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Save the date: Fort St. John farmers market opens May 16

The Fort St. John farmers market is scheduled to open May 16 at the seniors hall. This year’s start has been delayed by two weeks due to COVID-19 concerns, noted Market Manager Margie Unruh, who’s been with the market for over 15 years.
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We’re still waiting on those long forgotten April showers to come, but that doesn’t mean there’s no May flowers. The Fort St. John Farmers Market opened its 2018 season on May 5, where we found Justina Friesen smelling the petunias.

The Fort St. John farmers market is scheduled to open May 16 at the seniors hall.

This year’s start has been delayed by two weeks due to COVID-19 concerns, noted Market Manager Margie Unruh, who’s been with the market for over 15 years.

“We postponed to hopefully see if restrictions might get lifted,” said Unruh. “We have been in contact with the health authority, and we will be firing up.”

Farmers markets have been deemed an essential food service, and organizers are continuing to make sure that the market will be a safe access point for fresh local food during the public health emergency, with physical distancing measures in place. 

“We are having someone stand at the door, to only let 10 customers in at one time. Once one leaves, then another can come in,” said Unruh. Vendors will also be required to have handwashing stations at their tables. 

The market will be food-only this year, with local seasonal fruit, vegetables, homemade baking, honey, canning and take-out on offer. Crafts have been banned from farmers’ market due to COVID-19. 

The market is looking to offer microgreens, as well as starter plants, Unruh said. Greenhouses have also been declared an essential service. 

“We’re not 100% on the starter plants, and we’d also like to offer flowers if possible,” said Unruh.

Despite the challenges, Unruh says returning vendors have very positive about the 2020 season. 

“It’s very important right now to support local,” said Unruh.

Email your news tips, photos, and letters to Managing Editor Matt Preprost at editor@ahnfsj.ca.