Without the traditional West Kootenay EcoSociety Garden Fest on Baker Street this year, local gardeners are looking for the vegetable starts they need to get their gardens planted, and local farmers and food producers are anxious to get their products to market.
Despite uncertainty over funding, the EcoSociety anticipates beginning their 2020 market season by June 6. In the meantime, however, Taghum Hall will fill the gap by hosting three May markets. Taghum Hall’s history with markets began when the EcoSociety cancelled their winter markets and vendors needed a place to sell their goods during the winter. Taghum Hall’s season has expanded over the past few years to include monthly markets from October through April.
While acknowledging that local markets belong squarely with the EcoSociety, which has successfully been running the Cottonwood Market for 25 years, Taghum Hall joins them in supporting local food producers and celebrating talented area artisans.
However, there will be no artisans at Taghum Hall’s markets (May 16, 23, 30). As required by the BC Centre for Disease Control and provincial COVID-19 guidelines, farmers’ markets across the province, declared an essential service, can provide only food products and edible seedlings for sale.
Taghum Hall market organizers will ensure that all COVID-19 safety protocols are in place: market goers may have to wait their turn to enter the site, must observe strict social distancing and hand washing protocols, and respect the “Shop, Don’t Stop” signage.
Leave your reusable shopping bags and baskets at home. Where feasible, cashless transaction will be encouraged, so be prepared to use point-of-sale devices or provide e-transfers from a cell phone. Alternately, equip yourself with a variety of currency to avoid the need to receive change for your purchases.
While the Taghum Hall markets will by necessity be smaller than the Cottonwood and Baker Street markets, there will still be plenty of choice for shoppers, despite generous distancing between vendor booths. Eggs, meat, greens, breads, seedlings, samosas, chocolate (yes, chocolate is a food group!), and more will be available.
Vendors are invited to register for one or all of the May markets at firstname.lastname@example.org.