by Anne Jardine
Local Food Security & Kootenay-Columbia Part IV
Wayne Stetski, the NDP Candidate for Kootenay Columbia, is a great fan and supporter of farmers’ markets. To him, they are an essential part of the local food security picture. Fresh-picked produce and the secondary preserves, jams, and sauces; fresh meats, jerky, and sausages; fresh baked goods made with locally grown ingredients – all these items adorn the tables at farmer’s markets.
“The best thing is, you can meet the growers and farmers and find out about their operations, know that their products are ethically produced, their animals are well cared for, and their workers are treated fairly,” Stetski comments.
“Being fresher, local food is healthier and more nutritious, and it tastes better too! We have wonderful farmers’ markets in the communities of this region. Audrey and I have visited all of them, I think, and they each have a different mix of vendors who bring unique flavours and specialties. And people are proud of their markets as part of their local identity. One thing I notice when I go to the farmers’ market is that I never bring enough money. I think I’m just going to get a few veggies, but there is always more to try, to taste, to buy. It’s exciting!” says Stetski.
Farmers’ Markets are part of every community around the region – a perfect way to connect to local flavours. Stetski’s favourite foods are Creston asparagus, Creston cherries, and Cranbrook rhubarb. His favourite local dessert is his wife Audrey’s rhubarb custard pie.
Our region has a variable growing season, but it does produce all kinds of excellent food crops. The local markets that run from May to late September give local residents a way to access and enjoy the bounty of their communities. But aside from their sensory delights, farmers’ markets are an important aspect of local food independence and security.
At the Fernie Farmers Market