The Comox Valley Farmers’ Market is among the best in B.C., according to the provincial body that supports local food producers and markets.
It was named Best Large Market of the Year (61-plus vendors per week) at the BC Association of Farmers’ Markets AGM last month in Cowichan Bay. Rossland Mountain Market won the small category (six to 20 vendors) and Armstrong Farmers’ Market won for medium sizes (21 to 60 vendors).
This was the local market’s first win at the annual Farmers’ Market Awards. Last year, it was nominated for market, vendor and manager of the year.
“It’s really the diversity and innovation of our vendors that makes us unique in the province – that we are farm and food only and yet offer so much variety year-round,” CVFMA’s executive director Vickey Brown said. “From veggies, beans and grains to yogurt, meat and poultry of all kinds – including water buffalo. And locally harvested sea salt to hempscream (hemp based frozen dessert). There is always something unique and special to the Valley.”
Liquor vendors have added a fun new element to the market. Most are also farmers “growing their own inputs which works well with our mandate to support farms,” regardless of product type, Brown added.
The Comox Valley Farmers’ Market has been in operation since 1992. It moves outside April 11, switching from the Native Son Hall to the Exhibition Grounds.
A mid-week summer market runs in downtown Courtenay.
“Having it downtown has worked well for the vendors,” Brown said. “It is much easier to get downtown than it is to get out to Headquarters, especially if you don’t drive.”