Marika Nagasaka is a Sooke Country Market regular. The season begins on May 7.

Cultivating comunity at the market

Country market becoming a popular Saturday event

ooke Country market opens this Saturday, May 7 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.!

I’m looking forward to getting back into the market scene, catching up with all the vendors, seeing our regular customers and all the people who enjoy and appreciate the feel of the market.

The market is a great place to plug into the community.  It is my chance to hang out with other farmers (and gardeners) and talk about the weather, planting dates and techniques.  I love that my tent is right beside Teresa of Silver Cloud farm.  We’re both so busy farming, it’s hard to find time to hang out, but at the slow times during market we get a chance to connect and share.  It’s probably my favorite part of market!  A lot of information flows back and forth at market.

This is the 16th year for Sooke Country Market. The market has really grown over the years, this will be the sixth year ALM has been attending, and we have come a long way in that time.  Thanks are due to the vendors who have stuck it out through the quiet years, the board of directors who stayed on through the lean years and the customers who have supported our market all along the way.

We are fortunate for our current location, it’s great to see people walking and biking to market.  The market is allowed to use it every Saturday through the season, all we are required to do is keep the grass cut and purchase insurance.  This is a very generous arrangement, we are very thankful to the folks who share it with us. During the lean times this was crucial to the survival of the market.

I love watching people connect at market; it’s great when folks hang around and chat with their community members.  The market is not just about vending, it is a place for the community to come together and I often think how nice it would be to have a site with more seating and maybe some music to encourage more community.  We are currently trying to look forward 5-10 years to vision what we want our market to look like.  Our ability to grow is limited by our lack of running water, washrooms, electricity and size of venue.

Come on down to our market this Saturday and see what we have to offer.  We have more farmers every year.  There will be lots of plant starts to help get the garden going, early spring crops (lots of greens!), eggs, seeds, bouquets, baking, preserves, arts and crafts (including crochet, jewelry, leather and woodwork).  As well, there is a lot of local knowledge available, so don’t be afraid to ask questions.  We all have something to learn and share.

Marika Nagasaka