Terrace’s first-ever Winter Farmers Market made its debut at Sherwood Mountain Brewhouse’s warehouse on Nov. 9.
Crowds were eager to check out the market as soon as doors opened at 3 p.m. and continued to come through until the end.
“The energy was incredible, we opened up and it was already packed… we’ve been met with nothing but support and enthusiasm for making it happen,” says Margo Peill, Skeena Valley Farmers Market manager who helped initiate the winter market.
“I think this is really a good testament to how badly the community wanted a place where they could find local food throughout the winter.
With live music playing and 13 vendors gathered in the unique space, with a priority on farmers and food providers, Peill says lots of people are thrilled to have a place to buy fresh produce during the colder months.
And it’s not just for the consumers, Peill adds the winter market provides vendors a space to continue and grow their business. Many preserve or continue growing food but don’t always have a large platform to sell their items.
“The sole goal is to really improve that access to local service so I think if people can support their local farmers even just a little bit further into the winter, or if they have the opportunity to come down and have another face to face encounter with a local producer, that’s definitely the name of the game,” Peill says.
“Hopefully from there, we can set a bit of a standard so that producers know that they can produce a little bit more and there’s a market for it so it just has that snowball effect.”
Young farmer and vendor Vicky Serafini who is entering her second year of running Thimbleberry Farm, sold out all her produce by 5 p.m. She says the market was a great social event and people were excited to see everyone while having the opportunity to support local food vendors.
Springer says that it’s still growing season and she has been able to make the most out of her garden to have enough produce to sell, plus her farm has a greenhouse that she plans to make good use of through the winter.
“The winter market provides income beyond the main growing season, that’s a big thing for us to be able to grow if we’re able to,” she says.
“A lot of people buy produce regularly at the farmers market or grow a lot of their own stuff but people think that when September ends, there’s no more growing so they’re really excited to see fresh food here.”
As part of the bi-weekly winter market, Peill says they will also be offering workshops to encourage people to learn about local food and how to grow it. She says it’s a good way to keep that excitement going until spring and keep a lively discussion about supporting food in the region.
The next Winter Farmers Market will be on Nov. 23 from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. at the Sherwood Mountain Brewhouse Warehouse.