuttle this year (sorry).  Handicap parking available from the Myrtle Street entrance only otherwise all parking is outside the Exhibition Grounds.
Entry:  $5 for adults and kids 12 & under are free - please leave your pets at home.

If you'd like to enter something in the exhibition hall submissions can be dropped off between noon - 6pm on Friday Sept 15th.
From Powell River Living

We wanted to share the cover pictures from both the articles with you here,

Wednesday, 16 August 2017

Growing a Bee Garden

Guest Blog written by Christy Erickson from Saving Our Bees

These Tips Will Make You Want to Start Your Bee Garden Tomorrow
Bees and their colonies have been disappearing due to a disease-driven phenomenon called Colony Collapse Disorder, or CCD. Preventing CCD’s spread is imperative in preserving the world’s managed bee populations, which play a critical role in global crop production.
(Photo via Pixabay)
However, scientists must not be left alone in the quest to promote unification and further pollination among the bee population. As individuals, it is possible to reap the financial and health benefits that are associated with gardening while also combating the disappearance of the bee.
Why Bees are Important
The role that bees play in the production of foods regularly consumed by humans is nothing short of immense. Bees provide their benefit to humans through cross-pollination, also referred to as allogamy. Cross-pollination is defined as ‘the transfer of pollen from the flower of one plant to the flower of a plant having a different genetic constitution.’ This process is principally responsible for the successful harvest of 30% of the world’s crops and 90% of wild plants.
It is estimated that one-third of food production depends on bees’ pollination, so it is clear to see why keeping bees around is a high priority for conservationists. With over 70 different types of crops - and even more species of flowers - dependent on pollinators to survive, there are ample options when deciding what to plant in your bee garden.
Bee Gardening: A Strategic Approach

Planting a garden with the aim of attracting bees has benefits which are twofold. Gardeners reap the benefits of cross-pollination, with bees’ transport of pollen between crops and flowers promoting the overall health of your personal ecosystem. The bees, in turn, extract nectar and pollen from flowers, using these substances as sustenance. It truly is a two-way street, so it is a wonder that more gardeners do not employ tactics meant to keep bees present year-round.
Experts recommend variety of species and the planting of native flowers and crops as the basis of any successful bee garden. The aim is to attract bees already in your garden’s vicinity, which means that these native bees must be lured by native plants. The local nursery or botanical garden will have information about which plants are native to your respective climate and region, so use this advice as a guide when shopping for seeds and flowers.
Certain features make flowers particularly attractive to bees, including ones yellow, purple, or blue in shade. Bees see the world in an ultra-violet spectrum, meaning that flowers with red as a primary color are less likely to be visited by bees, while flowers in the colors indicated appear remarkably vibrant, leading bees to visit them with more frequency.
In order to attract smaller bees, daisy, marigold, butterfly weed, valerian, buttercup, aster, yarrow and Queen Anne’s lace are most likely to do the trick. Larger bees prefer plants such as delphinium, larkspur, columbine, monkshood and snapdragon. Meanwhile, long-tongued bees tend to be attracted to an array of herbs.
Be strategic by planting flowers and vegetables which provide nectar and pollen year-round. Different species bloom at differing times of year, and providing bees with a constant source of food increases the chance that they will return to your garden.
Lastly, bees require a water source, so ensure that you have some form of puddling mechanism, rendering your garden as the one-stop-shop for pollinating bees looking for food and drink.

Bees serve a greater purpose than many humans understand. As pollinators, their role in the production of food to be consumed by humans is a critical one. It does not take much effort to plant a garden that will attract and feed bees, and the benefits to the gardener are well worth employing a strategy to attract these valuable insects. If you were already planning or have a garden, employ these minor tweaks to make it a buzzing ground for our winged friends.