The Esquimalt Farmer’s Market will kick off its 2018 indoor season in the atrium of the Esquimalt Recreation Centre on January 25.

(Photo from Esquimalt Farmer’s Market)

Founded in 2015 by a collection of volunteers, the Esquimalt Community Market has become a popular destination for those who want to shop local. To learn more about the Esquimalt Farmer’s Market’s origins, and about its founder, Katrina Dwulit, read our Urban Pollinators Piece.

Dwulit has just been appointed as the official Market Manager by the board of Esquimalt Famer’s Market Society. The creation of this paid position is “a huge step and achievement for EFM for the long-term stability of the market,” says Vanessa Pattison, Vice President on the board of EFM Society.

This January, their latest indoor season will begin.

(All photos from Esquimalt Farmer’s Market)

In Spring 2016, their second season, EFM decided to hold monthly indoor markets throughout the year in addition to their weekly outdoor markets. “The decision came largely from customer demand,” says Pattison, “They missed the market so much and couldn’t wait until May for it to return! Vendors were also keen to give it a try, and the EFM team missed it too.” This year the EFM will hold indoor markets on the last Thursday of each month from January to April.

“The first Market of the year is always full of energy,” says Pattison, “Vendors have had some time to recharge over the holidays, the EFM team are geared up for a new season, and our regular customers are raring to go and shop at their favourite vendors!” She gushes. “We’re excited to see applications from some new vendors and glad to see some great ones return.”

The January 25 kick-off will feature food trucks and live music by local performers.

(All photos from Esquimalt Farmer’s Market)

EFM has dubbed themselves a “make, bake, or grow market,” meaning no re-sales are allowed. “This was a decision made from the start as we had plans to join the BCAFM [British Columbia Association of Farmers’ Markets],” says Pattison, “and EFM is now a member Market.” You can shop at EFM for fresh produce, meat, dairy, eggs, honey, flowers, baked good and preserves, liquor, artisan crafts, and more. They even have services like knife sharpening available and booths for community groups like the Victoria Compost Education Centre.

What else makes this market unique? Their commitment to eliminating waste. All food waste at the market is composted and all food trucks must provide reusable or compostable plates, cutlery, cups etc. There are recycling stations present and the waste bins on-site are covered during the markets to encourage consumers to recycle instead. Plastic bags are banned.

(All photos from Esquimalt Farmer’s Market)

“Farmers’ Markets go beyond providing healthy food from local suppliers – they stimulate the economy and the neighbourhood,” says Pattison. “The quality of local foods and handmade items is also very high,” she adds. “Once you’ve had freshly picked, super juicy fruits, the imported ones will never taste as good!”

(All photos from Esquimalt Farmer’s Market)

You can find the lineup of vendors for markets at the EFM Website.

-Ryann Anderson

Did you like this article? Please subscribe.