For folks seeking fresh produce and homemade goods there’s a new market in Fort Richmond ready to serve.
The University of Manitoba’s Office of Sustainability has launched the first outdoor farmers’ market on the campus, next door to University Centre outside of the Fitzgerald Building.
The biweekly event is starting small, said farmers’ market co-ordinator Bambilyn Goodale, and features about 15 vendors carrying produce, preserves, flowers, and handcrafts.
"We wanted to share the idea of ‘make it, bake it, grow it,’" Goodale said. "Having people come and have the opportunity to buy fresh fruit, fresh vegetables, handmade products and items that would promote sustainability in terms of using less plastics.
"We have vendors that are selling all kinds of items that assist with those kinds of initiatives and just getting the idea of sustainable development out to the campus and surrounding community," she said.
Goodale said the idea for the farmers’ market came up during a planning session in her office and they decided to give it a go. So far, uptake has been fair and Goodale said more vendors are joining the market as word spreads.
"It’s been fantastic. We’ve had two markets, and at both of them the vendors were quite successful and we had a great turnout of people," Goodale said.
For now, meat and most chilled items will not be available at the U of M market due to lack of electricity and freezer space, Goodale said.
The university’s active living centre will also be offering free programming during market hours.
"A big component of what our office does is about engagement and bringing people in to understand sustainability and sustainable development," Goodale said. "Part of that is reducing single-use plastics, being more sustainable with the products that you choose, using locally grown items, locally made items… our goal is to engage the community and bring people on board with sustainable goals and development in their personal lives as well as their work lives."
Current vendors include Reclaim Mending, Jonathan Loewen Farms, Knits N Things, Tamara Ewatski Sewing, Dragonfly Jewellery, Yung Jalapeno Mustard, and BLDG Gardens. Come August, iHooked, Red Pine Wood Co, Northstar Teas and Nikki LA Fluid Art will also be on site.
More vendors are welcome to apply, Goodale said.
The market opened on July 2 and will run every other week on Tuesdays from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., until September 24. Goodale said the $25 vendor fee collected by the Office of Sustainability from the farmers’ market will support the office’s annual sustainability night in March.
Anyone coming into the campus from neighbouring communities is encouraged to either walk or bike into the market. More information about the market is available at umanitoba.ca/campus/sustainability/index.html
Danielle Da Silva
Community journalist — The Sou'wester
Danielle Da Silva is the community journalist for The Sou'wester. Email her at email@example.com