Monday, 19 May 2014

May Checkpoint

The Farmers Market has been running for 4 weeks now and as the manager I feel like I'm starting to "get a feel" for things.

I'd like to start by thanking the community for the unbelievable support.  I couldn't be happier with the number of people coming and the young families with kids playing happily is just heartwarming.  Since our opening at the end of April the number of attendees have made it feel like "summertime" from the get-go.  Although we had one cooler, rainy day the past four weekends have bestowed mostly sunshine and dry weather on the market and we are eternally grateful.

Another big thank-you goes out to all the vendors who are coming rain or shine and engaging with the public and sharing stories, products and smiles.  Although there may be an empty booth from time to time there are always 40+ vendors to serve you.  There is so much work that each vendor puts into their products and those countless hours are sometimes not evident when you're just buying one item.  Our vendors are dedicated, talented, creative, enthusiastic and care so much about our community.  Thank you to all our great vendors!

Here are the top 10 things to be aware of in the coming weeks.

1.  More Produce and Plants - farmers have been harvesting incredible produce already but as each week passes more and more varieties will be available.  Right now there are amazing lettuce varieties, green onions, broccoli, kale, spinach and chards.  There is still time to come and get plant starts.   Tomatoes, peppers, herbs, shrubs, bushes and small trees are all awaiting that special place in your garden.

2.  Meat Vendors - we have 3 meat vendors at the market this year.  On Saturday we have Pat Hansen and Myrtle Point Heritage s and on Sunday Myrtle Point Heritage Farms returns and is joined by Creekside Farm.   You can find chicken, pork, lamb and beef available.

3.  Variety of Vendors - this year we have over 75 who are already selling at the market and a few more to come in the coming months.  Of course not everyone comes every day but there is always variety sprinkled amongst the familiar.

4.  Live Music - all your favourites from last year are up on the stage playing and bringing that familiar feel to the market.  We also have a few newcomers who are spreading their wings and getting some stage-time in.

5.  The Shuttle Bus service will start at the beginning of June, just like last year it's leaving from the Town Centre Mall, schedules can be found on our blog as well.

6.  We continue to have no running water in the food barn so we ask that you try to bring some dishes from home whenever possible, even just your coffee mug and a small bowl for a treat would be very helpful.  We do still have some cups and cutlery but these need to be hauled home by vendors, washed and hauled back to the market.

7.  Recycling & Garbage Station.  We have one main station near the entrance, we ask everyone to take a moment before they toss something in the trash and see if it can be composted or recycled.  We have a composter on site and it receives all food leftovers, compostable paper products and wood products.

8.  The Nutrition Coupon Program will be coming back to town in mid-June.  The participating community organisations (Family Place & BOND) will be distributing the coupons to the families who have already signed up for the program.   Participant families will be able to ride the Shuttle Bus for free up to the market when they show the driver their coupons.  The market will also have a limited number of tokens available for participating children to get a free turn on the bouncy castle from Bounce N Slide Inflatables or the train on Sundays, please check in at the information booth as soon as possible to get your token.

9.  The Featured Farmer:  In June we will be launching a Featured Farmer every few weeks.  Once you read the blog post, there will be some market vouchers (specific to that farmer) available for the first 5 comments on the blog, in addition we'll be giving out some of these vouchers the following weekend at the market and sharing them with some community groups as well.  A total of 25 vouchers will be printed worth $2 each so keep your eyes peeled and if you know of a community group that could benefit from this program then please send me an email.

10.  Volunteer Positions Available:  If you or someone you know would like to help at the Farmers Market we have a few positions open right now.  A minimum of 1 hour commitment is requested but if you can swing 2 hours we'd appreciate that twice as much.  If you're interested in any of these positions please email or call me at 604-414-5076.

  • Recycling Monitor - assist market goers with making the right recycling choice before something is tossed in the trash.  Requires standing, public interaction with market goers and ability to communicate clearly and patiently about recycling.  Rain or Shine.  Timeslots available Sat 10:30 - 12:30 or Sun 12:30 - 2:30.  
  • Sunday Helper - assist in wrap-up duties at the end of a market weekend.  Requires average strength and agility to stack chairs and carry them short distances, dismantling recycling station.  Approximately 45 - 60 minutes starting at 3:00pm on Sundays.
If you're able to help once a week or once a month we appreciate everyone's effort.

Hope to see you soon at the Market!

Come for the Food
Stay for the Friends & Music
Go home with healthy Local Products.

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