Community

McLeese Lake Farmers’ Market wins

McLeese Lake Farmers’ Market secretary Wylie Bystedt (left) and group member Torey Lee with the Best Small Farmers Market Award presented by the B.C. Association of Farmers Markets. Bystedt was also re-elected chair of the provincial association during the association’s annual convention. - Photo submitted
McLeese Lake Farmers’ Market secretary Wylie Bystedt (left) and group member Torey Lee with the Best Small Farmers Market Award presented by the B.C. Association of Farmers Markets. Bystedt was also re-elected chair of the provincial association during the association’s annual convention.
— image credit: Photo submitted

The McLeese Lake Farmers’ Market is heading into its third year this spring with high praise from the B.C. Association of Farmers’ Markets.

During the association’s annual convention in Vancouver last weekend the McLeese Lake Farmers’ Market won the award for Best Small Farmers Market in the province.

“We are very honoured to receive this award,” says Jan Borgen manager and chair of the McLeese Lake Farmers’ Market Association.

She said there are three award categories for the award, small, medium and large based on the number of vendors participating.

Nominations are received from people who believe their  markets operate in an exemplary way and add value to their community.

This year, Borgen said the McLeese Lake Farmers’ Market has 22 registered vendors, with an average of eight to 15 participating on any given Sunday.

She said the McLeese Lake group chose Sundays for their farmers market so that their vendors could also attend markets in Williams Lake which are on Fridays and markets in Quesnel which are on Saturdays.

This year she says the McLeese Lake Farmers’ Market will start on Sunday, May 21 and wrap up the season on Sunday, Sept. 24.

The award was accepted by their board members Torey Lee who owns Coyote Acres near Quesnel and Wylie Bysedth who was re-elected president of the B.C. Association of Farmers’ Markets.

She said the McLeese Lake Farmers’ Market was able to be established with support from the Cariboo Regional District which had provided $2,000 a year for three years to help them get established.

She said the funding helps the group purchase highway signs and flags, and with  the cost of insurance for the market and the six directors.

She says the McLeese Lake Volunteer Fire Department also helps out by keeping a rescue vehicle on site with required fire extinguishers and first aid supplies.

“This year we will have a couple of tents set up where people can sit and visit,” Borgen says.

The season starts out with bedding plants with fruit and vegetable vendors attending as crops come into season. She says they also have people who sell various meat products, home baking and crafts.

During the high growing season of July, August and September she says they usually have at least three fruit and vegetable vendors on site including a garlic grower.

She said one 83-year-old vendor makes a delicious fudge and other members help her to set up her booth.

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