Quesnel Farmers' Market
A Saturday visit to the local Quesnel Farmers Market is a must.
Welcome to the Farmers' Market - is a refrain heard time and time again every Saturday in downtown Quesnel, as over 2,000 people flock to Quesnel's most popular weekly event.
Quesnel Farmers' Market facts:
· 8:30 am to 1 pm every Saturday from the 1st Saturday in May to the 3rd Saturday in October
· Over 40 vendors every week
· Live local music at every market
· Farmers, crafters and multiple food vendors on site
· Farm fresh and local products including garden produce, locally raised meat,
local honey, eggs, wood-fired oven-baked bread, and much more
· Hungry? Check out the dim sum, tacos and burritos, perogies, fresh baked cookies, pastries, and more.
· An array of crafts, jewellery, and art by local artisans
· Jams, jellies, pickles, fancy vinegar, birch syrup, and early season bedding plants
· Special events and promotions during the season like the annual Customer Appreciation Day and
Flavours of Quesnel
· One of the longest operating farmers’ markets in BC
· Founding member of the BC Association of Farmers’ Markets (BCAFM)
· 1988 to 2020 -- Celebrating a 32-year legacy
Quesnel Farmers' Market history and future:
In 1988, a small group of aspiring market gardeners banded together to form the Cariboo Agricultural Producers Association - soon renamed Harvest. This resulted in the launching of the Quesnel Farmers' Market - with only a handful of vendors at the time.
As they say, the rest is history. The Quesnel Farmers' Market has grown, expanded, and moved several times over its 32 years - until finding a permanent home at the Helen Dixon Centre.
"We are so fortunate to have such an ideal location," says Paul Zeegers, current market president. "The Farmers' Market is located on a beautiful grassy field, with all the amenities. Best of all, we are right downtown in the heart of Quesnel."
Over the years, the success of the Quesnel Farmers' Market has been supported by the Quesnel Economic Development Corporation. They have been instrumental in arranging grant money to improve things like water and electrical supplies, enhancing wheelchair accessibility to washrooms, construction of a stage, and adding needed storage facilities.
Several members of the Quesnel Farmers' Market were part of the initial effort to form the BC Association of Farmers' Markets (BCAFM) back in the early 1990s. The market has taken advantage of important economic data gathered by the BCAFM, and it has estimated that the Quesnel Farmers' Market generates nearly $1 million of economic activity every year.
Wylie Bystedt, BCAFM president, and local Quesnel vendor, says, "This economic impact study was completed eight years ago, so today's positive impact numbers are likely significantly higher today."
Bystedt, who has been the BCAFM president for the last three years, adds, "Another key role of the BCAFM and the Quesnel Farmers' Market is to provide an important community nutritional coupon program, which is supported by the Province of BC and the Ministry of Health. This collaboration provides valuable farmer market coupons to lower-income families and seniors in Quesnel and area."
What does the future hold for the Quesnel Farmers' Market? "The biggest challenge is one we have faced from the beginning," says Maggie Dumais, a charter vendor member. "We are always working to attract and encourage new vendors, especially produce vendors. The more produce options we offer, the more customers the market attracts."
Head for the downtown Quesnel Farmers' Market every Saturday this season - it's the freshest experience in town.
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