The BCAFM is here to serve the needs of our member farmers’ markets. We are committed to developing and strengthening the capacity of farmers' markets in all regions of British Columbia, so you, our members can continue to support local farmers and artisans and provide British Columbians with fresh healthy local food.
Farmers Appreciation Week
Celebrate BC Farmers - The 2nd week of September
September 6, 2012 media release: Buy local during 3rd annual BC Farmers Appreciation Week
During the week of September 8th – 15th, the BCAFM celebrated the 3rd annual Farmers' Appreciation Week, an event designed to provide British Columbians with an opportunity to show appreciation for the farmers who grow the food we enjoy and depend on.
You can demonstrate your support for BC farmers throughout the week by buying local at the farmers' market, farm stand, or choosing local produce at the grocery store.
Join in the Festivities at a Farmers' Market Near You
Farmers' markets across the province will be showing appreciation for their farmer vendors with celebrations of all shapes and sizes — from farm tours and farm-inspired cakes, to poetry readings, antique farm equipment displays, corn roasts and harvest festivals.
The following farmers' markets are hosting Farmers' Appreciation Week events — contact them for more information:
- Abbotsford Farm and Country Market
- Ambleside Farmers' Market — West Vancouver
- Armstrong Farmers' Market
- Bowen Road Farmers' Market — Lantzville
- Burnaby Farmers' Market
- Duke Point Farmers' Market
- Fort St. John Farmers' Market
- Gibsons Landing Sunday Market
- Granville Island Farmers' Market — Vancouver
- Hedley Farmers' Market
- Kelowna Farmers' and Crafters' Market
- Kerrisdale Village Farmers' Market — Vancouver
- Kitsilano Farmers' Market — Vancouver
- Ladner Village Market
- Langley Community Farmers' Market
- Lantzville Farmers' Market
- Lonsdale Farmers' Market — North Vancouver
- Main St Station Farmers' Market — Vancouver
- Mission City Farmers' Market
- Oak Street Farmers' Market — Vancouver
- Oliver Street Market — Williams Lake
- Osoyoos Market on Main
- Pemberton Farmers' Market
- Pleasant Valley Community Market — Houston
- Port Alberni Farmers' Market
- Quesnel Farmers' Market
- Royal City Farmers' Market — New Westminster
- Skeena Valley Farmers' Market — Terrace
- Surrey Market — City Hall
- Surrey Urban Farmers' Market
- Trout Lake Farmers' Market — Vancouver
- Two Rivers Farmers' Market — Lytton
- UBC Farm Market — Vancouver
- West End Farmers' Market — Vancouver
- Whistler Farmers' Market
- White Rock Farmers' Market
How Can Your Market Celebrate Farmers' Appreciation Week?
- Organize a farm tour of your vendors' farms
- Host a feastival — a corn roast, pancake breakfast or fall fair
- Provide thank you cards for the public to write in and give to their favourite farmers
- Ask a local band to play
- Provide a farm-themed cake and present it to your farmer vendors (and share it with everyone else!)
- Send out a press release about your celebration and highlight some issues facing your local farmers
- Invite the local mayor, council and farmers to say a few words about the celebration
- Make a simple sign "I love BC Farmers" "Appreciate Your Local Farmer — September 8th – 15th, 2012"
- Invite a local radio personality to host a show at the market
- Provide a large blank sheet for people to write or draw why they appreciate farmers
- Host a farming-inspired art show or poetry reading
- Host a Locavore Hoedown with a feast and dancing
- Have some kids games like apple bobbing, cherry spitting contest and zucchini races
- BC Minister of Health, Mike de Jong Speaks at BC Farmers Appreciation Week at Abbotsford Farmers' Market Event
- Young Abbotsford Farm Family shares "Why We Farm"
- Abbotsford Mayor, George W. Peary "Salutes the Farmers"
- "What I love about what I do" — Longtime Aldergrove Farmer on Selling at Farmers' Markets
Why appreciate BC farmers?
Did you know that farmers make up only 1.5% of BC's population? Yet, this small percentage of the population produces an estimated 48% of all foods consumed in B.C. Whether or not we are aware of it, British Columbians depend on BC farmers and BC farmland.
There is an increasing need to support young farmers today as the average age of farmers in BC and Canada continues to increase and the total number of farmers continues to decline. This need is highlighted in the 2011 Canadian Census of Agriculture, which shows the average age of farmers in BC is higher than the national average and has increased from 53 years in 2006 to 55 years in 2011. For the first time, most Canadian farmers are in the 55 and over age category. Show your support, and buy local.
Burnaby Farmers Appreciation Week celebration from left to right: Lyn Hainstock (Burnaby Farmers' Market Manager), Mary Forstbauer (former BCAFM President) and Nick Volcow (Burnaby City Councillor and Acting Mayor)
Upper Bench Organics at the Burnaby Village Farmers' Market — Farmer
Why support BC agriculture?
BC's Farmland: an invaluable and scarce resource
- Only 5% of BC's land is suitable for farming; only 1% of this is the best soil with the highest capability for growing field crops such as potatoes, onions, carrots, broccoli, strawberries and more.
- Local food production reduces our dependence on imported foods and associated environmental costs and impacts, like greenhouse gas emissions.
- Diverse farmlands can create a variety of wildlife habitats and support bio-diversity.
BC Farmers Need Our Support
- 45% of BC farmers are 55 and older (2006 Census of Agriculture) — buying BC grown food makes it viable for new farmers to keep farming.
- 50% of farm sales average less than $10,000 annually.
- 41% of farmed land is leased or rented from other owners. Years of work creating a viable farm may be lost by a cancelled lease.
- The number of small farms (under 10 acres) in close proximity to urban markets is growing.
For more information go to SmartGrowth BC.
Burnaby Farmers Appreciation Week festivities and bike parade
Burnaby Farmer Market Vendor at Farmers Appreciation Week 2011