Fresh, organic produce will soon be available at the returning on-campus farmers' markets.
The Centre for Sustainable Food Systems (CSFS) at the UBC Farm hosts weekly summer markets, starting June 10. The UBC Farm will put on three markets per week from June through to mid-October, in various locations around campus.
The Farm offers a large selection of organic produce, herbs, free-range eggs fresh cut flowers and more. Also included in the experience are artisans, live musicians and other local vendors who bring breads, cheese, meats, honey and vegetables.
“We try and attract other vendors who offer products we don’t. Generally these folks are newer farmers… It’s nice to have others there to make sure all the guests can find what they want,” said Shannon Lambie, communications and outreach coordinator at the CSFS.
“We’re one of the only places where you can shop and come visit the farm where everything’s grown…. Although people can go to Whole Foods and Choices to pick up the same kinds of produce, there still really is that missing link between getting to look at the place where that food was grown, ask questions about how it was grown, and meet the people who grew it,” said Lambie.
The farmers' market also has a children’s crew who organize age-appropriate crafts and games for kids and a free tour of the site highlighting their projects which work towards a more sustainable future. The tour starts each Saturday at 11:00 a.m. and “is a really great chance for people to come and connect in a really meaningful way with a place that their food was grown,” according to Lambie.
In addition to this, Lambie notes that the farm has begun the process towards becoming certified organic. “We have been following organic standards since the beginning, which has been a big principle for us, however for a long time, we actually tried to decide if we were going to go through the certification process.”
The farm has always followed organic practices, but “now we’re growing, we want to expand our research, we want to become a truly organic university farm,” said Lambie.
The market will be held on Wednesday afternoons from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. in front of the UBC Book Store, but the farm site will open on on Tuesdays evenings and Saturdays. The Tuesday night market is new this year, opening June 23. Their long-standing multiple-vendor market is on Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. starting June 13.
Volunteers are welcomed for the Saturday markets. More information can be found on the farm's website.