Farmers' market highlights the importance of buying local

From salad greens to baked goods, local jewelry to jam, fresh flower arrangements, salt, artwork, juggling sticks and baked goods, the markets feature an array of items baked, made and grown by locals. Every weekend is a little bit different depending on who can come sell at the market and what is being harvested.

Why buy local? It builds community and supports the local economy. Supporting local businesses from grassroots start-up entrepreneurs as well as local commercial businesses not only gives you the opportunity to buy items made on Bowen, but it also reinvests in the community. 

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And you can get some great deals by buying from the growers. Locally grown, freshly harvested food has a smaller carbon footprint and potentially more nutrients. 

It’s not like we can grow much here on Bowen, so what do you have at the market? Actually, we can grow many different things on Bowen Island. Thanks to creativity, greenhouses and a variety of microclimates, the farmers’ market vendors sell a wide array of items such as purslane, kale, zucchini, tomatoes, greens, peaches, apples, figs, raspberries, mixed berries, herbs, lettuces, garlic, rhubarb, swiss chard cucumbers, radishes, beets, beans, peas, plums, cherries, potatoes and more! It’s all seasonal, so come shop early and regularly.

Why is there sometimes a truck at the market selling organic produce not from Bowen? Anna’s Organics is part of a pilot project to expand what we define as local and to address an important food sustainability movement. Anna’s Organics is a youth entrepreneur opportunity that is also bringing items to Bowen that can’t be grown on Bowen or that currently aren’t in season on Bowen in order to diversify what we can have at the market. 

Why is the market only two and a half hours? Leafy greens and most produce might start to wilt in the heat of the afternoon. Also, most marketeers are up at five in the morning harvesting and preparing for the market. Although it’s only two and a half hours of selling time to the public, market days are much longer for the vendors and the volunteers who help to keep the market running. Most people at the market put around five hours of prep time into each market, at least. The farmers and gardeners want to sell their wares quickly…and then get home to unpack and get back to their gardens! We try to balance out the needs of the vendors and the buyers.

Who runs the farmers’ markets? 

The markets are made possible thanks to volunteers: Bowen Agriculture members and the market participants. The market leads help to make sure Vancouver Coastal Health rules are adhered to. BAA pays for marketing, market insurance, etc. The expansion of the market to running every Saturday has been helped out by grants from the Knick Knack Nook.

The farmers’ markets run at BICS 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. every Saturday through to Oct.  12. (Except: no market Aug. 24, or  Oct. 5). We welcome all guests and visitors as well as locals, so we look forward to seeing you there to shop local, be social and say hi. We especially invite parents and grandparents to bring the kids  to play on the playground or get their faces painted.

How do I get involved? Email for information about volunteering, busking, or vending. The market is created by community effort and enthusiasm.

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