Farmers’ market season in Rossland kicked off with the first market of the summer on Thursday.
While the Rossland Mountain Market Society (RMMS) hosted special market days in April and May this year, the June 2 market opened the official summer season. Though the weather was less than cooperative — with the wind threatening to blow over every tent and a bunch of the merchandise — there was a great turnout and a strong selection of vendors. There are also a couple of changes this season.
Jeremy Nish has taken over as market manager and will be overseeing operations on the day of the market.
Asked how things are going so far, Nish said, “It’s been absolutely fantastic.”
The RMMS is also introducing memberships this season. A lifetime membership costs $10 with annual dues of $10 payable in June. Those who choose to become members receive a number of benefits:
- two free raffle tickets for the annual July Shop Local promotion
- one free entry into the annual December members only draw
- five per cent off any purchase of RMMS swag
- five per cent off two tickets to any RMMS special event
- a vote at the RMMS AGM
Membership is open to everyone in the community and surrounding area. Vendors are also encouraged to become members and non-member vendors have $5 per week added to their vendor fees. Membership fees will help finance the market and help it grow.
“The membership has kind of been put in place to help finance the market on the front end and basically make a bigger, stronger, better market for the community,” said Nish. “By financing the market this way we can keep our vendors at what they were in the past.”
“The membership has been created as a way for our vendors and community both to invest in our farmers’ market, in an affordable yet very helpful way. Our new membership will boost our capacity to strengthen our market year after year, which in turn is creating greater food security for our community. Our market is stronger this year already, and will only continue to grow. The community is encouraged to show their support and join our society as a new member,” added Miche Warwick, RMMS chair.
Keeping vendors fees low means more vendors and a greater variety of goods; there were 20 vendors at the June 2 market.
The society has also decided to discontinue the various festivals that it used to run throughout the season, like the Corn Festival and Berry Festival. But it will be presenting a new Shop Local campaign this July, which will include a Kids’ Fun Day on July 28.
The market is held every Thursday, 3-6 p.m. until Oct. 6 at Queen St. and Columbia Ave. For more information visit rosslandmountainmarket.com.