Farmers Markets In The Gulf Islands
29th June 2022
There are many ways to experience and enjoy the Gulf Islands. One way to get a taste of the islands is by visiting local farmers markets in the Gulf Islands. Most markets are held from mid-May through September at locations close to the water and thereby accessible to boaters. At each of these you will discover local produce, meats, and seafood, as well as locally produced goods that will leave you wondering why you provisioned at a supermarket. More importantly, though, is the connection made with the people selling their wares, and the knowledge that you’re helping them preserve a beautiful heritage in the islands.
Benefits of farmers markets not only include health boosts from eating freshly harvested produce but also the artistic handcrafted items you can buy at them to bring color to your boat or home.
An average of 28 inches of rain a year rich glacial soil, and moderate temperatures brought by the sea contributes to a plentiful and diverse bounty of produce and products. The patchwork of small farms, ranches, and pastoral lands enjoy a predominantly mild, almost Mediterranean like climate.
Gulf Island residents are no stranger to conscientious, sustainable food production. The way the islands’ residents produce and harvest their land year after year without depletion is something worth supporting.
Farming has been a gulf Island tradition since the first pioneers arrived in the early 1800’s. Traditional farms included everything a family would need to survive the winter, plus excess produce, meat, and dairy destined for the larger markets on Vancouver Island.
It’s hard not to be drawn in by the atmosphere. The sense of community is apparent. Groups converse while listening to buskers strum away. Community members sell baked goods to fundraise for various causes. And the products are as interesting as the people. For sale are lotions, soap, bath bombs, and scrubs. Clothing, too: tie dye fashions, hemp products, hats, scarves, purses, and the list goes on. And jewelry, seemingly in every style and price range.
When in the islands, you’re never far from the freshest of local produce and hand-crafted products. Check out the web links below for a few of the markets, and what type of products you can expect to see available:
What’s in Season?
You can make the most of your trip by knowing what’s in season. Here’s a little cheat-sheet!
Summer & Winter Squash
Arts & Crafts
Cheeses of all kinds
So the next time your boating to the Gulf Islands, definitely swing by a local farmers market!
(Deane Hislop – In Partnership with Freedom Marine)