Buy local at Coquitlam Farmer's Market Sunday
You can walk, run, board or cycle to the Coquitlam Farmer Market on Sunday and help save the planet by reducing greenhouse gasses and eating local.
That's what market organizers are promoting for the annual Bike to Market event this weekend.
"It's kind of alternative wheels," explained market executive director Tabitha McLoughlin. "If you've got a bike, a board or take a bus, it's getting [people] out of their car
Further greening of the long-established market is part of a long-standing effort to promote local growers and start-up food businesses.
In recent years, the Coquitlam market has expanded east to Spirit Square in Town Centre, and this year's market there will open June 15 and run Fridays from 3 to 7 p.m. until Sept. 14. A pocket market at SFU, running Wednesdays from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., has also been established and new vendors are being added.
McLoughlin said the farmer's market concept has been exploding in Metro Vancouver in recent years, thanks in part to the media and greater awareness of the importance of sourcing food locally. And the Tri-Cities is no exception, with an increase in the number of vendors this year over last, and a steady stream of new and established clientele .
New vendors are setting up shop in Coquitlam Farmers Market venues to get close to customers and market their product before jumping into the commercial fray.
Among the new ventures incubated locally is India Base, a starter for cooking Indian food, and a new ancient grain cereal called Tsampa.
"There's some great stories of vendors who started selling at the market, have incredible online business and expanded to grocery stores," McLoughlin said. "When you talk to them, they say, 'This is the best place to market. You can truly talk to someone who is eating your product.'"
• The Coquitlam Farmer's Market runs Sundays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the parking lot next to Dogwood Pavilion off Poirier Street.
Coquitlam Farmers Market's latest venture is a community garden at the corner of Barnet Highway and St. Johns Street in Port Moody. If the society gets city approval, winter crops could still be sown but the process is taking longer than expected and there are still many issues, such as parking, to be worked out.
All the effort is worth it, however, because more people could get a chance to grow their own food if cities make it easier to use undeveloped for community gardens, she said.
"That's what we're here for is to help advocate for the local food system and that is one of the avenues."