Salmon Arm’s Downtown Farmers Market received city approval to continue operating until the end of October.
At its Monday, Sept. 28, Salmon Arm council supported a request from Serena Caner with the Shuswap Food Action Society to allow the extension of the Saturday market from Oct. 10 to Oct. 31.
“We’re thrilled of course,” said Mayor Alan Harrison. “It’s been extremely successful – and safe. That was a very easy authorization for council.”
In a letter to council, Caner said market hours will be reduced after the 10th, and run from 9 to noon.
As for the season, Caner said even with restrictions around COVID-19, 2020’s market has been a success, seeing between 1,000 and 1,200 visitors on most weekends.
“Feedback from our vendors is that they are consistently earning more money at each market this year than last year,” said Caner.
With help from the city, sanitizing stations and signage were set up to keep vendors and customers safe, and students were were hired to look after the stations and count customers, as well as help organize orders for advance online purchases that were picked up the day of the market.
In addition to launching the online market option this year, another initiative, the weekly Shuswap Box food box program made its debut, allowing customers to try a variety of products from market vendors and learn about seasonal eating.
Caner said another Shuswap Box program is being started for the fall. Run by School District #83’s Indigenous Education workers and counselling staff, the program will make available “family-sized” food boxes to those affected by COVID-19.
“We are very grateful for the City of Salmon Arm’s support… and the opportunity it provides to build community around food, increase the financial viability of small-scale farming and the resilience of our food system,” commented Caner.