Matt Nickson of Oxbow Flats Farms gets the day started during last year’s Farmers’ Market, bundling up carrots into colourful bunches. This year’s market starts tomorrow (April 22) Steve Kidd/Western News

Matt Nickson of Oxbow Flats Farms gets the day started during last year’s Farmers’ Market, bundling up carrots into colourful bunches. This year’s market starts tomorrow (April 22) Steve Kidd/Western News

Penticton Farmers’ Market returns with new look

The Penticton Farmers’ Market returns Saturday, April 22 kicking off the market season.

It may look a little different, but the Penticton Farmers’ Market is bringing the same locally-sourced goods to the streets with the season starting Saturday.

The market is taking on a new layout due to the reconstruction of the 100 block of Main Street. New to the market is the use of the link road between Martin and Main Streets.

The market has gained several tent stalls along the new road.

“It’s going to be a bit of a change for our customers who are used to just travelling in the 100-block and we used to have a lot of wide open space. Now with the bigger sidewalks it’s going to be a bit tighter, but we’ll make it work,” said Erin Trainer, manager of the Penticton Farmers’ Market.

Due to the cold winter, some crops are slightly behind schedule this year, but there will be plenty on hand to peruse.

“This time last year we had an awesome spring so there was tons of produce ready to go. So this year it’s a little bit slower, but our vendors still have lots of stuff to bring,” Trainer said.

Vendors are still ready to go with lots of spinach ready for sale, potatoes, beets, organic eggs, locally roasted coffee, Okanagan wines and more.

“There will be some produce, just not the abundance people are used to,” Trainer said.

Returning are familiar faces to the market bringing baking, treats, local crafts and more. There will be four or five liquor vendors per market this year, balancing out to two wineries, one brewery and one distillery or cidery.

The motto of the market is “make it, bake it or grow it,” putting vendors locally-produced goods face-to-face with their clientele.

“It’s all from the South Okanagan,” Trainer said.

New, small-scale farmers are joining the market as well, one from Oliver and another from Kaleden and the market hopes to encourage the growth of local, small-scale farms.

“Those are the kind of vendors that we’re really looking for. People who are farming on property smaller than 15 acres and trying to make a living at it,” Trainer said.

The Farmers’ Market has a pool of 140 vendors, with a maximum capacity of around 80. The opening weekend is set to feature about 60 vendors.

“We really appreciate local customers coming down and doing a walkthrough. It means a lot to all of the vendors. It’s a lot of effort to do the Farmers’ Market so when locals come down it makes it all worthwhile,” Trainer said.

The market runs April to October on Saturdays from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.

The Community Market, going further south on Main Street is also starting soon, debuting May 6. The Penticton Farmers’ Market is run by a non-profit society whose mandate is to provide an opportunity for local, small-scale agricultural producers and crafters to sell their produce and products directly to the public.

Fore more information visit www.pentictonfarmersmarket.org.

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