Annual bursary for new farmers

The Comox Valley Farmers Market is again giving away $500 to a new farmer to assist with next year's season.

Jay Baker-French from Birds and the Beans

For the second year running the Comox Valley Farmers Market will be giving away $500 to a new farmer to assist with next year’s season.

The idea for the bursary came from two young farmers who have been selling strawberries, garlic and seeds — all grown at Good Earth Farms — for 11 years at the market. Simon Tools and Heather Mills know how hard it can be in those first years and wanted to help new farmers.

This year, customers and vendors have donated weekly to the fund via the donation jar.

To top off the bursary, the market will be accepting cash donations while taking names to draw for a basket of products at the Dec. 20 market — the last one before the Christmas break.

Normally each week vendors donate an item from their table to the musician playing that week. This fall, the music was cancelled to allow for more room for vendors and shoppers.

“In lieu of those donations, our vendors have been donating to silent auctions, and other fund-raisers for non-profits in the Valley. Now we’ll ask them to contribute to one of our own,” executive director Vickey Brown said. “It’s another way for us to give back to the farming community.”

The bursary includes a $100, one-year membership to the market, with the remainder for farm-related expenses. It will be awarded early in the New Year.

More information about how to apply for the bursary is available at info@cvfm.ca.

The draw will be made at the Dec. 20 market.

The market will be closed Dec. 27 and Jan. 3. It will re-open Jan. 10.