For food lovers and anyone interested in healthy eating, the dawn of spring means more than just the return of warm weather and spring blooms. Spring heralds the start of farmers’ market season in southern Vancouver Island. Here are a few of the popular markets favoured by the locals. Each is committed to supporting sustainable local agriculture, unprocessed food, artisan crafts and local entertainment.
Goldstream Farmers’ Market– Located in Veteran’s Memorial Park in the heart of downtown Langford, the Goldstream Farmer’s Market will be up and running from mid-May through mid-October every Saturday from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm. This perennial favourite market adheres to a strict “make, bake or grow it” rule. Only goods that are grown locally or made by hand can be sold at Goldstream. A visit to the market on a Saturday morning is a great way to meet neighbours and connect with old friends while stocking up on locally grown produce.
Sooke Country Market – In addition to hosting a variety of food and craft vendors, the Sooke Country Market provides community organizations with the opportunity to market their services to the public free of charge. Community groups and service providers share space with farmers and artisans on Otter Point Road in Sooke every Saturday from May through October from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm. A new program for 2016 will allocate one table per week for a local business to promote their goods or services.
Metchosin Farmers’ Market – Situated behind the fire hall on Happy Valley Road in Metchosin, the Metchosin Farmers’ Market welcomes vendors and visitors from 11:00 am to 2:00 pm on Sundays from Mother’s Day through the end of October. A ride through the rolling hills that surround Metchosin beckons visitors to stop and buy fresh vegetables, fruit, homemade salsa, jams, bread and baked goods while cattle and sheep nap and graze in a truly pastoral setting.
Fresh, scrumptious food combined with good music make the West Shore farmers’ markets great places to swap stories with friends, relax and hang out. Whether you just stop in to pick up a few items or meander through the countryside as part of a day trip, make it a point to frequent southern Vancouver Island’s farmers’ markets this year and support local growers and artisans.