Market days bring back a ‘pioneer spirit’

If it’s been grown, baked or hand-crafted in Richmond or elsewhere in the Fraser Valley, chances are you’ll find it at the Steveston Farmers and Artisans Market, which holds its season opener this Sunday, May 5.

The market, which runs two Sundays each month through to the end of September, is back for its 11th season with 50 - 70 vendors providing a unique, local opportunity to buy produce and other goods the old fashioned way.

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“In our farmers’ market all the vendors either grow, bake, make or catch what they are selling,” said Alan Sakai, the market’s committee chairperson who also oversees the event’s operations.

“For example, all of the farm produce sold at the market has to be grown locally here in Richmond, or come from no further than the Okanagan Valley. Essentially, what we are trying to do is promote the pioneer spirit,” he explained.

Some of the Richmond-grown produce includes seasonal items such as strawberries, blueberries, corn, plus other fruits and vegetables raised in local hothouses that are available throughout the market season.

“Our vendors are special. They simply love what they are doing,” Sakai said. “These folks are out there to share their skills and products.”

Sponsored by the Richmond Industrial and Agricultural Society, the market is run by a small army of volunteers. All profits raised by the market support activities and projects of the Steveston Community Centre.

Held in the Easthope parking lot across from the Steveston Community Centre, the market opens, rain or shine, at 10:30 a.m. and closes at 3:30 p.m. And when the sun comes out, there can be as many as 3,000 people visiting the site where they are entertained by live music and a children’s area with plenty of activities. But there is so much more to do during a trip to the market.

“We want people to plan and come visit Steveston,” Sakai said. “The market is just one of the wonderful things people can do when they come down here. Aside from the market, they can visit other stores and restaurants in the village and enjoy everything the destination of Steveston has to offer.”

Parking during market days is available in the Steveston Community Centre lot, as well as other sites in the adjacent Steveston village area.

For a complete market schedule and more information about the market, visit sfam.ca.

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