Shop Your Local Winter Market

Posted on Tuesday, 8 December 2020 under Local Food & Agriculture

British Columbia’s winter markets are your chance to buy fresh and local produce for the dinner table this season. Despite continued Covid-19 restrictions, there are a number of regional markets braving the cold once more. Bundle up and take a stroll through your local markets to experience regional delights. Supporting local producers and growers not only encourages robust sustainable food systems but healthier diets too. Kick your grocery store habits and adjust your expectations as the seasons change; there are plenty of offerings this time of year. From Brussel sprouts to potatoes, there are many delicious and hearty foods to incorporate into your holiday celebrations. In addition to a range of produce, explore regional varieties of beverages and baked goods.

Winter markets provide an opportunity to explore new options and treat those around you to unique local products from vendors who are passionate about what they do.

Discover how your favourite beer is produced or what business collaborations help reduce waste. Take advantage of this opportunity to interact with owners and operators. Learn how they would pair fresh-cut meats or what market ingredients will spice up your next recipe. With frosty days ahead, farmer’s markets will have an abundance of cold storage produce such as potatoes, onions, and carrots; perfect for your next soup or stew. We cannot forget about goodies such as fresh bread, scones, or cookies to pair with a hot cup of tea.

Markets play a large role in sustainable food systems because they improve your community’s social, economic, and environmental well-being through employment, reduced transportation costs, and local partnerships. The winter season is a critical part of vendors’ sales year and your market participation allows businesses to continue their work throughout the year.

Tent displays and people walking around a farmers market

Photo courtesy of Andrew Jeffers

What to Expect

Increased sanitation: Whether you bring your own or use one provided, market participants will likely be asked to consider slapping on some hand sanitizer before entering designated spaces.

Lines: Many winter markets have devised cleaver line and direction systems in an effort to physically distance. Be prepared to wait a moment or two before entering certain areas, but take advantage of this time to map out your shopping list.

Weather: As the season implies, it is getting cold so be mindful of weather conditions and dress accordingly.

Masks: It may be recommended market-goers wear face masks, particularly when six metres cannot be maintained. Forgot your mask? Some markets may have disposable options or vendors who are selling reusable ones.

Pets: Markets are limiting attendance to the human variety this season. Check online in advance of your trip because it is likely your furry friend will have to say at home.