Williams Lake Farmers Market manager Jane Bowser (from left) along with executive director Barb Scharf of the Williams Lake Farmers Market Association are proud to be partnering with Deb Radolla and the other members of Seedy Saturday for a special joint market to open up the market’s season. Patrick Davies Photo.

Seedy Saturday and Williams Lake Farmers Market unite to kick off 2019 garden season

The event begins at 10 a.m. Saturday and runs until 2 p.m.

This year the 11th annual Seedy Saturday and the Williams Lake Farmers’ Market are combining forces for one Saturday only to bring the community Seedy Saturday and an Early Bird Market.

This move comes partially out of convenience and partially happenstance, as both events were scheduled to occur on the same weekend, the farmers’ market on May 3 and Seedy Saturday on May 4. However, when organizers from the separate events realized they draw similar crowds and vendors, they decided to combine forces.

The event begins at 10 a.m. Saturday and runs until 2 p.m. in the parking lot adjacent to the Cariboo Memorial Recreation Complex and Kiwanis Park.

READ MORE: Seedy Saturday a celebration of local food, gardening and community

As Deb Radolla, one of the organizers for Seedy Saturday puts it, this decision “just kind of happened” and is something organizers for both events are looking forward to.

Radolla jokingly observed that they’ve collaborated so much they can hardly tell now who is bringing who for this event.

That being said, Radolla said familiar Seedy Saturday faces, like those of the Williams Lake Secondary School Horticulture Club, who’ll be bringing tomatoes, hanging plants and other plants will be on hand, as well.

A first timer for Seedy Saturday last year, Radolla said, was the Central Cariboo Beekeepers Association, who will be demonstrating their apiary skills again this year, while the Potato House will be there to do some composting.

In addition, the Invasive Species Council of B.C., the Salvation Army, the TRU Sustainable Ranching Program and United Way will also be present at the event.

Concessions will also be on site at the event with the Fennel Cup, Big Dog Enterprises, Fabiola’s Mexican Food and Cody’s Bannock, farmers’ market mainstays, all set to be there.

“We want to make sure everyone knows that the event is open to everybody, we want everyone in Williams Lake to come along and be able to walk around and learn some new things,” Radolla said.

“There’s going to be something for everybody and a great way to spend a spring Saturday in Williams Lake.”

The market manager for the Williams Lake Farmers’ Market, Jane Bowser, concurred with Radolla, saying she didn’t wish to have two markets split the customer base that weekend.

However, Bowser said that after this opening market they’ll be going back to their usual Friday times for the rest of the season.

For the Seedy Saturday/Early Bird Market, she estimates they’ll have between 30 to 40 vendors when all is said and done.

Entertainment will be provided, as always, via the farmers’ market sound system, with farmer’s market favourite Harry Jennings swinging by for a few hours to perform as well as Sharon Hoffman and LeRae Haynes, Bowser said. She joked, beyond logistics, the only real concern is the co-operation of the weather during the event.

READ MORE: Farmers market proposes extra night market

On May 10, Bowser added they’re hoping to have a customer appreciation day to officially start off their season with cake and treats available to attendees.

Barb Scharf, an executive for the Williams Lake Farmers’ Market Association, said that her role in the planning is as a representative for the association.

Scharf said that new to Seedy Saturday is the Williams Lake Garden Club, of which she is a member, who will be manning the seed table and providing expert advice.

“We’re also planning on rolling out a Tuesday evening market this year and we’re hoping to start that in July and August when all the produce comes on board and we have enough vendors to make that happen,” Scharf said, adding if it goes well they hope to make this extra day a permanent feature.

Likewise, if the partnership with Seedy Saturday goes well this year, Scharf foresees a repeat of the joint event as she reasons that the more they can offer people the better.

For those looking to get involved with the event or learn more about either organization, check out the groups’ Facebook pages or visit booths set up at the event.

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