Explore Farmer’s Market

Last post on the Bioregion News noted that things change and we would be exploring the farmer’s market here to answer some key food security questions.

What organic local vegetable farmers are there in this area? Well, so far we are eating carrots from a regional farmer. They do a great job with the carrots. We shall look at this operation in more detail in another blog.

Are there lots of young urban farmers at the farmers market? This does not seem to be the case, but more exploring is needed. I asked the people at the organic vendor if there were other organic farmers at the market. They said another vendor sometimes had some organic to sell. Here the farmer’s market seems to allow the sale of other growers products. This is not allowed in BC as far as I know.

Does the municipal government support young urban farmers as part of increasing food security? This still must be determined but there is nothing in the paper or on the radio about this. Is there a stealth program to build food security in this municipality? : )

Few people in Canada look at food production as a dynamic sector of the Canadian economy. This may be true for large chemical farms who export, because their numbers are falling. Smaller farms selling directly to consumers are making money and demand is strong and growing.

The number of certified organic farmers in Canada is still growing while conventional farm numbers continue to fall. Are there more young farmers growing vegetables? I could not see any when the market was visited or by looking at the vendor list from the farmer’s market web site.

There is also a great organic supermarket with the same name as the organic vendor at the farmer’s market. This organic market store has organic carrots from several Alberta farmers, as well as milk and eggs plus excellent meat products e.g pork sausages. This store is dedicated to selling the food of other organic farmers from this region.

Vegetables in the winter is always the weak link in any regional food supply network. So far, key vegetables like Red Cabbage and Carrots are still available from BC and Alberta sources.

Winter has just started so it will be interesting to see how long these two strategic vegetables are available from Canadian sources. A new place takes time to get to know and the cold weather limits what you can see and where you can travel to.

Right now we are satisfied with the basic organic foods that are available in this large municipal centre of Calgary, Alberta Canada. The supply of organic and regional food compares very well with Kelowna, BC where we moved from. Kelowna is known as a centre for organic BC grown food in Canada.

An interesting fact is that certified organic farmers in BC seem to be playing a key role in supplying certified organic food distribution in this new area. Judging by the traffic in the store and how busy the farmer’s market was each time I went, the demand for regional food is strong in this part of Alberta.

Does an opportunity exist for more young farmers to sell organic vegetables directly to consumers? We shall profile some of the farms we are getting to know through their food.