The Bowen Agriculture Alliance (BAA) has found a way to expand its increasingly-popular annual August celebration of locally grown food, BowFEAST, and it involves Island children. With the help of young gardeners at BICS, there will be a monthly farmers' market six months out of the year.
The market is the first Sunday of each month. The first one is in May and the last one will be in October. While some of the produce and seedlings you'll be able to buy at the markets will be brought to you by local farmers, some will also be courtesy of BICS students.
BAA and BICs are cosponsoring a program called 'Grow to the Market'. Students plant seedlings and start the growing process for a variety of food items. Working with the fledgling BICS gardeners - the students volunteered for the program - to get their seeds and produce grown, packaged, labelled and ready for market is Daphne Fargher of Foxglove Ranch.
Bowen kids taking part will be also be selling foods such as chives, alpine strawberries and ripe-red raspberries. The program was made possible by a grant from the Vancouver Coastal Health Urban Agricultural Initiatives.
Five of the six monthly markets are from 10 a.m. to noon at the blacktop undercover area near the BICS playground. There will be no market on the first Saturday of August; instead there will be the 5th Annual Bowfeast on August 20 on the front lawn of the library.
Michelle Pentz Glave of the BAA says that the markets are open to farmers and to any growers who care to come along and set up a table and sell their locally produced food items and/or seeds. The cost is a mere five bucks per table and the profit goes to the sellers. Children get to sell their produce for free.
The next farmers' market is Saturday, June 4 at BICS. There'll be rhubarb, basil, bok choy, spring greens, honey, jam, dahlia tubers, plus a local medicinal herbs table.
Please call Glave if you plan to sell at 604-833-4638.
For details go to www.bowenagalliance.ca.