What can be better than tantalizing your taste buds with a “Feast on a Plate” this Saturday in downtown Trail?
Doing one better than simply providing a venue for a plate of treats from Kootenay vendors, Trail’s incrEDIBLE Farmers’ Market is hosting “Feast on a Plate” to raise money for a salient initiative called the Farmers Market Nutrition Coupon Program.
In a nutshell, the program dispenses coupons to low income families, and limited income individuals, to trade for fresh goods every other Saturday at the Cedar Avenue locale.
“The Farmers Market Nutrition Coupon Program is an incredible initiative that has had a positive impact on residents and growers,” explained incrEDIBLE volunteer Gina Ironmonger.
“The program supports low income families, seniors and expectant moms to access fresh, nutritious, locally grown fruits, vegetables, meats, dairy and eggs, thus improving health outcomes while supporting our local and agriculture economies,” Ironmonger said.
“Our partner is the Trail United Church Food Bank which provides and offers, along with other community agencies, nutrition and skill-building programs.”
How it works, is eligible patrons are given $21 in coupons to buy food specifically from market vendors.
“Thus families, farmers and our communities all benefit from this program,” said Ironmonger.
“So, we are inviting people to come on down, have lunch, enjoy live music by Jason Thomas, shop, meet your local farmer and ask questions to see how your food is grown and raised. Come down and also check out some of our fabulous bakers and artisans, and you can also cool off in our misting tent.”
There are a few ways to help raise funds for the program at the Saturday event, which runs from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m.
“We will be selling tickets for a draw comprised of a beautiful storage foot stool made by volunteers, with burlap donated by Trail Coffee Co., a $50 gift certificate from Kootenay Kabab, and a couple bottles of wine from by Columbia Garden Winery,” Ironmonger explained.
“Or, for a minimum donation of $5, you can get a plate of treats donated by many of our vendors.”
Those merchants include Earthy Organics, Kreative Cupcakes, North Fork Pork, Leanna’s Li’l Market, Kettle Kountry Farm, Dominga’s, Eugen and Ellen, Off the Farm, D & D Baking, and others.
“A shout out to Shoppers Drug Mart for donating bottled water,”Ironmonger added. “Also to Warfield Petro-Canada for donating ice, and to all the businesses who provide power and water in support of the market and this program.”
Food trucks and vendors bringing an array of oh-so-good treats include: Little Miss Gelato; Chef Dean Engen from Spencer’s Chef Garden food truck; the Garden of Vegan with baking and garden produce; Delicious Greek Food with a variety of donairs; Twist Potato; Domingas with Filipino cuisine and more; Valhalla Lemonade; and the Trail Legion with meat and vegan hamburgers, hot dogs, popcorn and a tulip bulb fundraiser for 75th anniversary of the Liberation of Holland.
Now in it’s fourth season, Trail’s incrEDIBLE Farmers Market has grown from humble roots to stellar recognition on a provincial scale.
In 2018, the volunteer-run event was awarded the Best Small Farmers Market in BC by the farmers market association.
“With that support we have now grown from about 10 vendors per week to between 25 and 35 make, bake, and grow vendors per week,” Ironmonger said.
“We are so thankful and grateful for that support as we are all volunteers, located throughout the Lower Columbia Region and care deeply for our communities.”
Over the past few years, the volunteers have partnered with other organizations to add the market experience to events.
Hundreds of people, of all ages, gathered in Gyro Park just a few weeks ago for the group’s very successful Night Market which was blended into an entertaining double-attraction at Kootenay Savings Music in the Park.
Next on the incrEDIBLE list is to support an age-friendly event in the Beaver Valley on Sept. 14.
“The Dynamic Aging Society hosts an event called ‘BE in BV’ that showcases lifestyle activities for all ages throughout the region,” Ironmonger said. “This will be a fun, family-friendly event with 40+exhibitors plus market and food trucks.”