To celebrate Farmers Appreciation Week the BC Association of Farmers’ Markets (BCAFM) is holding a poetry contest.
BC residents are invited to submit their original poems honouring BC’s farmers to the third annual Ode to a Farmer Poetry Contest by Sunday, September 13.
“We started it because we wanted to encourage people throughout BC to really take a few minutes to think about why they value BC farmers and agriculture,” said Georgia Stanley, membership and communications manager for the BCAFM. “We thought that the medium of poetry would be a good way to look at that and explore how farmers contribute to communities in terms of our health and preserving farmland and green space.”
The grand prize will be a $150 gift certificate to spend at a farmers’ market of the winner’s choosing, and there will also be six regional winners who will each receive a $50 gift certificate.
Despite the name of the contest, the poem doesn’t need to an ode.
“It can be any form of poem,” said Stanley.
The contest is open to poets of all ages and levels.
Last year’s grand prize and norther region winner was Ruth Lloyd, who wrote a free-form poem called “Where Food Comes From.”
“It’s really trying to get people to think about sort of the labour and the resources, and the love that goes into producing food versus just going to the supermarket and picking up a pack of tomatoes from California in a Styrofoam package,” Stanley said of the poem.
The Kootenay Rockies region winner was Gwendolen Graovac, who wrote a ballad called “To Be A Farmer” about having left the farming life behind and appreciating those who still toil to produce fresh fruits and veggies.
Farmers Appreciation Week runs from September 12-19.