As spring rapidly makes way for summer, wonderful things start to happen in the warming dirt of the Langleys.
Food begins to grow in gardens and fields and some of that food makes it to local farmersâ€™ markets for others to buy. Along with that fresh produce, visitors to farmerâ€™s markets can find meats, cheeses, plants and flowers, spices, jewelry, wine, popcorn, pies, treats for pets, and more.
With one market in Fort Langley, one in Aldergrove, and another on the Langley Bypass at Kwantlen Polytechnic University (KPU), a fourth market will be joining the mix at the George Preston Recreation Centre.
Those familiar with farmersâ€™ markets know they each have their own unique personality. Some are all about the shopping: getting to know the farmers, picking out the weekâ€™s produce and other items, and staying focused on the food. Others are more about lingering, chatting to other shoppers, checking out locally crafted products, and perhaps listening to a live performance by a musician.
Itâ€™s a quickly growing sector as Elizabeth Quinn, executive director of the BC Association of Farmersâ€™ Markets can attest.
â€œOver the past several years, farmersâ€™ market have continued to grow and thrive in B.C. Between 2006 to 2012 the economic benefit of farmersâ€™ markets in B.C. increased by 146 per cent from $69 million to $170 million. With the addition of the Farm and Maker Market, Langley locals now have four farmersâ€™ markets to shop locally for nutritious, in season, produce and artisan goods,â€ she said.
The Fort Langley Village Farmersâ€™ Market runs on Saturdays until Oct. 31 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at St. Andrews church at 9025 Glover Rd.
Definitely a craft and artisan-oriented market, shoppers will find one of the most diverse offerings at this location with skin care products, produce, fruit wine, and a plethora of other goodies.
Located in the courtyard parking lot at KPU, the Langley Community Farmers Market invites visitors to â€œfill your basket and feed your soul.â€ Markets are held on Wednesdays from 2 to 6:30 p.m. until mid-October.
More than 40 vendors â€œMake it, Bake it, or Grow itâ€ for this market which is dubbed Langleyâ€™s tastiest outdoor market.
Aldergrove has a summer farmersâ€™ market from the end of May until the end of September on Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at 30th Avenue on 272nd Street in the rear parking lot.
Vendors offer a range of fresh fruits and vegetables, jams and preserves, as well as bath and skincare items.
The newest market to the region is the Farm and Maker Market coming to the George Preston Recreation Centre.
This market was set to start May 31 but announced a change in dates.
"We unfortunately had to cancel some dates our grand opening is now July 11 with markets running every second weekend after that July 25, August 9, August 22 and September 6," said Cary Campbell, of the Farmers Fields Market Association.
Interested vendors and musicians are invited to find out more at farmersfields.ca.
â€œFarmersâ€™ markets keep the local food philosophy thriving while encouraging and supporting small businesses and community economic development,â€ noted Quinn.