Tag Archives: Buy Local

Penticton Farmers’ Market Named Market of the Year

For Immediate Release Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Penticton Farmers’ Market Named Market of the Year

PENTICTON, B.C. – The Penticton Farmers’ Market is proud to announce it has been named “Market of the Year” by the British Columbia Association of Farmers’ Markets. The award, handed out March 5 at the BCAFM annual conference in Kelowna, recognized the PFM in the medium-sized market category.

 

PFM Award

“The Penticton Farmers’ Market Society is honoured to receive this award,” says market manager Erin Trainer. “Over the last 25 years, the society has worked hard to maintain a quality market that stays true to our values. All of our vendors make, bake or grow what they sell. The market has been able to provide a venue where small-scale farmers can sell directly to the public, creating a sustainable local economy and contributing to food security in the Okanagan.”

In addition, Trainer says the society is grateful for its customers’ support. She adds the market has become a destination that locals and tourists look forward to each Saturday.

New this year, the PFM is scheduled to open two weeks earlier on Saturday, April 23, and is currently working with the city to finalize road closure permits.

“Our vendors are eager to start in April and have produce ready to sell,” says Trainer. “Many farmers’ markets in BC operate year round, so this is an opportunity to find out if that’s something our customers are looking for as well.” Market goers can expect to find asparagus, kale, spinach, and salad greens; flowers; honey; eggs; baking; preserves and handmade crafts.

On Monday, March 7, a market delegation presented its concerns to Penticton city council about the revitalization of the 100 block of Main Street. The society’s past president, Moses Brown, told council the plans will narrow the street, restricting crowd movement; and will limit the number of vendor vehicles. Brown explained that farmers need their vehicles to store their produce and protect it from weather. Brown also expressed concerns that construction is set to begin in September, one of the market’s busiest months. The market may have to move during this time, although a location has not been chosen.

Finally, the PFM welcomes Justene Wright, owner of Food of the Sun, as its new president. She was elected at the society’s AGM earlier this month. Corey Brown, owner of Blackbird Organics, was re-elected as vice-president. The PFM is entering its 26th season and has approximately 45 members in its society, along with 30 casual vendors and 30 rotating liquor vendors. Typically the market hosts 60 – 80 vendors per week. It is open every Saturday until October 29 from 8:30am until 1pm in the 100 Block of Main St.


Keeping it Simple

On a recent comment to farmersdotter Facebook page someone wrote:

“Food prices have gone up everywhere” and suggested to “Buy whole foods and cook them yourself.” Finally noting “There are huge savings in avoiding junk food.”

Insightful comments that we take to heart.

When you consider the nutritional bang for your buck in a box of Froot-Loops we have never understood the argument that fresh food especially fresh organic food is too expensive. And consider too we have to import this junk. What kind of impact does that have?

So given the current price of fresh produce our fear is some folks will turn more towards processed food as a solution when now more then ever we simply need to buy local and buy what is in season.

Keep it simple

Do we really need to import from California or Florida and beyond in January? Do we really need to import at all? For a number of years now we have relied upon importing massive quantities of produce.

It wasn’t that long ago when importing on such a scale was impractical. Remember when tomatoes weren’t always perfect and oranges were a luxury most of the year? Most of the year you couldn’t find a pineapple to save your life and kiwi fruit was unheard of. Produce had a season much the same way as Japanese mandarins still do. But thanks to China, hybridizing, and genetic engineering mandarins and their derivatives with origin unknown are available year round.

Makes you wonder where all this demand is coming from. Are consumers really demanding of such a wealth of variety or is it by virtue of the wealth of variety that the demand is created. Either way it is massive and ultimately unsustainable.

We are quick to overlook the tremendous infrastructure required to support the variety and choice of the perfect symmetrical specimens we have come to expect. Must it be so? In light of the severe water shortage in the produce growing regions of the USA, especially in California this situation is not going to correct itself anytime soon. Even if it did, lets say California had all our water, should we expect we can continue to rely upon importing so much food? We don’t think so. Lets keep our water and use it wisely.

If the demand were to shift we think locally grown meat and veg supplemented with grown in BC product would be more than sufficient. The produce would not be perfect. Not always. You would have to accept the occasional knobbly carrot and imperfect apple that will and should brown when cut open.

Maybe there are people in areas of the world not as fortunate as us. They may not have the where-with-all to cut the import umbilical and subsist on their own. However, there are  people in many diverse areas who can and do. As harsh as it may sound we can not be overly concerned about those in far flung places. Not right now.

Right now we are concerned for our community. Doing what we can to ensure we and our family farms are sustainable going forward. It was the way it used to be and somehow our parents, grand-parents, and elders all made it through. We will too if we keep it simple.


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