The Clearwater Farmer’s Market is putting out a call for local backyard growers, gardeners and hobby farmers to join its new Grower’s Collective.
The collective works by having a table set up at the markets where growers who don’t produce enough product to justify having their own, or those who may not have the time to set up a table each weekend, can sell their stuff at the collective table.
“It’s just a way for us to represent them, get their produce to the market and help support filling the gap where it’s needed,” said Joanna Hurst, coordinator for the Yellowhead Community Service (YCS) Food Security program.
Those interested in selling product at the Growers Collective table can pay a one-time $10 fee or donate the proceeds of their sales to the Food Security Program.
The Food Security Program is an umbrella with several programs that operate underneath it like the Community Kitchen, the Community Garden, the Lending Cupboard, the Farmer’s Market itself, and the Farmer’s Market Coupon Program among others.
The Grower’s Collective also helps support the Coupon Program by supplementing food items the rest of the market vendors may be short on.
“People can use coupons to buy fresh fruits and vegetables, eggs, dairy, nuts, and things like that and sometimes our market is lacking in those,” Hurst said.
“We have one main fruit and vegetable vendor and they come from Barriere and they want to retire. So this is a way to get more growers happening, introduce them to the market and then hopefully they’ll get their feet wet, enjoy it and want to do it more and also maybe become a vendor that’ll replace that at some point.”
It’s hoped that some of those who sign up to be in the Grower’s Collective will also take turns manning the table from time to time, though there are volunteers willing to take up the task when collective members can’t make it.
Anyone with extra produce to sell can join the collective by contacting Hurst at 250-674-3530 or email firstname.lastname@example.org