Thursday night at the College of the Rockies saw near 50 people attend the first vendors meeting of the 2010 season! The meeting was a meet and greet between vendors and the Farmers’ Market Committee (FMC) under the Creston Valley Food Action Coalition (CVFAC). There was a lot of great energy in the room, many important questions answered, and new connections made. Read more if you’re interested in being a vendor in this seasons market!
The evening opened with Len Parkin (FMC chair) telling vendors about the 500+ volunteer hours logged by this committee in developing a business plan for this seasons Farmers’ Market. Jen Comer, the new Market Manager was then introduced to the vendors. David Butt, the Creston Valley’s Health Officer with Interior Health gave an overview of the rules and regulations for food vendors. The evening then finished off with a great question and answer period.
This seasons Farmers’ Market is being hosted under the CVFAC. Like past years, the market plans to showcase a diversity of locally grown and produced goods for locals and visitors in this stunning valley. One of the most significant changes is the hiring of a market manager. This will ensure continuity and efficiency in the running of the market. The market aims to be a self-sustaining initiative by the 2011 season, meaning we won’t be relying on any grants to keep the market running. The FMC is excited to build a vibrant and sustainable market that serves as a venue for local producers to sell directly to their consumers. Anyone interested in reading the business plan can request a copy by emailing CVFarmersMarket AT gmail DOT com.
The summer market will be held on the south-side of Millenium park, just off of 16th Ave. We have approximately 60 vendor spots available. The summer market runs June 19th to September 18th from 8am to 12pm, rain or shine. The winter market will be held in Morris Garden Centre’s greenhouse from September 25th to December 18th from 10am to 2pm.
David Butt’s overview of the Guidelines for Sale of Food at Temporary Food Markets was very enlightening to all vendors who are interested in selling value-added food products. Some of the key highlights from the his talk include:
- Anyone selling whole fruits and vegetables doesn’t need to fill out any Interior Health forms!
- Low Risk foods have a water activity of 0.85 or less, or PH value of 4.6 or less
- Low Risk foods can be prepared in your home kitchen
- High Risk foods are those that have a higher water content and PH level
- Home kitchens need to follow basic food safe rules (i.e., sanitized surfaces, frequent hand washing, and pets kept out of kitchen)
- Food needs to be wrapped and packaged to prevent contamination
- Proper sealing jars can be used (and reused), and all canning should be hot water processed
- Samples offered at Farmers’ Market need to follow food safe rules
- Shell eggs have specific and easy to follow guidelines
- Raw meat, poultry and fish products can also be sold, and also have specific guidelines
Any vendors selling food products need to look into these guidelines and fill out the appropriate forms. Contact Jen Comer (CVFarmersMarket AT gmail DOT com) with any questions or concerns. She will happily go through the process with interested vendors.
Things for vendors to know:
- All vendors need to pay a $5 membership fee – this covers your insurance under the BC Association of Farmers’ Markets
- Vendors may wish to purchase additional insurance depending on the goods and products being sold
- There are two options for booking stalls for the summer and winter season: (1) a pre-paid permanent stall or (2) a drop-in assigned stall
- Summer pre-paid stalls are $196, fee due by June 12th and permanent stalls are chosen on a first come, first serve basis
- Summer drop-in stalls are $15/day, and stalls are subject to what is available
- Winter pre-paid stalls are $234, fee due by September 18th and permanent stalls are chosen on a first come, first serve basis
- Winter drop-in stalls are $20, and subject to what is available
- Application forms and rules and regulation forms can be obtained by emailing CVFarmersMarket AT gmail DOT com
We are all looking forward to this new Farmers’ Market season! There has been a ton of work put into making this market a success, and we welcome any feedback or suggestions that you may have.
See you at the Farmers’ Market!