Mission City Farmer’s Market outdoor markets are held every Saturday rain or shine from the first Saturday of May to the first Saturday or October since 1996!
Join us at the Welton Common parking lot (behind the Post Office) where you’ll find seasonal local produce, farm fresh eggs, bread, honey, preserves, baking, plants, seeds, natural skin care products, and many other handcrafted items. Meet your neighbours in the ‘Heart of the Market’ for storytelling at 11:00 am and free-craft-making or listen to live music and enjoy a cup of coffee and a snack.
From November to April we hold indoor market events about once a month at Heritage Park Middle School in the lobby. We also host special events, such as Seedy Saturday, Children’s Day, Mission Eats Local and Farmers Appreciation Day: come out and hear local musicians, listen to a storyteller, and meet your neighbours!
Question: How are you supporting other local businesses?
Answer: Our whole reason for being is to make local products available – everything is locally made, baked, grown, or wild harvested. We offer about 100 vendors per year a place to sell their products, and help consumers discover local products. As an organization, when we spend money we do our best to support local businesses, and support the organizations who sponsor us. We have different vendors for different markets, and can make it easy and affordable for backyard gardeners, young vendors and community groups to participate in the market. All of our accounting, banking, insurance and advertising are with local businesses. We sell mushrooms from a local farm as a fundraiser each week, and hire local entertainers. For example, we invited a First Nation’s drumming group to kick off National Indigenous People’s Week.
Question: What social and environmental practices are you proud of?
Answer: One of the things we’re most proud of is that our visitors find our market to be inclusive and welcoming, and that they spend as much time or more socializing than shopping. We’re building community! We have a number of volunteers, and work with the Mission Community Services Society’s New to Canada Program to host volunteers at the market to help out and get engaged with the community. We’re also working with the Mission-Punjabi Cultural Club to translate our posters into Punjabi, and work with vendors to learn what products Punjabi shoppers might want to purchase. We participate in the B.C. Association of Farmer’s Market’s nutritional program to help 70 families get coupons for nutritionally dense foods (fruits, vegetables and meat). We were one of the first markets involved in the program, we bring more and more families into the program each year, and our vendors benefit from the increased sales.
We pay a “living wage” for our Market Manager contract, and hire high school students to help nurture and train them to get ready for other employment. We work with so many local businesses and community groups – we support each other. We bank with Prospera Credit Union, and they waive some account fees and sometimes lend us tents. We have received grants from the District of Mission and Vancity, and Vancity has promoted us in their Local Business Showcase in the branch. Local businesses sometimes provide us with discounts and/or donations – Bear County Bakery donated a special cake for an opening ceremony, and Sue’s Copy often gives us discounts on printing.
In terms of environmental initiatives, we’ve been encouraging vendors to reduce their use of plastic produce and shopping bags. We’ve asked the B.C. Farmer’s Market Association for help working towards a coordinated bulk purchase of a better alternative for all farmer’s markets in B.C. We have a compost bin at the market, and we encourage vendors to donate left over produce to take to a homeless shelter. It helps avoid food waste and helps people in the community who need help.