Thursday, 5 July 2018

Community Partnerships

The way to change the world is through individual responsibility and taking local action in your own community.   - Jeff Bridges

Powell River is a community full of individuals taking local actions.  Our community benefits from the passion people bring, whether it be art, music, sports or a number of other passions we see and experience on a regular basis.

This community and the partnerships we have within it are so important to a vital, healthy, growing farmers market.

There are several partnerships that have developed into strong relationships over the past few years. These partnerships have helped small business owners, entrepreneurs,  families in need,  pregnant women and new moms. Our connections in our community continue to grow and expand, but we would like to share a few of our successes with you.

Family Place and BOND (Babies Open New Doors)

The farmers market nutrition coupon program is a partnership between the BC association of farmers markets, the province of British Columbia and the provincial health services authority. Powell River is one of over 60 communities where a local farmers' market partners with community organizations to help improve the health and well-being of community members at every stage of life.

On a weekly basis, participants receive $21 in nutrition coupons which can be spent just like cash at the Powell River Farmers Market. Not only does this allow new moms, low-income families, and seniors to come and buy fresh produce, eggs, nuts and frozen meat but it also helps increase local food security, awareness of local food availability and allows additional funds to flow through our community.

The community partner manages the registration and distribution of the nutrition coupons.  Participants bring the coupons to the farmers' market and purchase the fresh, local products they need. Farmers accept the coupons and cash them in at the end of the day.  Last year this project allowed close to $10,000 worth of sales to occur at the market. It is (conservatively) estimated that this money cycles through our community at least 2 to 3 more times as locals continue to buy local. This year there is an increase in the number of participants as well as the amount participants receive, $21 this year as opposed to  $15 in previous years. Local fundraising has also been put in place to allow the support of seniors in this program.

This is the first year that the Tla'amin Pre/Postnatal group through Tla'amin Health will also be participating.  Welcome to the program and we look forward to seeing you at the market! 

The program is quick to fill up each year, but applications are always available and can be filled out at Family Place. 

The Powell River Action Center Food Bank

For the past two years, incredible work has been underway at the local food bank. If you join us at the market on the weekends, you will see a representative from the food bank at our market each day. This representative provides information to the community while the market is open and once the market closes, collects donations from local farmers and bakers who have produce, eggs, baking or frozen meat available for donation.  The farmers are able to claim up to 25% of the total value of the donation as a  charitable tax deduction.

This has allowed local farmers and bakers to give fresh, nutritious food to the food bank who then, in turn, distributes it to their participants during the week. It has only been in the last couple of years that the food bank has had the ability to receive and store food in cold storage, allowing items like produce and eggs to keep until their distribution date. 

The feedback from the community has been spectacular! Families that require the help of the food bank are delighted to find fresh greens, half a box of fresh eggs or some fresh baking in their allotments.  This is one more way that a local community partnership supports food security in Powell River, connects local people with what is grown locally and helps reduce spoilage or waste.  

Powell River Public Library

We are pleased to host Storytime from the Library every July and August. This has been a wonderful opportunity for children at the market, including vendors children, to enjoy puppetry, rhymes, singalong songs and of course stories in a sweet summertime setting. 

With the Library's support, the market is also able to host the Annual Travelling Puppet Show.  Children absolutely love this show and attendance is especially high for these events.  

The library visits the market every Saturday in July and August and storytime starts at  11:00 AM and goes until 11:30 AM.   We would like to thank Deb Zagwyn for her enthusiasm and support over the past several years and we are excited to welcome Deb's daughter Sonia Zagwyn to carry on this wonderful tradition.  

Boomerang Bags is a grassroots, community-driven movement tackling plastic pollution at its source.
For over a year volunteers have gathered at Fibrespace to make re-useable ‘boomerang bags’ using recycled materials, as a means to provide a sustainable alternative to plastic bags.

The bags are available for use at the farmers' market from a large wooden bin. As a plastic bag alternative that can be used, reused and returned.  The bags not only provide a convenient option to shoppers but also start conversations and bring awareness to our actions towards a sustainable future.

Local advocate Lesley Thorsell has been the catalyst behind making Boomerang Bags a reality in Powell River.  We are so pleased to offer them at the market.  

These are a few examples of community partnerships that have helped our market grow, thrive and add new connections within our town.  Our sense of community grows stronger as we come together, help eachother, support eachother and share in passions that take ideas and create a community-centric solution that supports our growth, health, and longevity.  

Keep up the great work Powell River and remember if you're passionate about something, acting on that passion will make it a reality.  

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,