The new date and time this year for the Houston Farmers Market should make it more accessible for users and vendors, says its sponsoring agency.
The 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. time slot on Thursdays also continues the pattern established by a winter market, says Marian Ells from Houston Link to Learning.
“They approached us to look at the same time slot for the summer market so we did a survey of all vendors and everyone really liked the new day and time,” she said.
The new date and time means it’ll be open for people wishing to attend after they finish work and it will avoid clashing with the date and time of the Burns Lake market, Ells added.
Houston Link to Learning is renewing its lease with the District of Houston to use the market’s established location at Steelhead Park.
While the market has been in existence for about a decade, Houston Link to Learning stepped in to run the market three years ago when the originating organizing group dissolved.
Ells said Houston Link to Learning already had a connection to the market through its community garden program which grew as an extension of the organization’s literacy programming.
“Many of our participants benefitted from the farmers market nutrition coupon program,” she added. “If the market was not run as a farmers market, the community would lose the coupon program. So we stepped in to run it and it’s been going really well and growing.”
The coupon program is available through the BC Association of Farmers’ Markets where by participating community organizations make available to lower income families and seniors coupons with a value of at least $21 a week.
The coupons must be used to purchase locally-produced foods from vendors who then submit the coupons for payment.
“The coupon program brings around $4,000 into the community,” Ells noted.