You know spring has arrived when the weekly Kwantlen St. Farmers Market opens up in Richmond.
The market – which runs every Tuesday until October from noon to 4 p.m. outside the Richmond Cultural Centre – will open for the season on Tuesday, April 16.
For the third year running, the market will be showcasing fresh, student-grown produce from Kwantlen Polytechnic University’s Sustainable Agriculture Program.
Artisan baked goods, honey, chemical-free bath and body products, handmade jewelry, gifts and crafts, and SPCA-certified, organically-fed chicken and eggs will also be available.
An expanding number of booths will offer locally harvested farm products as the season progresses.
And at 1 p.m. on opening day next week, the market will be serving up Sweet Thea's Divine Vanilla Bean Mango Cake to shoppers, all while Barry Wilson performs live at the Main Stage Tent.
“We’re thrilled to be supporting the Kwantlen St. Farmers Market in Richmond for another year,” said David Piraquive, president of the Kwantlen Student Association.
“It’s a great opportunity for KPU students to connect with the community and support local agriculture.”
This year, the market will work to expand children's programming, update the Junior and Tot Foodie Passport Program, and bring in more chefs to demonstrate gourmet cooking techniques for the home chef.
"We are currently looking for local vendors who can offer gourmet items such as chocolate, jams, jellies and preserves, and snack foods like crackers, healthy vegetable chips, and spice mixes,” said market manager Anne Janzen.
“The great thing about items like these is that they can be prepared in a home kitchen.
"We have a wonderful Vendor Start-up Toolkit on our website to help answer all the questions a new potential vendor may have."
Booth space costs $40 per day plus $2 GST, and all participants are responsible for providing everything they need for their mini storefront.
Qualifying non-profit community groups are welcome to sign up for one free day each per season, and are invited to do so using the same application.
The market is actively seeking partners and volunteers, who will help with market set up, host the market's information table, and plan special events.
For information on how to get involved, as well as sponsorship opportunities, or become a vendor, go online to KwantlenSTmarket.ca.
The market is supported by the City of Richmond and is hosted by the Kwantlen Student Association and produced by Farm Fresh Events.