Maple Ridge farmers’ market returns for 7th year

Pitt Meadows location moved to Harris Road civic centre

The farmers’ market features more than 200 vendors.

The farmers’ market features more than 200 vendors.

The Haney Farmers’ Market kicked off its seventh season at Maple Ridge’s Memorial Peace Park this month, with more vendors, and more opportunities for local residents to buy food grown close to home.

Market manager Eileen Dwillies said there are more than 200 vendors taking part in this year’s markets, the majority of whom specialize in fresh, local produce.

“Grocery stores use weeks-old produce, they keep it refrigerated or on ice so it doesn’t spoil,” she said. “Everything at the market has been picked that morning or the day before.”

You can also talk directly to the farmer who grows the vegetables, she said.

“Some people say it costs a little bit more, but if you care about what you are putting into your mouth, it’s more than worth it,” said Dwillies.

Anywhere from 40 to 60 vendors take part in the market every weekend. Of those vendors, 80 per cent sell locally-grown produce and meat.

“All of our vendors are from B.C., the majority from the Lower Mainland,” she said. “I think if you hadn’t been to the market in a few years, you’d be quite surprised if you came back.”

The Haney Farmers’ Market runs every Saturday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. until the end of October.

The Pitt Meadows Farmers’ Market moves from Osprey Village to the Pitt Meadows Spirit Square on Harris Road this year.

“We had a wonderful response from the people at Osprey Village, but the problem was that the site wasn’t big enough,” said Dwillies. “The Spirit Square is going to be quite the busy spot this summer.”

The new site features more space for vendors, and more free parking.

The Pitt Meadows Farmers Market runs Sundays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. from June 19 to September 11.

A draw of a $100 Market Shopping Spree is being offered to people who purchase new $10 Friend of the Market memberships until July 9.  The membership supports the work of the Haney Farmers Market Society and provides an email newsletter, early information on special events and occasional specials at the Sizzlin’ Smokey Dog stand, which is a fundraiser of the society. The draw will take place in front of The ACT at noon on July 9.

• The Haney Farmers Market is looking for people interested in volunteering or busking at the market.  You can get in touch with Dwillies at 604-467-7433 or hfminfo@haneyfarmersmarket.org.