Haney Farmers Market re-opens on Saturday, May 1, with more vendors than during last summer’s markets. (The News files)

Haney Farmers Market re-opens on Saturday, May 1, with more vendors than during last summer’s markets. (The News files)

More vendors planned for Haney Farmers Market

Maple Ridge’s popular outdoor market to open May 1

The Haney Farmer’s Market is planning a strong comeback this spring, opening for the first time on May 1 with many more stalls than last summer.

“We are going full steam ahead,” said Melissa Maltais, executive director of the Fraser North Farmer’s Market Society.

COVID-19 forced the market to shrink from about 65 vendors down to just 18 last year, she said. Public health orders meant only food vendors were allowed, and the crafters, artisans, and florists were on the sidelines.

“People still came and shopped and supported our farmers, and it was good to know people needed us,” said Maltais.

This spring, non-food vendors will again be permitted. Maltais said that announcement Monday will be a relief to crafters and artisans who lost a source of income.

“It was heartening news.”

READ ALSO: Artisans once again allowed to sell at BC Farmers Markets

The market organizers will be planning for 40 vendors this year at the start of the market season.

“And we’re hoping to bring back some of the ambiance,” said Maltais.

The market will still look a lot different, with the need to continue following social distancing and other public health orders.

The society will also continue selling farm goods online, which has been popular – 18,000 products sold for approximately $100,000, said Maltais. The pick-up location has been at the Golden Ears United Church, but once the market resumes on May 1, orders will be collected in Memorial Peace Park at the bandstand.

READ ALSO: Fraser North Farmers Market moves to online model for summer season amid COVID-19

This will allow people who want to avoid the public market, and would rather “click and collect” to quickly pick up their orders, which will keep the crowd size down, she said.

Plans are to have the market operating Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Have a story tip? Email: ncorbett@mapleridgenews.com

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