Given there’s still snow in the hills and frost in the valley, it’s not too late to start planting a garden - especially tomatoes, peppers and gourds for the fall.
Fortunately for late bloomers, Trail’s incrEDIBLE Farmers’ Market returns to downtown on Saturday - the first gathering will be offering plants, plants and more plants.
“We are going to have a ton of plants available for sell,” says volunteer organizer Gina Ironmonger. “There will be over 70 varieties of heirloom tomatoes, over 30 varieties of peppers, as well as herbs, cucumbers, squash, and of course, early greens to buy.”
This is the second year the market will be held on the 1300 block of Cedar Avenue every other Saturday until late fall, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. This season, volunteers are planning on growing the event with even more local offerings , which can be anything as long as it is locally made or grown, including local talent like singer Jason Thomas. The country artist who hails from Trail will be performing from 11 a.m. until 1 p.m. that day.
“We’ve really started working with the business community because the market is in downtown Trail,” Ironmonger said. “This year we are going to add more fun, musicians, dancing, and all sorts of little events and contests to make it community oriented and just a fun place to meet friends, neighbours and family.”
The incrEDIBLE team’s vendor booth is another new feature in the works. Until now, volunteers have been on hand at the market to oversee the event and provide insight about their various greening initiatives. For the first time, the group has added the element of fundraising to each market by selling local and seasonal products.
“We hope to have a little store, with all proceeds going back into the community,” Ironmonger said. “I think it’s important for people to know that we are all volunteers promoting food security and sustainability while supporting local business and agriculture,” she shared. “Everything that we make then goes back into our community one way or another, whether it’s buying plants for the food bank garden and green route, or for all the other things we do.”
Besides the market, incrEDIBLE trail (a subcommittee of Trail Community in Bloom) spearheaded the Gulch Community Food Bank Garden two years ago, and in 2014, the edible landscape initiative, or “Green Route,” which supports growing vegetables and herbs in storefront planters throughout Trail.
The route has been a hit locally and beyond - Trail’s edible landscaping was well received on an international scale during the 2015 Communities in Bloom awards when the city beat Ahoghill, Northern Ireland, Estes Park, Colorado and Jasper and Stettler, Alta for the top international award in its category.
As each project continues to gain popularity, incrEDIBLE volunteers are always looking for more helping hands.
And that doesn’t mean just green thumbs.
“You’d be surprised how I can put people to work,” Ironmonger laughed. “Sometimes we just need a strong back to lift things or help set up the farmers market. But we need all sorts of other help, anything from delivering brochures to making and putting up signs, or watering the community garden. And, right now, I need a book keeper.”
Anyone interested in helping incrEDIBLE trail projects is encouraged to contact Ironmonger at 250.368.6855 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
“It’s a big job,” she said, referring to the farmers’ market. “I think it’s important to know that none of us are getting paid - everything we do, we do for our community.”