On a crisp Saturday morning, late in October with the sun setting over the mountains with a bit of white, residents and tourists alike enjoyed one of the last outdoor farmers markets of the Local Food Initiative (LFI) season.
It was a successful outdoor market season for the LFI farmers market, but with snow on the peaks and in the forecast, the outdoor season ended on Saturday. Still, in the coming weeks the winter market will open at the Revelstoke Water and Community Center on Fridays. Taking the last day of the market, vendors and organizers reflected on the success of the outdoor market.
Rob Faulkner, a vendor at the LFI farmers market, was discussing the benefits of the market when a patron approached his Song Hollow Farm tent.
“How are your eggs today,” asked one of the market visitors.
“I don’t have much left,” Faulkner said with a laugh.
“I’ll take a dozen,” said the man, who took the eggs and wandered on through the crowd.
Faulkner has been a vendor at the market for three years and said the change from the market’s previous location in Centennial Park is for the better.
“Being down here makes it easier for visitors to come, and they have these interesting buildings to look at as well,” Faulkner said.
Isabel Kessi, LFI market organizer, smiled as she gazed at the busy market crowd on her last day.
“Much busier than expected,” said Kessi.
With some bad weather predicted earlier in the week, Kessi said some vendors had anticipated the final day of the market. When Saturday finally arrived, the dry weather became strong enough. Despite the popularity of the market, Kessi said it is still not back to pre-pandemic levels.
“In terms of people, it’s very busy. But the spending power is a bit lower in my opinion,” said Kessi.
Still, Kessi was delighted with how the outdoor market went this year. He also echoed Faulkner’s assessment of the downtown location.
“It’s like, a lot more socializing — people hanging out here and like — you bump into a lot more people than down there,” Kessi said.
Like Kessi and Faulkner, vendor Stu Smith, Stoke the Fire, expressed his own appreciation of where the market was this year. The old market location helped keep people spread out and safe during the pandemic, but it came at a cost. Smith mentioned one instance when his partner returned from the market on a windy day, bleary-eyed and exhausted.
“I was like, ‘oh dear, you’ve been holding the tent down all day,'” Smith said with a laugh.
The distance from the river helped to shelter the market from the elements.
Starting early in the morning and running for several months, the market is a big commitment for vendors. Still, Smith said he wouldn’t have it any other way.
“You’re standing behind something you’ve created yourself and you love. We wouldn’t be doing this if we didn’t love it. So, we really get a lot of joy sharing our product with people,” Smith said.
The winter market will start on Friday, November 4 at the Revelstoke Water and Community Centre. The winter market is different to the outdoor one as it will be held every fortnight, and will run from 11:30am–3:30pm Market goers are asked to enter through the back lane instead of the main entrance.
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