Community

Appreciating our farmers

HEATHER MILLS of Good Earth Farms donated the first $250 toward the Comox Valley Farmers’ Market’s new farm bursary for the 2014 season. - PHOTO SUBMITTED
HEATHER MILLS of Good Earth Farms donated the first $250 toward the Comox Valley Farmers’ Market’s new farm bursary for the 2014 season.
— image credit: PHOTO SUBMITTED

The Comox Valley Farmers' Market will host Farmer Appreciation events this weekend (Sept. 14) in celebration of Farmers Appreciation Week, this September 8-15, 2013.

"It's perfect timing for us, because last week was customer appreciation day, so it follows that next week the appreciation will flow in the other direction," says manager Vickey Brown. "We'll have cards on site for folks to fill out for their favourite – or all of the market farmers, and we're hoping to get kids involved by asking them to draw their favourite farmer or farm product — and we'll enter them into a draw for a special farmers market prize."

Comox Valley Farmers' Market board member Moss Dance is excited to announce another initiative in support of local growers.

"In an effort to support new farmers in the area, the Comox Valley Farmers' Market is offering a bursary to a new farm for the 2014 farming season. New farmers in the Comox Valley are invited to apply for the bursary this fall," says Dance.

"Access to farm land is a challenge for young and new farmers," continues Dance, who is also a local farmer. "But start-up costs in the spring can also be a barrier to new farmers. In the late winter and early spring, seeds, inputs, tools, repairs and supplies need to be purchased. We hope the timing of this bursary will help a new farmer in the Comox Valley get started for the 2014 season."

The idea for the bursary came from two young farmers who've been at the market for 10 years now, selling their fabulous strawberries, garlic and seeds grown at Good Earth Farms. Simon and Heather know how hard it can be when you're just getting started and wanted to help new farmers so they donated the first $250.

The current board hopes to bring the fund up to $500 for the bursary including a $100 one-year membership to the Comox Valley Farmers' Market as well as $400 for farm-related expenses. Donations to the bursary fund can be made at the market tent beside the stage.

Young farmers will be invited to submit a written, audio or video application to the CVFM. The application form will be available on Comox Valley Farmers' Market website and through their Facebook page.

Farmers Appreciation Week will be celebrated at farmers' markets across BC from September 8 – 15, 2013. For more information on how to participate, see the Farmers Appreciation Week website at www.bcfarmersmarket.org.

— Comox Valley Farmers' Market

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