October 2 marked the last farmer’s market of a very successful 2014 season. With more farmers attending consistently, the array of available fresh produce increased from last year, which was one of the market’s goals for 2014.
“We are working to build relationships between our local farmers and our community. An objective of the market is to not only be the source for local food, but to facilitate friendships between community members and the people growing the food,” says market manager Miche Warwick. “With the amount of chemicals and GMO’s being used in today’s agricultural scene, its becoming more and more important to understand where our food comes from. The market is our connection to our local farmers and their food.”
This year the Rossland Mountain Market extended its season to 18 weeks and included a new Summer Festival Series featuring locally grown food. Warwick says, “ The idea behind the Festival Series was to get people excited about food, provide knowledge about food we grow locally and to raise community participation and interest in the market.” Each event held special activities and contests, and were well received by the community, even in the rain. “I was caught by surprise when I threw out a juggling-tomatoes-in-the-rain challenge! About eight people stepped forward to demonstrate their tomato juggling talent,” Warwick reports. These special events will be back again next summer.
The market also had an aim to present live, local music every week, which was successful in creating a nice ambience and encouraged the community to stay and hang out awhile.
On the market season as a whole, Miche Warwick says, “The year was great. We had more farmers, more artists, more musicians and we consistently saw more of the community. It is exciting to participate in an event that connects us with our local surroundings, and we foresee this connection growing stronger as our market continues to improve.”
Before the start of next year’s market season, the Rossland Mountain Market aims to become a registered non-profit organization, which will open up new and exciting opportunities for the future. “Becoming a registered non-profit will allow us to invite our local breweries and wineries to join us as market vendors. We hope to increase the variety of vendors we have weekly, which will include reaching farther and deeper into the Kootenays,” says Warwick.
The Rossland Mountain Market will return with the Garden Festival in May, and until then, wishes the wonderful community of Rossland a very safe and snowy winter.