The annual Jasper Farmers’ Market launched for its 11th year in a row on June 16.
Every Wednesday starting in June and ending in September, the farmers’ market is held at McCready Centre from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
The market is run by the Jasper Local Food Society, a local non-profit group.
Jasper is a “food desert,” according to the society, since it’s far away from an airport and people have a hard time growing food in this climate.
Jasper also has very limited access to natural foods, because the town is the last stop when food is flown and trucked in.
So, the Jasper Local Food Society was created in order to either help people learn how to grow their own food or to be able to have a market, so Jasper has more access to fresh, natural food.
Something new and exciting for the market this season is that it has basically doubled in its size.
The market now has both the upper and lower lot filled with vendors.
“I think it has a lot to do with COVID,” said Kelli Sroka, market manager. “People have started making their own crafts and a lot are little businesses that have just popped up.”
“It’s great because we can support more local artisans,” she added.
The market consists of local vendors that either make, bake or grow their own products.
But for Jasper, local is tough. Being a national park, Jasper doesn’t have any farmers, so a lot of the vendors come from all over British Columbia, Edmonton and Grande Cache.
Local residents are big supporters and fans of the annual farmers’ market.
Due to COVID, the market almost did not happen last year.
“People freaked out,” Sroka said, noting how the town wanted the market to go on with or without COVID.
This year, there is a team of about 15 volunteers helping with the market, and with COVID, the rules are very different.
There can only be one entrance and one exit. Everything needs to be roped off, and the volunteers spend hours making sure all COVID restrictions and rules are in place.
“It’s more work this year, but it’s great,” Sroka said.
“It’s been super busy and vendors have been selling out.”
The market has everything from fruit to vegetables to bread, and it also consists of distilleries, meateries, jewelry and more. Anyone who would live to come out and volunteer to reach out to 604-351-9401 or email@example.com
Ali Howat, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Jasper Fitzhugh