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KPU student-run farmers market re-opens in Richmond city centre

KPU students are learning about sustainable agriculture

The annual Kwantlen St. Farmers Market launched on Tuesday in front of the Richmond Cultural Centre and will continue until November.

The market is run by the KPU's KPU students in the Sustainable Agriculture and Farm School program, which has its own farm at Garden City Lands. 

The farmers market featured a total of eight stalls this Tuesday, with vegetables, fruit, honey, plants and baked goods for sale.

Greens that are being sold at the farmers market currently are lettuce, Swiss chard, kale and bok choy, explained Ben Alles, KPU farm manager.

“The bok choy is special this season because it doesn’t do so well with the heat and may not grow well as the weather warms up,” he added.

Alles said there will be carrots over the next couple of weeks, and tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers and eggplants will be available next month.

“The majority of normal farms produce one type of food,” said Alles. “We are a diversified vegetable producer - we grow smaller amounts of many different vegetables.” 

Seed thieves 

Naomi Mallare, a student in the Kwantlen farm program, said it's "really cool" to watch produce growing so fast that they can harvest them multiple times.

Sometimes there are humorous moments when farming at the polytechnic's farm.

Mallare recalled a day when she was planting seeds - only to have them scooped up by some "very smart" crows.

"There were a bunch of crows following behind me, eating all the seeds I just planted," she told the Richmond News. "They were lined up with all of these pots that I just planted. I wasn't even mad; I just kind of laughed at how smart they were because they were following me."

Kwantlen St. Farmers Market first launched in September 2015.

While the market is currently located next to Minoru Park in front of the Richmond Library and Cultural Centre, it originally ran on Kwantlen Street near KPU's Richmond campus, explained Lloyd Norquay, a manager of Kwantlen St. Farmers Market.

"Even though it has moved locations, it still retains the original name,” he added.

The Kwantlen St. Farmers Market will be open every Tuesday, from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m., until Nov. 26, and accepts cash; some vendors also accept debit and credit cards.

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