Here’s a list of Kootenay farmers markets to help with local food security

The COVID-19 pandemic has shown us the need to support our local agricultural industry

by Virginia Rasch and Julie Matchett
The Happy Hills Farm booth at a market.

The demand for local food will increase as we embrace local food security. Here’s the Happy Hills Farm booth at the Rossland Mountain Market during the pre-pandemic time. — Jesse Winkiewicz photo

Someday, we’ll laugh about the flour, yeast and chicken missing from grocery store shelves. But the global pandemic has been a wake-up call to the vulnerability of our food supply chains. Local food security is now paramount.

The two top ways to increase our local food security are:

  • to grow your own food
  • to support local food producers

Hence, buying food from our Kootenay farmers markets is more important than ever. We want and need our local farmers, ranchers and vintners to thrive. And these local markets might be busier than ever as more people recognize the need for local food.

The B.C. Ministry of Health designated farmers markets as essential food providers. To keep vendors and shoppers safe, our now-famous provincial medical health officer, Dr. Bonnie Henry, has released an order for the safe operation of farmers markets this year during the COVID-19 pandemic. This includes hygienic practices and physical distancing. Handwashing stations and signs for new protocols will be evident.

Close-up of microgreens with handwritten sign.

Find fresh, healthy, locally grown microgreens at farmers markets. — Photo courtesy Miche Warwick

Before COVID-19, our farmers markets also featured vendors who sold items such as jewelry, personal care products or fibre arts … but not this year. Based on the current order, farmers markets can only sell food for human consumption. And there will be no sampling of products, such as breads, spirits or kombucha.

Farmers markets used to be a social event too, often with music and other forms of entertainment. Not this year. “Shop, don’t stop” is the new motto.

One more change is a new emphasis on buying online ahead of the farmers markets. Then you attend the actual market for a quick pickup of your order. Not all markets may have this option so check with their websites. Additionally, individual vendors may take online orders and may even deliver to your door.

Current orders and recommendations may change so check the most up-to-date information on the B.C. Centre for Disease Control website.

Below is a list of farmers markets that can be found around the Kootenay region, in alphabetical order.

Castlegar (Castlegar Craft and Farmers Market)

When: The Castlegar Craft and Farmers Market runs Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. No firm dates confirmed as of yet, but aiming for a market in early June. Please visit our Facebook page for updates.
Where: The market is located at the Castlegar Station Museum, 400 - 13th Ave. in downtown Castlegar.
Vendor information: To become a vendor, message the Castlegar Craft and Farmers Market team on their Facebook page.

Fresh beets on display at market.

Nothing beats freshness like the produce grown by our local farmers. — Photo courtesy Miche Warwick

Cranbrook (Cranbrook Farmers Market)

The Cranbrook Farmers Market has a new manager for the 2020 season—meet Jessica Kazemi. Read our Q&A article with Jessica and find out how she plans to lead the market into the future. 

When: Our outdoor spring markets will be held on Saturday, May 30 and June 13 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. The summer market season begins on June 27 and will run until September 5 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Fall markets are held from September 12 to October 10, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. We also have a new online Farmers Market store, with both pickup and delivery available.
Where: The markets are held on 10th Ave. South by Rotary Park.
Vendor information: A list of participating vendors can be found here.

Creston (Creston Valley Farmers Market)

When: The Creston Valley Farmers Market runs from May 2 to October 17. It's held on Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Where: The market is located next to the Chamber of Commerce (Visitors Centre) in downtown Creston.
Vendor information: A list of current participating vendors can be found here. It includes both farmers (on site) and local artists (online).

Elkford (River View Market)

When: The River View Market takes place on Wednesdays throughout July and August from 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.
Where: The market is held at the corner of Hwy. 43 and Camp Rd.
Vendor information: To become a vendor at River View Market, follow this link.

Fernie (Fernie Mountain Market)

When: The Fernie Mountain Market runs Sundays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. starting July 5 until September 6. Future market dates to be determined. We have also created an online shopping site for the convenience and safety of our customers; market items can be delivered directly to your doorstep.
Where: The Sunday Mountain Market is in Rotary Park, just off Highway 3.
Vendor information: To qualify to be a vendor at this market, follow this link.

Golden (Golden Farmers Market)

When: The Golden Farmers Market runs on Wednesdays from noon until 5 p.m. The market takes place mid-June through August. Online shopping now available for our customers with both pickup and delivery available.
Where: Wednesday markets are located at Spirit Square in downtown Golden.
Vendor information: Visit the Golden Farmers Market website to learn more about the market or to apply to be a vendor.

Grand Forks (Grand Forks Farmers Market)

When: The Grand Forks Farmers Market runs Tuesdays and Fridays from 8 a.m. until 1 p.m. The market runs from May 1 to October 30.
Where: The market is located at Gyro Park in downtown Grand Forks, 7370 - 5th St.
Vendor information: To apply to become a vendor, message the market co-ordinators via their Facebook page.

Close-up of cauliflower.

The produce that can be found at local farmers markets rivals that of any grocery store. — Photo courtesy Miche Warwick

Invermere (Invermere Farmers Market)

When: The Invermere Farmers Market runs Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. The first market of the season will be June 13.
Where: The market is behind the Blue Dog Café, at 7th Ave. and 12th St.
Vendor information: The market is a partnership between the Royal Canadian Legion Branch 71 and the District of Invermere. Their website features a list of current vendors and a place for future vendors to apply.

Jaffray (Jaffray-Baynes Lake Farmers Market)

When: Sadly, the Jaffray-Baynes Lake Farmers Market has been cancelled for the 2020 season. We look forward to seeing our vendors and devoted customers in 2021.
Vendor information: To become a vendor for the 2021 season, contact the organizers at 250-429-3519.

Kaslo (Kaslo Saturday Market)

When: Kalso Saturday Market takes place on Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The market runs from June 13 until September 26.
Where: The market takes place at 450 Front St. in downtown Kaslo.
Vendor information: To become a vendor at the Kaslo Saturday Market, contact the market co-ordinators at [email protected].

Kimberley (Kimberley Farmers Market)

When: The Kimberley Farmers Market runs Thursdays from 5 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. The market starts on June 18 and runs until September 17.
Where: The market is located on Howard Street in downtown Kimberley, between Deer Park and Boundary.
Vendor information: If you want to become a vendor, guidelines and application forms can be found on the market's website.

Nakusp (Nakusp Farmers Market)

When: The Nakusp Farmers Market runs on Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. The market begins on May 16 and runs until October 31.
Where: The market is located next to Save-on-Foods at Broadway St. and 5th Ave.
Vendor information: Please visit our website and fill out an application.

Nelson (Nelson Farmers Market)

When: The Nelson Farmers Market operates Wednesdays, June 10 to October 28, from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. and Saturdays, June 6 to October 31, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Where: The market is located on Baker Street in downtown Nelson.
Vendor information: To apply to become a vendor, the forms are located here.

New Denver (New Denver Friday Market)

When: New Denver Friday Market runs Fridays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The market begins June 5 and runs until September 25.
Where: The market is located on the corner of 6th Ave. and Kildare St. in downtown New Denver.
Vendor information: To become a vendor, email [email protected].

Radium (Market on Main)

When: The Market will continue for the 2020 season on Fridays evenings from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. from mid-June to September.
Where: The market takes place on Main St. East in front of the Radium Hot Springs Visitor Centre.
Vendor information: To become a vendor at Market on Main, apply via email to [email protected].

Revelstoke (Revelstoke Farm and Craft Market)

When: Revelstoke Farm and Craft Market takes place on Saturdays from 8:30 a.m. to noon and runs from May through mid-October.
Where: For the 2020 season, the market is located at our temporary location to allow for social distancing—the parking lot at the Community/Aquatic Centre.
Vendor information: For more information about the market or to apply to become a vendor, email the market manager at [email protected].

Revelstoke (Local Food Initiative Market)

When: The 2020 season starts on May 2 and runs from 8 a.m. until 1 p.m. We also have an online market store
Where: In order to allow room for social distancing, our temporary location will be at the Centennial Park parking lot.  
Vendor information: Interested farmers and food producers are welcome to fill out a vendor application online

View of cucumber house.

The cucumber house at Happy Hills Farm is brimming with healthy and abundant plants which will soon be available in local markets. — Photo courtesy Miche Warwick

Rock Creek (Rock Creek Farmers Market)

When: The Rock Creek Farmers Market will not be opening this season in town due to COVID-19. However, we are pleased to announce an online market website, with pickup and delivery available.
Where: The market is located on Highway 3 in Rock Creek.
Vendor information: To become a vendor, apply online. There are usually around 20 vendors per week. The list of regulars is posted on their website.

Rossland (Rossland Mountain Market)

When: Rossland Mountain Market runs Thursdays from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. The market starts on May 7 and runs until October 22.
Where: The market is located downtown at the corner of Columbia Ave. and Queen St.
Vendor information: Applications for vendors are found on the market's website. The applications are the same if you want to be a regular or part-time vendor.

Salmo (Salmo Valley Farmers Market)

When: The Salmo Valley Farmers Market is currently accepting applications for the 2020 Market. Dates of market yet to be determined. 
Where: The market is located at KP Park beside the Royal Canadian Legion branch.
Vendor information: Market managers can be contacted via email with questions regarding vendors. See their Facebook page for vendors.

Sparwood (Sparwood Farmers Market)

When: The Sparwood Farmers Market takes place Friday evenings from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. and runs from June 26 to September 4.
Where: The market is held at Titan Park, next to the Sparwood Chamber of Commerce. It’s usually right beside the iconic green mining truck.
Vendor information: Here is a list of regular vendors that attend the Sparwood Farmers Market. To become a vendor, apply on the market’s website.

Trail (Trail IncEDIBLE Farmers Market)

When: The Trail IncrEDIBLE Farmers Market runs Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., starting May 2 until October 31. We also feature an online shopping website for the convenience of our customers.
Where: The market is located in the 1300 block of Cedar Ave.
Vendor information: Potential vendors are welcome to fill out an application form via our website. Find a list of our current vendors here.

Valemount (Valemount Farmers Market)

When: The Valemount Farmers Market runs Thursdays from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m., starting June 18, 2020 and running to September 24, 2020.
Where: The market is located next to the Information Centre at 735 Cranberry Lake Rd.
Vendor information: Contact Christine at [email protected] or by phone at 250-566-3766.

Windermere (Agri Park Market)

When: Agri Park Market takes place on Wednesday evenings from 5 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. The market season starts on May 20.
Where: The park can be found between Town and Country Feeds and the Columbia Valley Chamber or Commerce.
Vendor information: For more information about the market or how to become a vendor, visit the market's Facebook page.

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