The Farmers Showcase last Saturday has officially been declared an all out, no holds barred success! I was there with my 100 Mile Diet song 'n dance and by the end I was close to voiceless and my feet were giddy with joy and elation!
Hello to everyone that I met and chatted with!
Not even the rain could keep the hoards away as you can tell from these photos. The pics are courtesy of Dirk from Compassion Farms, who also happens to be one of the co-ringleaders of this awesome event. I wasn't able to get away from my table until the last hour or so of the event to take photos.
The public was hungry for local food and information about local food sources. Unlike previous fall events where I would get people telling me that they "can't do a 100 mile diet during the fall and winter because there's nothing to eat here," which is so completely defeated and passive. Instead, folks were asking, 'So where can I get my produce this fall and winter to continue my 100 mile diet." A totally awesome active and constructive approach. Yippee!!
I ran out of information, local food maps and other literature within a few hours and believe me, I was stocked up to the eyeballs. I kept hearing people tell me that they were so happy to have a farmer's market and several asked if this event was going to happen again next week. Unfortunately, no but that just might change in the near future.
To give you an idea how successful it was, Arata, the rock star baker from Flour, Water & Salt sold all 150 loaves of bread in a little over 20 minutes! He wasn't the only one that sold out. Many vendors sold out and more products brought in, only to sell out again! A casual survey showed that most vendors did 3 to 10 times more business that day than at any other farmer's market. A huge sign that Nanaimo needs a REAL farmer's market for the locals.
There's a buzz that a regular weekly farmer's market will be happening next spring. Until then, check out the Nanaimo 100 Mile Diet Challenge website for where you can find locally grown produces and go support local agriculture!