By Tim Kalinowski
Irvine residents gathered at the New Horizons Club last Wednesday for their weekly farmers market. Dozens of people milled around tables buying or looking over crafts, health products, fresh baking and Hutterite, fresh-garden vegetables.
Pauline Robinson is one of the organizers for the Irvine farmers market. The market is in its inaugural summer in the community, and for Robinson and other locals it represents more than a purely commercial enterprise in the small community of 300 people.
“The idea is to try and get the community together and get something going for Irvine,” Robinson told the Courier last week. “There’s not really too much else going on in Irvine. But there are a lot of really cool businesses here that most people aren’t aware of. So the market makes people aware and brings people together as a community to support the small businesses that are here.”
Eight year-old Jane Stafford was one of the vendors in the market last week. She was selling hand made greeting cards. To Stafford, the market is a great way to show off her hard work, make some money and have some fun.
“There is a lot of people coming to buy my cards,” said Stafford. “I cut out the paper and put stamps on and layer sometimes. It’s a lot of work, but the farmer’s market is fun.”
Charmaine Wood of Peace United Church said someone from church attends the market every week to sell home baking and other items. The proceeds go to support her church.
“I really like the idea of this farmers market,” said Wood. “There is some excitement about it here in Irvine. It’s nice to get people together and give a market for people who have stuff to sell. There are a lot of entrepreneurs in this community.”
Martha Michaud is one of the market’s loyal, weekly customers. She, like many, has begun buying veggies and baked good from the market rather than go to a larger greenhouse or bakery outside of the community.
“I am enjoying it,” confirmed Michaud. “It’s something different. And some days who wants to bake? It’s nice to see the fresh vegetables, especially for those who don’t have a garden.”
But there is something even more important to consider, says Michaud. In a community that has lost so much over the years, it is really nice to see the town getting something back for a change.
“It’s nice to get the community out. I am glad people are coming out and doing what they should be doing: Supporting local events to keep our little town going.”
The Irvine farmers market is open every Wednesday from 3-7 p.m.