Julie Druker | May 22, 2014
Unseasonably chilly temperatures could not keep close to 350 shoppers from attending the opening day of the Sharbot Lake Farmers Market at the Oso beach on May 17.
The market, now entering its fourth year, has seen its numbers increase steadily over the last three years; last year the numbers peaked at 750 on the season’s busiest single market day. Due to that fact, this year the market’s governing body, which is comprised of its regular vendors, appointed a market assistant to help manage some of the administrative and behind the scenes duties required to keep pace with its growth. Francis Wooby of Sharbot Lake was chosen and his duties include offering administrative support in between market days and in the lead up to and closing out of the market season.
Wooby said his new position is a testament to the fact that the market is indeed growing and succeeding. A total of 20 vendors set up their booths, which included a wide array of local crafts and clothing, home-made preserves and other comestibles, home baking and gluten-free products, hot-off-the-grill breakfast and lunch snacks and other ready to eat treats, hot steaming cups of fair trade coffee, body products, fresh and wild produce, flowers and plants, meats, maple syrup, honey, a knife sharpening service, live musical entertainment from young local fiddler Jessica Wedden, plus a “Body Buffet” located at the park’s covered pavilion, where guests can receive various health treatments like shiatsu, massage, and possibly physiotherapy as well.
Wooby said that a number of special events are currently being planned for the season and will include a special poultry day, a special heritage day event that will include tomahawk and knife throwing demos, heritage displays, costumes and likely a presentation about local heritage vegetables. Wooby said that the location of the Sharbot Lake Farmers Market is what makes it a perfect destination for visitors, since not only does the venue offer up great shopping under cover but also a large park with picnic tables and washroom facilities, a state of the art playground, huge shade trees and a beautiful sandy beach and floating dock for those wanting a refreshing swim in the lake.
Wooby plans to focus on the market’s beach and park front location as a major selling point and will be advertising it as a day trip destination. He is also hoping to attract new farm vendors this year, including backyard farmers who can choose to become regular, occasional or one time vendors. For more information about becoming a vendor or about the regular vendors and the goods they sell, visit sharbotlakefarmersmarket.ca. Wooby said he is confident that as the temperatures rise, so too will the number of shoppers and vendors. Market brochures are available on site and emphasize the organizers’ commitment to offering shopping within 100 km. of home and “supporting local farmers and getting quality food-picked fresh within 24 hours of purchase”. The Sharbot Lake Farmers Market is open every Saturday from 9am to 1pm.