The 2017 Fort St. James Farmers’ Market season is coming to a close on Friday, September 15. Not only is it the final day for the Market this year, it is also a special day for one of the longtime vendors.
Jim Barnes turns 80 this Friday, and the Market is celebrating with a birthday cake and other special activities. Jim is celebrating with a birthday sale on his woodworking. So if you’ve been eyeing that special piece of furniture, woodcraft, or a toy, be sure to visit the Market in Spirit Square between 11:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m.
The Market is nearing its 20th year in downtown Fort St. James, and has become a community institution during the summer months. On Market days the Square becomes a beehive of activity, with lots of visiting and laughter. Vendors this year bring a wide array of local products, including baking, jams and jellies, wildcrafted syrups and spreads (including birch syrup), crafts, sewing, natural stone jewelry, paper crafts and cards, woodworking and the best lemonade this side of Prince George.
Food vendors offer tasty treats such as curries and butter chicken, and bannock is made right on-site. Despite it being a tough growing season this year and the challenging weather conditions, Market vendors offer lots of fresh, locally-grown produce, including lettuces, potatoes, peas, green and yellow beans, beets, chard, carrots and more. Right now the first of the season’s garlic is available at the Market.
A favourite for Market visitors is the trio of “farm animals” at the Market – the cow, pig and lamb are very popular and get a good workout from children (and the occasional adult) riding them.
New vendors are always welcome at the Market, and there will be workshops and training offered over the winter to support new vendors. At the last market there will be a survey for visitors to fill out, asking what type of products they would like to see at the Market. Opening day for the 2018 Farmers’ Market season will be May 11, the Friday before Mother’s Day.
While Sept. 15 is the “official” closing day, a few vendors will continue coming to Spirit Square with their products until the end of September.
– submitted by Kandace Kerr, Farmer’s Market Coordinator