Skeena Valley Farmers Market manager, Margo Peill, left, is working to transition the farmers’ market online. She is seen here next to Luigi Maddalena in 2018. (File photo)

Skeena Valley Farmers Market goes online

Physical market postponed until COVID-19 threat passes

The Skeena Valley Farmers Market is switching to an online format this summer.

Farmers’ markets were recently declared an essential service by the BC Centre for Disease Control, so physical markets are still allowed, provided they follow social-distancing rules. But those social-distancing rules would be tough to manage, said Margo Peill, manager of the Skeena Valley Farmers Market.

“It would be really complicated to get our market down … to under 50 people,” she said, adding that the market typically hosts “over 75 vendors, and hundreds of visitors and shoppers” each Saturday of the market season.

The essential service designation only applies to food vendors, so a physical market this year would have to exclude other vendors such as craft makers. Switching to an online market allows all vendors to participate, said Peill.

“That is just really all part of the appeal of the farmers’ market, is how many vendors there are and the variety of different products that are available,” she said.

The online market will launch in early May. It will be hosted on a site called Local Line, which is a pre-existing web software platform designed specifically for food producers trying to reach local markets.

There will be a unified web page where customers can browse all products available from the Skeena Valley Farmers Market, Peill said, as well as individual pages for specific vendors. Pick-up or delivery arrangements will be arranged by individual vendors.

The BC Association of Farmers’ Markets is helping farmers’ markets throughout B.C. as they transition to Local Line, aided by a $55,000 grant from the provincial government intended to cover Local Line fees.

Peill said the online market will run for at least one month, but it can be available for the entire summer season if necessary.

Vicky Serafini, owner of Thimbleberry Farm in Terrace, said as soon as the COVID-19 situation became serious, she received messages from community members who expressed interest in buying locally-produced food.

She initially made preparations to conduct business through her independent website, but she was glad when the opportunity arose to continue participating in the farmers’ market.

“The Skeena Valley Farmers Market is really important to us, not only as a local food hub but also just as a great community space,” she said. “We’re pretty determined to participate in any way we can.”



jake.wray@terracestandard.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Salmon closures announced for Skeena and Nass watersheds

DFO notice expands on May 21 chinook ban throughout Skeena watershed

Small fire extinguished at Thornhill community grounds

Camper destroyed and some trees burned

Tradition and technology: Nisga’a Elementary Secondary’s plan for grad

NESS joins other schools in northwest B.C. using video and streaming

What happens to a community garden during a pandemic?

Green Thumb Garden Society has made some changes, hopes for more volunteers and members

Firefighter drops eggs 65 ft. for kids’ science project

Elementary students attempt to determine ideal packaging to cushion eggs

B.C. legislature coming back June 22 as COVID-19 emergency hits record

Pandemic restrictions now longer than 2017 wildfire emergency

Facing changes together: your community, your journalists

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the world in ways that would have… Continue reading

DFO allowing at-sea observers again if safe work procedures in place

May 15 fishery notice lays out conditions for allowing at-sea observers onboard amid COVID-19

B.C.’s essential grocery, hardware store employees should get pandemic pay: retail group

Only B.C.’s social, health and corrections workers are eligible for top-ups

Introducing the West Coast Traveller: A voyage of the mind

Top armchair travel content for Alaska, Yukon, BC, Alberta, Washington, Oregon and California!

Edmonton, Vancouver and Toronto vying to be NHL hubs, but there’s a catch

The NHL unveiled a return-to-play plan that would feature 24 teams

B.C. sees 9 new COVID-19 cases, one death as officials watch for new cases amid Phase Two

Number of confirmed active cases is at 244, with 37 people in hospital

Nanaimo senior clocked going 50 km/hr over limit says her SUV shouldn’t be impounded

RCMP say they can’t exercise discretion when it comes to excessive speeding tickets

Illicit-drug deaths up in B.C. and remain highest in Canada: chief coroner

More than 4,700 people have died of overdoses since B.C. declared a public health emergency in early 2016

Most Read