For our city, this venue [City Hall] housing our City Market is a big deal. To date we have had one year-round market in the city, and its walls are only so big. Demand is bigger. So is supply. Whoever lined the City Market up with City Hall deserves a big pat on the back.
I’ve been struggling for months with what to say [or not say] about farmers’ markets. I learned a lot last year while shooting videos on farms, some frustrating, some angering. And I’ve learned a lot more since. Slagging markets is not on my agenda, but improving them through consumer awareness is. My situation is currently complicated by the fact that as of February I’m serving on the board of the Alberta Farmer’s Market Association. More on all this soon enough, as it’s been a long time coming.
What I can say [I think...?] is that farmers’ markets are a critical part of the solution when it comes to responsible agriculture and responsible eating. In a world where big business guides policy makers on what the public should see on labels [GMO being a big one for me personally], it’s so lovely to side step all that crap and have a relationship with the farm directly. And for those wanting to bail from industrially farmed food, I can’t think of a better forum than a farmer’s market to connect directly with producers. Nothing beats it. It is, as of right now, the best solution to an increasingly visible problem that is our contemporary industrial food supply.
Which is why the City Market going indoors in such an appropriate venue is a big step in my mind. Not just because those wanting to eat local have won a big piece of the year [a quarter, roughly] to further do so – they could have gone to OSFM. Vastly more importantly to me is that more farms are getting the chance to sell to their customers – farms that would otherwise be shut out of existing already-too-full-waiting-list-only markets. That’s months of extra revenue, which will for some will be the difference between whether they’ll be there to serve you in the future – or not. Our farming community needs access to this kind of thing. We need them to have it. Thanks again, to the good folks who are working to connect those dots.