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Farmer’s Market matures


More stalls, more local crafts, live music and special events

Whistler’s Upper Village Farmer’s Market continues to flourish. This summer promises some exciting new features, as well as nearly a third more vendors from last year.

The market opens July 17 and organizer Luvna Harvey says they’ll be taking advantage of the Father’s Day theme.

"We’re offering a complimentary five-minute massage for the dads who show up," says Harvey. And that’s just the start when it comes to special events. Instead of just the one special weekend Aug. 4 and 5, featuring local farmers, chefs and micro breweries, a second weekend has also been added to the roster. B.C. wineries will be showcased Sept. 1 and 2.

And, on July 28, chef and food writer, Steven Wong, will be on hand to promote local produce in support of the province’s Buy BC Program. "He’s getting four local farmers to bring their favourite vegetable that’s in season at the time, as well as their favourite recipe to go with it," explains Harvey. "He’s going to be interviewing the farmer, talking about the stewardship of the land and really putting the focus on the farmer. That of course is the true focus of the market, raising awareness of where our food comes from, localism, regionalism."

The Sunday afternoon tents are quickly creeping down the entire length of the Upper Village Stroll. At the height of the season, expect to see 65 vendors, up from 45 last year. Interspersed among the cheese, fruits, vegetables, baked goods and other edible delights, there will be a stronger presence of local artisans and musicians. Although the market has always welcomed artisans, this year Harvey says there has been a large response from the local community and all arts and crafts will be strictly from the Sea to Sky Corridor. New this year is an effort in co-operation with Tourism Whistler to bring live music to the market. As part of Tourism Whistler’s street entertainment, performers will appear three times during market hours. There will also be free face painting to keep the children entertained so parents have more time to explore.

With so much quality to choose from, Harvey has initiated another weekly feature: The market information table.

"We’ll have a chalk board with what’s in season this week, especially what’s in season locally instead of what’s coming in from California. We’ll be able to tell people where the local farms are and how to get to them if people are wanting to visit. And we’ll have more information on our policy of ‘100 percent make, bake, or grow."

Cloth shopping bags will also be on sale in support of the market. Harvey points out the info booth will be manned by volunteers. Anyone interested can contact her at 452-3313.

The market runs rain or shine each Sunday afternoon from 11 a.m. — 4 p.m. July 17 to October 7.