Vendors at the Penticton Farmers’ Market on Saturday pulled up stakes for the final time this year.
The five-month run on the 100 block of Main Street came to a damp and dreary end with the weather now decidedly fall-like, but those involved said the market’s 22nd season was a success.
“It’s been one of my best years. I’m getting lots of (regular) customers, because people get to know you when you’ve been in the market longer,” said Justene Wright of Blue Moon Organics.
The 2012 season was her fourth selling vegetables at the weekly event. Sales were up, she said, but year-over-year comparisons are difficult because her inventory varies with Mother Nature’s mood.
With her Saturdays now free, Wright said she’ll spend the winter working, renovating her home and missing the market.
“I’m not happy to be cold, but I’ll miss it,” she said. “I like coming. I like the people.”
Tom Wilson, who operates the Bread Box Bakery, said his inventory remains the same week to week, so he was able to report a sales increase of between12 and14 per cent this year over last.
“Every year we’re a little busier,” said Wilson, who just completed his 15th season as a vendor.
Market manager Stephanie Sundquist said a full roster of 58 vendors turned out every week, although the number dwindled to 35 for the final edition.
“We had beautiful weather for three months straight, up until today,” Sundquist said. “And we just had really good customers. It’s been a beautiful season.”
She added that three indoor markets have been scheduled for Nov. 10, Dec. 8 and Dec. 22 at the Shatford Centre from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. each day.
Among the customers who braved the rain for 2012’s final outdoor event were Dejan Nad and his two-year-old son Andrej.
“I feel sorry that today’s the last day of the market,” said Dejan, who attends every week with his boy.
“We have a tradition to come every Saturday. My wife, she works Saturdays, so this is our routine,” he explained. “We don’t know what we’re going to do next Saturday.”