Rossland’s après ski winter market series got off to a great start on Saturday, Dec. 13. The floors of the Miners’ Hall were packed with people demanding local seasonal fruit and vegetables plus hand-produced crafts. The additional draw for consumers was knowing that the money they spent would stay in the local economy. The market gave locals the opportunity to put their money where their heart is and buy local. It is all about local economics and food security for the consumers and market vendors.
“I have a serious amount of respect for these people who work so hard to provide things grown and made locally, which in the end contributes a great deal to our local economy and to the sustainability of our community. I personally am thankful that we have such an abundance of options for local shopping,” said Miche Warwick, the market’s organizer.
Warwick estimated that over six hundred people walked through the doors at the weekend market. An entry sign with a tally sheet had been placed on the front door in a bid to quantify how many people were enticed into town by the market.
When it came time for the doors to open, shoppers were chomping at the bit to fill their baskets while stallholders busily finished putting the trimmings on their stalls.
“People were here right on 2 p.m. to get their pick of the fresh produce. The market offered a lovely balance of meats, produce and crafts,” said Ann Damude, a market stallholder.
Organic products can be difficult to come by, especially in the winter months, but shoppers had their pick from the best of the bunch with apples, apple juice, garlic and dried fruits from certified organic Kootenay producer, Spring Hill Orchard and many other vendors. The five-litre bag in the box certified organic apple juice on sale at the market costs less per litre than buying a comparable product from a supermarket.
“It makes sense to buy from a farmers’ market; the box is bio-degradable, these growers have non genetically modified products and the food products do not have to travel as far, resulting in less fossil fuel consumption,” said Warwick. The market was a win-win for shoppers, market vendors and the community at large.