Guide to farmers' markets makes it easy to get fresh fruit, veggies

Whether you're travelling in B.C. or enjoying a staycation, this handy guide will help you find a new farmers' market to enjoy

Coquitlam and Port Coquitlam have two of the most popular farmers’ markets in the Lower Mainland.

On Thursday and Sunday each week, residents can get fresh fruits and vegetables and locally-prepared foods to add flavour to their meals.

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But what do you do if you’re travelling in other parts of B.C. this summer and want the same experience?

Thanks to a new BC Farmers’ Market Trail, an online guide to the province’s 145 farmers’ markets, visitors to other B.C. regions can find out when and where the local market is held and what’s on offer.

“It’s mobile-friendly for people to do some trip planning around dates they might want to visit a community, when they know the farmers’ market is on,” said Heather O’Hara, executive director of the BC Association of Farmers’ Markets.

The guide, available at bcfarmersmarkettrail.com provides links to all the farmers’ markets in B.C. as well as details about markets in specific regions such as the Cariboo Chilcotin Coast, northern B.C. and the Sunshine Coast.

“It’s about getting people shopping and supporting their local farmers and local vendors who are working very hard to make a living, and a local economy, and all of that matters to folks,” O’Hara said.

Exploring other markets will give consumers a peek at products they might not know about, such as Tree Island Yogurt, which launched at the Comox Valley farmers’ market.

Next year, if funding is available, the guide will probe more deeply into Metro Vancouver markets, such as the popular Coquitlam and PoCo markets, O’Hara said.

“We see this as a marketing aid to help promote farmers' markets,” she said.

Meanwhile, there are lots of food items and artisan goods at Tri-City farmers’ markets.

At the Coquitlam Farmers Market, which runs Sundays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the parking lot of Dogwood Pavilion, visitors can expect a wide variety of farm fresh fruits and vegetables, activities for children and entertainment.

The PoCo Farmers Market runs Thursdays from 3 to 7 p.m. and features an assortment of farm and local business vendors; it takes place at Leigh Square and runs until Oct. 10.

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