The Clearwater Farmer’s Market was a popular destination on Saturday morning in the field next to the Dutch Lake Community Centre (DLCC).
It was a great way to spend one of the first sunny Saturdays in weeks, with vendors selling all kinds of goodies for consumers to check out, such as produce, canned goods, homemade treats, honey and meats.
A single entrance into the field was marked, with an exit on the other side. Hand sanitizer was supplied at the entrance and the standard rules of social distancing were requested while shopping the vendors.
Despite the added precautions, the team from Dixon Creek Farm said it was a great way to spend their first day at the Clearwater Farmer’s Market.
“We do the Barriere one and we just wanted to try doing this one as well,” said Lilly Traupe. “We’ve got lots of produce right now, so thought we’d give them both a try.”
She said that people in both communities have really been supporting local, which is very exciting.
Laura Mairs from Darfield, B.C., was also a first-time vendor at the Clearwater Farmer’s Market. She and her husband brought a whole array of goodies, including hand-spun wool, flavoured vinegar and jam made from haskap berries.
“We put in 60 haskap bushes a couple years ago,” she said. “This year we finally have enough that we’re making haskap jam.”
Mairs added that the morning started off very well and was excited to come back for future markets.
As far as the COVID-19 measures, she doesn’t think they had an impact on the market very much at all.
“I think that we’ve become so used to it that people are just respectful all the time and just very aware of it,” said Mairs. “It hasn’t been an issue at all.”
Joan Daase, who owns Wholly Mending, agrees.
“The farmer’s market is wonderful because people can ‘visit,’ social distance and you can still see the products that are out there,” she said. “I think what it’s improved is maybe our mental state because we’re a social people.
“That’s how we’re created. We’re created to have social interaction with people.”
Many of the visitors at the market looked excited to walk through and peruse the products while children enjoyed running around the open field and playing on the nearby park.
Michelle and Dan Masse of the Farmer’s Pantry said they think the new location next to the DLCC is a great place for the market as it provides better parking, entertainment and foot traffic.
“People were getting just about mowed down on the road [at the old location],” said Dan.
While the Masses said the day was slower than they were used to, this season is better than last year’s, which they said could also be due to the new location.