Business

Farmers markets resume this weekend in Qualicum Beach

Ron Campbell checks out the peppers grown by Kathy Zipp, of Zipp’s Farm. - Neil Horner photo
Ron Campbell checks out the peppers grown by Kathy Zipp, of Zipp’s Farm.
— image credit: Neil Horner photo

The fresh produce, unique crafts and delicious baked goods at the Qualicum Beach Farmer’s Market will once again be front and centre Saturday mornings, starting this weekend.

“The market opens on Saturday and we probably have a full contingent of about 30 to 35 vendors,” said Farmer’s Market vice-president Ron Campbell. 

“That’s slightly up from last year, with some new vendors coming in. We will feature some new food products, including some hot foods so people can get some products to go.” 

This year though, Campbell said, the veggies and crafts will come with a message.

“This is the year we are going to introduce people to the idea of growing  their own food,” he said. 

“What we want to do is advocate to people is that if you have a couple of square metres in your yard or a couple of square kilometres, grow some food. Bring it down. We will put you in the community table. You don’t have to have a full booth.”

The initiative is important, he said, in light of the rising cost of imported food and the lack of food security on Vancouver Island.

 “Back in the 1960s we used to grow 85 per cent of the food used on Vancouver Island, but now we grow less than five per cent. 

“We are at the whim of the people in California and we want to bring that back and grow the food locally and control our food source.”

He noted as well that the market will also feature a booth promoting the issue of keeping Kwalikum Secondary School open.

“We want to keep it in front of people and make sure they know it’s an ongoing concern,” he said. 

“They put off closing it for a year, but it’s still a very important issue.”

The Qualicum Beach Farmers’ Market runs every Saturday over the course of the summer at its usual location on Veterans’ Way, by the Community Hall.

 

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