At the Shirley Women's Institute stand Sylvia Cassidy

Fresh, flavourful favoured at Shirley market

New farmers' market is filling a niche for locals

About seven different vendors set up shop outside of the Shirley Community Hall on May 13 for the Shirley Farmers Market’s opening day.

“I’m very happy, really happy,” said Christopher Lucas, organizer and curator for the Shirley Farmers Market. “It worked out really well and the feedback has been very positive.”

There were 30 booths booked for the inaugural day, but due to other Mother’s Day events not all vendors could show up. Lucas said he expects more vendors in following weeks.

“I’m kind of glad in a way that it’s kind of a soft day today,” he said. “It’s a great way to get our feet wet and work out all the little details.”

Different items were sold under the “make it, bake it, create it theme,” like artwork, fudge chocolates, plant start ups and baked goods.

A majority of vendors were from the area, but vendors from Victoria and Salt Spring Island will also be present for future dates.

A bagpiper provided tunes for parts of the afternoon, while locals browsed through vendors, and munched on food sold under the pavilion.

There was also a kids’ zone, where activities for children like face-painting and badminton took place.

Lucas spearheaded the project after a mayoral election in Shirley in October, where he proposed the farmer’s market idea to the community.

“I just asked the community at large, was there an appetite and a desire for a farmer’s market,” he said, adding the idea took off and has received immense support from local residents.

But the ideas haven’t stopped there.

“My hope is that each Sunday we have a specific theme or event or something that is community based showcasing,” Lucas said, adding there will also be different menu items like Belgian waffles, tea and scones, and crepes that will be sold at different times.

To start up, the market received a $1,000 grant from the Capital Regional District from the capital development fund.

The market will take place every second and fourth Sunday of the month, with the next day of operation being May 27 from 10:30 a.m – 4 p.m.

It is expected to run until October outdoors, and will retreat inside of the Shirley Community Hall for the colder months of November to December.

It costs $10 to book a 15×15 table, and any interested vendors can contact Lucas at 250-900-8817.