Setting up an incrEDIBLE Farmers Market on the main block of downtown Trail every other Saturday throughout the summer and early fall is back-breaking work.
Especially when all the planning and much of the labour is done by a handful of volunteers.
So being named Farmers’ Market of the Year (small category) by farmer market peers, has put even more spring in their step as the incrEDIBLE group readies to launch a fourth season next month.
“We love that Trail’s IncrEDIBLE Farmers Market is managed by volunteers who are passionate about their communities, local food and food systems, and the importance of farmers and small business to the local economy,” market co-manager Gina Ironmonger told the Trail Times.
“We have so many to thank; from shoppers, volunteers, vendors, our partnerships with other organizations, the City of Trail and the business community.”
The top honour was given to Trail’s incrEDIBLE Farmers Market, or TIFM for short, last weekend during the BC Farmers Market Association conference and award ceremony in Kimberley.
“One of the staff said it was because of our success with the farmers market nutrition coupon program, collaboration, and what we give back to community,” Ironmonger shared. “This family-friendly market has also partnered with the Trail United Church Food Bank on a Nutrition Coupon Program for lower-income seniors, expectant moms, and families,” she explained.
“Those facing economic barriers can shop for fresh, local and nutritious food while supporting farmers and markets that strengthen food security. “
Since 2016, and with a thumbs-up from the city, the 1300 block of Cedar Avenue has been barricaded to vehicles every other Saturday. The first market had 10 or-so booths set up by locals who “make it, bake it, grow it or raise it.”
Over the past three seasons, in addition to being an outlet for Kootenay producers to sell farm fresh goods, starter plants and more, TIFM has grown to include live entertainment, and vendors have raised a considerable amount of money for charitable causes like wildfire and flood relief.
“The business community has provided unbelievable support from providing water for our misting tent, electrical power for our vendors and helping with fundraising,” Ironmonger said. “On hot days, they have even sent out runners with cool drinking water for us. We are truly grateful to be living in such awesome communities.”
As the first market nears on April 27 from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m., the incrEDIBLE volunteers have also pencilled-in a number of special events for 2019 on top of the regular Saturday events.
For starters, they’ll be part of the Kootenay Healthy Lifestyles Expo on May 4.
“Besides the 70 exhibitors at the Trail Memorial Center, we will have food trucks and market vendors in the parking lot,” Ironmonger said. “Then on July 18 and August 8, we will join (the) arts council for the very special Music in the Park Night Market events where, in addition to incredible music, there will be food trucks, a market and an Adult-Only Beverage Garden.”
The group also plans to join a Beaver Valley age-friendly event on Sept. 14 in Haines Park.
Until then, however, the market will run every other Saturday in downtown Trail from April to mid-October.
“Stay tuned for special acts and family friendly activities,” she hinted.
The market is looking for volunteers to help with such things as greeting shoppers, putting up signage and working special events as well as setting-up and taking down the booths.
For more info, email firstname.lastname@example.org.