A fresh way to spend Saturday mornings

Farmers' market brings the bounty of the Okanagan to Penticton's downtown as it return for a new season on Saturday

One of the joys of spending summer in the South Okanagan returns this weekend. Penticton’s Main Street will again be filled with the bounty of the Okanagan as the Penticton Farmers’ Market opens for its 23rd season on Saturday.

A growing importance is being placed on the benefits of supporting the local community, and it’s hard to get much more local than the farmers and vendors selling their wares on Saturday mornings. And the popularity of books like the 100 Mile Diet has led to more and more Canadians looking to find their food supply closer to home.

Market goers can expect to find a variety of farm-fresh vegetables and fruits, along with eggs, baking, honey, preserves, flowers and crafts — all produced in the South Okanagan Similkameen.

“Every year the market attracts more and more people — not only because they want to support local producers, but because fresh food just tastes better,” said market manager Stephanie Sundquist.

And not only do market shoppers know they are getting a fresh quality product, the Saturday market has become a popular spot for Pentictonites to catch up with friends and neighbours. It also gives them a chance to speak with those who produce they items they’re buying.

“That connection is so important for promoting and protecting our local food system,” said Erin Trainer, who will be taking over as market manager in the next couple of weeks.

While the Penticton Farmers’ Market has become a tradition for so many South Okanagan families, this year’s markets are promising even more. The market’s hours are being extended to allow for an hour of extra shopping. The markets will now run from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. every Saturday until Oct. 26. It’s just another reason to love summers in the Okanagan.