Andrea Dorge and Patrick Gibson were among the 350 unique visitors, who attended the opening of Saanich Sunday Farmers’ Market. Wolf Depner/News Staff

Saanich Sundays Farmers’ Market returns with strong opening

Despite competition from other events, such as the Saanich Strawberry Festival and Victoria Pride Parade, the Saanich Sunday Farmers’ Market swung open its gates for its second year with a strong showing.

According to organizers, 527 people walked through the doors of the inaugural 2018 market. With Saanich Mayor Richard Atwell serving as dignitary, the market opened at 10 a.m. and closed at 2 p.m. in the Lacrosse box at Braefoot Park.

Andrea Dorge and Patrick Gibson were among the early afternoon visitors. The couple drove in from Langford to check out the farmer’s market, their second in as many days after they had visited Langford’s market.

A gardener herself, Dorge said the couple came to shop for fresh, local produce to support local farmer and meet people in the community with like-minded interests. Recent arrivals in the region, the couple is also using their shopping trips to learn more about their new home and its people.

“We are hoping to go on a tour around [the region], and just meet new people,” she said. “We love through Saanich area, stopping at the farm-stands,” added Gibson. “We are just trying to support local business.”

Both grew up in areas not necessarily associated with produce farming — she in Kenora, Ont., he in Edmonton, AB. But the couple’s support for farmers’ markets is not just a matter of enjoying locally grown produce. It is also a political statement. “You are putting your money, where it counts,” he said. “I have a choice everyday. I don’t have to vote. I vote with where I put my money.”

Such statements sound like music to the ears of Doug Eng of Glanford Greenhouses, who is returning for the second year, because he believes in the importance of the concept.

Receipts from sales at the market cover at the very least labour costs, and being part of market on Sunday raises his overall profile.

“This one is particularly good for us, because the customers find out about us, and then during the week, when the market is not on, they will come to our farm to get the same stuff,” said Eng, who works about three different markets (including Saanich) in the region over the course of the week.

If the Saanich Sunday Farmers’ Market is a home game for Eng, Duncan Reimer of Boughneath Farm is using the market to raise the company’s regional profile as a supplier of various organic beef and poultry products.

“It was a really good market last year, so we figured it would be worth doing it again,” he said.

Like other vendors, Boughneath Farm hits markets across the region.

“We are more well-known in the other markets, but we are building our customer base here,” he said. “Probably 20 per cent of our customers are from Saanich.”

If Reimer has some familiarity with the market, Sunday’s opening was a revelation for Seanna Oppertshauser, who was running the Gobind Farms. While her employer is among the returning vendor, Sunday’s opening was the first opportunity for Oppertshauser to experience the market.

“It’s a cute little environment,” she said. “You get that close feel. It feels good that you are giving good food to the community.”

Just Posted

Central Saanich students expect ‘humbling’ trip to Tanzania in 2019

Stelly’s students host gala, raise funds to build dormitory for students in Katesh

Sidney Classical Orchestra returns with four-concert season

Music director Stephen Brown will premiere piece of his own, along with Bach, Handel

Viral video shows Sooke resident calling out illegal crab fishers

The video shows a man and woman with 12 undersized crabs in Sooke

NDP leader Jagmeet Singh and MP Alistair MacGregor weigh in on fishing ban

Singh and MacGregor say improving salmon abundance is important

Feds respond to sexual assault investigation at CFB Esquimalt

Report of Oct. 5 sexual assault on Vancouver Island base taken over by Canadian Forces National Investigation Service

People flocking to Vancouver Island city to see hundreds of sea lions

Each year the combination of Steller and California sea lions take over Cowichan Bay

Drug-related deaths double for B.C. youth in care, advocate says

Teens say positive connections with adults key to recovery

Children’s strawberry-flavoured medicines recalled due to faulty safety cap

Three different acetaminophen syrups part of nationwide recall

Around the BCHL: Junior A cities to host World Junior tuneup games

Around the BCHL is a look at what’s happening in the league and around the junior A world.

International students hit hard by B.C. tuition fee hikes

Campaign seeks regulatory controls be imposed on post-secondary institutions

Trudeau pushes for more Saudi accountability in Khashoggi killing

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Canada is still seeking clear answers from Saudi Arabia about what happened to Jamal Khashoggi

Government looks for public input on Cathedral Grove safety concerns

Port Alberni, Parksville info sessions invite public to help ‘shape future access’

School bullying video shows how people with disabilities are devalued: advocates

Brett Corbett, who has cerebral palsy, is seen in a video being stepped while lying in water

Most Read