Community Papers

Market creates bursary to new farm

As the growing season closes and farmers' thoughts turn to planning for next years’ crops, the Comox Valley Farmers' Market is also looking forward to next year.

In an effort to support new farmers in the Valley, the Market has created a bursary to one new farm for the 2014 farming season. New farmers in the Comox Valley are invited to apply for the bursary. The board of directors is hoping to provide the bursary each year, to help new farmers get themselves up and running each spring.

The idea for the bursary came from two young farmers who’ve been at the market for 10 years now, selling their fabulous strawberries, garlic and seeds grown at Good Earth Farms. Simon and Heather know how hard it can be when you’re just getting started and wanted to help new farmers so they donated the first $250.

The current board hopes to bring the fund up to $500 for the bursary including a $100 one-year membership to the Comox Valley Farmers' Market as well as $400 for farm-related expenses.

Donations to the bursary fund can be made at the Market table beside the entertainer’s area at the Native Sons Hall every Saturday until Dec. 21. The market will be closed Dec. 28 and Jan. 4 and will reopen Jan. 11.

"Access to farm land is a challenge for young and new farmers," says Moss Dance, CVFM board member and local farmer, "But start-up costs in the spring can also be a barrier to new farmers.

"In the late winter and early spring, seeds, inputs, tools, repairs and supplies need to be purchased. We hope the timing of this bursary will help a new farmer in the Comox Valley get started for the 2014 season."

The $500 bursary includes a $100 one-year membership to the Comox Valley Farmers' Market as well as $400 for farm-related expenses and will be awarded early in the new year.

Young farmers are invited to submit a written, audio or video application to the CVFM. The application form will be available on our website and through our Facebook page at

www.comoxvalleyfarmersmarket.com and

www.facebook.com/ComoxValleyFarmersMarket.

— Comox Valley Farmers' Market

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