A Showcase of Food and Creativity

13 farmers’ markets supported to help respond to the demand for local food in 2022.

4 minute read

Slocan’s farmers’ market becomes even more of a draw

The Slocan Saturday Market is a hub that provides important social and economic connections for about 5,000 residents in and around the Village of Slocan. It offers excellent food, including fresh produce and baking, and locally made artwork, jewellery, candles and more.

“We can come together as a community,” says Market Director Christina Knight. “We can share our talents. We can eat local farm food.” Additionally, “It’s a place where vendors can go and see a profit for their hard work.”

About 20 vendors attend the market that runs June through August at Slocan’s Expo Park, followed by an October harvest market and a Christmas market. Knight oversees the entire operation, working alone the past few years—and with no funding her first year in summer 2018.

“It was hand-painted signs and doing all that I could— booking the musicians and running it however I could,” she says. “It was a crazy amount of work. But it’s something that’s needed in our community. We’re so far away from any other farmers’ markets. For anybody to go all the way to Nelson or Castlegar, it’s so far.”

The market in summer 2022 was noticeably improved. First, Knight was joined by Gail Morris, who was one of the market’s founders in 2016. Second, Trust funding to the Slocan Solutions Society enabled the market to expand in many ways, not least of which was enhancing the concession on the market grounds to have a fridge, a stove, a water heater and electrical upgrades.

“If somebody comes with local meat, they can put it in the fridge,” says Knight. “We can wash dishes because there’s a hot water tank. In years past, we had to put people with generators in the far corner, so they didn’t conflict with musicians.” Now they can simply plug in.

Tents and tables were also covered by the funding, allowing the market to lend them to newer vendors who may not yet have their own. In addition, sound equipment helps out musicians, and supplies for a kids’ zone keep children occupied with fun activities, including a puppet show, while their parents shop.

Such additions help the market address an issue that’s important to people in the Basin: being able to obtain local, fresh, healthy food. That’s why the Trust offered an extra boost to farmers’ markets around the region in 2022—so they could implement enhancements like these, affecting access to locally produced and processed foods and strengthening community well-being.

With these improvements to the market, Knight hopes to attract even more importers, artisans, bakers and farmers, providing them with the opportunity to be self-sufficient as they provide for others.

“It’s a lot of effort, but it’s paid for in happiness and a sense of community,” says Knight.

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