Cherries, Berries and More
The sound of George Gershwin’s “Summertime” could be heard throughout the Kelowna Farmers’ and Crafters’ market this Wednesday July 18th as Nils the guitarist sang at his stand in the hot hot heat. Other musicians serenaded shoppers as they bought up cherries, berries and treats all morning long. This summer I am part of a research team that seeks to understand the social and economic impact of farmers’ market on local economies across BC. I have the delightful job of traveling around the province to different farmers’ markets asking customers about their spending habits, food preferences and simply why they come to the farmers’ market. About 3750 locals and visitors attended the farmers’ market on Wednesday in Kelowna and over 350 people participated in the study. Market customers explained that they enjoy coming to the market because they get the chance to learn about where their food comes from and also the chance to buy local crafts from Okanagan artists. With plenty of kids’ activities, from professional face painting to jumping around in the bouncy castle, the market experience is one for the whole family. Kelowna is home to one of the province’s biggest markets, so it’s no surprise the there is talk of building a permanent structure to house the 100+ vendors and thousands of customers looking for fresh produce, arts and crafts and the opportunity to support the local economy while having a great time! The results of the study will be released soon. For now, what we know for sure is that it’s July in Kelowna and the living in easy.