The Estevan Farmers’ Market is back with all the goods, fresh foods and amenities locals have come to expect.
During the market’s spring season, there is a lot of demand for gardening goods, so Linda Jones, organizer of the local farmers’ market, said that will likely be reflective of the kinds of vendors at the first couple of weeks of the market.
“It’s mostly bedding plants,” she said. “That’s what people are looking for right now.”
Jones added that the local slogan continues to be Buy Local, Eat Local, Live Green.
She said famers’ markets maintain their popularity, in large part, because consumers want to know where the food they are buying comes from.
“Lots of people come to buy fresh stuff. They know where it comes from (at the market).”
It’s also a good place to buy safe food, Jones said. Part of her job is to make sure that all of the vendors have their food safety training and facilitate inspections by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency.
Another big draw for the market is that it’s a social place, where consumers and sellers can talk about exactly what is going to be put on their table. Being able to ask exactly how something is grown, whether it’s in a greenhouse or the field, is important to a lot of people.
“You get to meet the vendors, talk to the vendors. You can ask whether they use pesticides or not.”
That gives consumers a lot of choice about how the food they eat is made or processed.
While the vendor numbers are low compared to where they finished last year, Jones said that is to be expected. It’s just part of switching the winter coat for the spring jacket.
“Once we get going (the vendors) start to come in,” she said, noting that they had 10 registered vendors earlier this week.
Jones does a lot of baking and also makes jams and jellies. Preparation for the farmers’ market usually begins in March and she starts getting jars of the colourful spreads together. The baked goods are made much closer to the market date.
Last year’s weather did affect the market, said Jones, but added that this is a whole new year.
“It slowed us down (last year). It took until the fall to pick up.”
Those looking to register as a vendor at the farmers’ market may call Jones at 306-483-2971. She said they always looking for new vendors.
She said those who wish to sell baking or vegetables, or anything that consumers will eat, have to be certified through the Health Ministry’s food safety course.
The market will once again be held at the Estevan Shoppers Mall parking lot.