Thanksgiving produce shopping made easy thanks to South Vancouver farmers’ market

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River District farmers' market
The River District farmers’ market will be an on-going event until Oct. 27. Photo: Jules Knox

With Thanksgiving just around the corner, many shoppers are left with the problem of finding the freshest ingredients for a traditional turkey dinner.

Fortunately, the River District Farmers Market offers a solution. The Saturday market from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Kerr Street Plaza offers fruits and vegetables straight from the farm, and it’s building a community environment at the same time.

“It’s a different kind of farmers’ market,” said Kyra Lubell, the River District spokeswoman. “We’re in such a beautiful setting and we want to take advantage of that.”

Local farmers make up the majority of vendors

As the popularity of the market grows, vendors want to increase public awareness about the benefits of buying locally grown produce.

“Our food keeps a lot longer because it was harvested sometimes minutes before it shows up at the farmers’ market,” said local farmer Julia Smith. “And if we run out of something, one of us can run home and harvest some more.”

Smith explained that buying locally grown food supports the regional economy.

“Every dollar that goes into the till at the market gets spent in the local community,” said Smith.

Residents are making the most of the farmers’ market in their backyard

Gail Schmalz, a frequenter of the farmers’ market, likes how the market brings people together.

“People are worried about the high population density going in around here, but this feels like a community,” said Schmalz. “I’m surprised that Vancouver has taken so long to realize that it has a second waterfront in the heart of the city.”

Local resident Barbara Dawson admits prices at the market are a bit higher than she would normally pay.

“But the farmers work hard. They put their heart into it and they’re not making a lot of money,” she said. “It’s worth it because everything is a lot fresher.”

Jasbir Mandair, a farmer from Abbotsford, believes that an important part of the farmers’ market is educating shoppers about the food they buy.

“You wouldn’t even believe how many people are excited to see how brussels sprouts are grown.”

Reported by Jules Knox

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