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Growing excited for Saturday

Quesnel Farmers’ Market opens this weekend
Elliott Morton adds more carrots to the beautiful display at the From Beds to Bowls booth at the Quesnel Farmers’ Market during a prior year. (file photo)

There’s no way to know when the first sprout will finally poke through the dirt into the spring sunshine, but we all know with certainty that the Quesnel Farmers’ Market opens its doors on Saturday.

This is the first year as market manager for Jane Bowser, but she has been a vendor with the QFM for years, so she knows the cycles and rhythms well. This past few weeks has been an exciting time of anticipation for a lot of vendors, who can’t wait for that first unveiling of the new season.

“A lot of our vendors sometimes don’t stop the things they do - all the making, baking, crafting, growing - but it starts around February, for the most part, and just ramps up and up and up and up, and you’re aiming at that day you can go out and see everyone you haven’t seen since fall, so yeah, it’s getting exciting, that’s for sure,” Bowser said.

The first mowing of most lawns hasn’t happened yet, but the first spring greens are already plucked for the salad bowl. When the 2023 kickoff happens, there will indeed be fresh produce, Bowser said, along with a lot of meats, canning, baking, artisan items (knitting, sewing, jewellery, pottery, etc.) to enjoy. There will be some hot food vendors and Moonshine Coffee all there as well.

“We have some core vendors who should be there every week, but we also have some who will come once a month, once every other week, maybe just once in that season, but they all bring such a variety of stuff that you’ll probably always find what you’re looking for but also find something new as well. That’s the fun part about it,” said Bowser.

Each week there are as many as 40 vendors at the QFM, and always at least 25. The local list has about 140 member vendors who will drop in at least once during the market’s run, which is every Saturday from May 6 to Oct. 14.

Since the restart of interactive life post-pandemic, and the pressures of the general economy, Bowser said the interest in being a new vendor is greater than ever, and as the spring yields to summer and fall, she is excited about what new food and artisanal creators will emerge. Plus there will be special events, workshops, entertainers and many other niche programming all throughout the open season.

Each Quesnel Farmers’ Market takes place at the Helen Dixon Centre downtown at Carson Avenue and Kinchant Street from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. every Saturday.

Farmers’ Markets of B.C.

Have you ever met a farmers’ market you didn’t like? No two are the same, but they are all part of the same family. The QFM is one of more than 150 province-wide, all members of the BC Farmers’ Market Association. No matter where you travel, this market season, if it’s just down the road or on a trip to another corner of the province, you can set up a visit. The BC Farmers’ Market Association has an “online trail” so you can plot your route to include a farm bazaar near or far, and even shop online. The member markets are clustered by region, and you can dig into the soft dirt of each one to find vendors, amenities, dates they’re open, and other features.

READ MORE: Giant pumpkins weighed at Quesnel Farmers’ Market