Feature Story                                                                                                        Monday, June 23, 2014

 

Chilliwack's Greenheart is Back

Farmers Market at Five Corners could soon be offering liquor as part of their bevy of locally produced items

Staff/Voice photos

 

Forstbauer farm began their organic vegetables under cold frames to get an early start on the growing season. Below, Lisa Peach sorts produce.

 

t was a great combination — the first day of summer and the first day of the Chilliwack Farmers Market.

When word got out a couple of weeks ago that the Farmers Market was moving to Five Corners from Minter's Country Store, it generated quite a buzz in the community. No longer was it going to be way down Young Road but downtown within walking distance.

Everybody loves the new location. Vendors are happy. Buyers are happy too because at the new location, they can relax on park benches or spread out on the grass, picnic and listen to live music.

"In a couple of weeks, we're going to have Woody James playing here," said Jim Peach, who manages the market with his wife Lisa.

 

He acknowledges that it's going to take time for the market to become established at the new site.

Despite some last minute vendor cancellations, the first day was a festive occasion and drew a good crowd.

"We're expecting a lot more folks over the next few weekends to join us," said Lisa Peach. "There will be music every Saturday starting about 9:30 a.m. All the musicians are local. So it should be loads of fun with a large variety of things going on."

Peach says buyers can expect a variety of locally grown fruits and vegetables, homemade breads, pies and juices.

Forstbauer Farms brought out their finest produce, including carrots, radishes and cucumbers.

"We're really, really excited to be here and we hope everyone comes out and checks out what we've got going on," said Lindsay Forstbauer.

Husband and wife musicians Chantele Delaine and Dan McGuire moved to Chilliwack 4 months ago from Abbotsford.

Dan McGuire and Chantele Delaine entertained shoppers at the market on Saturday. Below, Lindsay Forstbauer will be selling a range of organic vegetables this summer.

 

She's a talented songwriter and does the singing while her husband plays the keyboards on original and cover tunes.

Delaine says with the kids grown and gone, they have more time for playing.

"Now, we want to actively seek our passion which is community and music," she explained.

The talented duo recently got their buskers permit, so watch for them playing around Chilliwack over the summer and fall.

It helps that Rob Carnegie, Director of Corporate Services for the City of Chilliwack, plays guitar.

"I'm really happy that the City waived the $40 fee," she said. "It's actually Rob Carnegie who's spearheaded the busker program and is very supportive of people using a little bit of amplification when they're busking."

Abbotsford doesn't have buskers, so Delaine and her husband were really happy that Chilliwack is allowing street performers.


City of Chilliwack councillor Chuck Stam was happy shopping local and supporting local farmers.  Peak Essentials ladies were selling home baked goodies such as Cavemen cookies, backpack bites and peak protein bars.


"There's a bit of alienation in Abbotsford when it comes to that. They have different priorities and a different level of support for buskers and street entertainers."

"I'm not against city laws, but I think that the City was scared of buskers and street entertainers and how it may be enabling panhandling and homelessness and that the two might intertwine too much on the street and they wanted to keep their image clean. They're a little bit anti-homeless in Abbotsford," said Delaine.


On Saturday, the BC government announced that starting next week, beer, wine, cider and spirits can be sampled and sold at Farmers Markets.

“The liquor policy changes that take effect today reflect the lifestyles of contemporary British Columbians,” said Attorney General and Minister of Justice Suzanne Anton. “Being able to pick up a bottle of local wine at your local farmers’ market is one of many balanced changes that support convenience and choice for consumers and economic growth for B.C.”

The government wants a community-centred approach where liquor manufacturers can apply directly to the farmers’ markets where they want to sell their products and it will be up to the market association to determine which vintners, distillers and brewers are accepted, subject to municipal bylaws. To help ensure responsible service and prevent sales to minors, liquor vendors need to have Serving it Right certification.

“The liquor policy changes that take effect today reflect the lifestyles of contemporary British Columbians,” said Attorney General and Minister of Justice Suzanne Anton. “Being able to pick up a bottle of local wine at your local farmers’ market is one of many balanced changes that support convenience and choice for consumers and economic growth for B.C.”

Another amendment to the laws will allow liquor-primary establishments to apply to accommodate minors so families can eat together.

Also, private liquor stores and wine stores now have the opportunity to set up temporary stores at liquor and food and beverage festivals to sell products that are featured at the festival.

Read more about the liquor law changes in a 60-page pdf file here.

The Chilliwack Farmers Market runs rain or shine every Saturday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. until October 11. For more information visit www.chilliwackfarmersmarket.com. Connect with Forstbauer Farm on Facebook here.

 

See more photos below.

 

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Thanks for looking. Please support local farmers and food producers.