ROBIN BOOKER/BRANDON SUN
Georgine Mann, left, sells products at the Farmers Market in The Town Centre parkade on Saturday morning.
Manitoba’s only year-round farmers market was in full swing Saturday morning, with 14 vendors selling homegrown and homemade goods in The Town Centre parkade.
Gene and Dotty Hyndman stand at their vendor table at the Farmers Market in The Town Centre parkade on Saturday morning.
(ROBIN BOOKER/BRANDON SUN)
Some of the vendors have been selling at the market for more than a decade, including Margret Senkbeil who tends a garden with her husband and daughter-in-law outside of Kemnay. They were selling an assortment of vegetables, including potatoes and beets.
"I’m an old-time member of the co-op. I was one of the first members who started this market and I think we’ve been going for around 35 years," Senkbeil said. "The atmosphere of the market is great. We have a good customer base and we love this facility where we’re under the roof and protected from the elements."
Senkbeil said the produce is very good this year, although they’ve had difficulty germinating carrots.
Georgine Mann has been part of the Brandon Farmers Market Co-op for seven years and is currently the president of its board. Mann was selling different flavors of honey, beeswax candles, lip-balm, hand creams, as well as baking and bread with honey in it. Mann gets the raw material for her goods from the 350 beehives she helps run.
"The bees are doing wonderful this year, although the canola needs to slow down a little bit because the heat has speed it up and its a little further advanced then it normally is," Mann said.
Jeanette Ens was selling her produce with help from her son Billy, daughter Abby, and her father, Bill Loewen. This is Ens’s 13th season selling at the co-op. Ens said she works in her 2.5 - 3.0 acer garden with her husband everyday, often from 6 a.m. to noon and 4 p.m. until dark.
"Most of the produce is really good this year. Some of the things that needed cooler weather like peas, lettuce and spinach took a bit of a beating because of the hot weather. But everything else is looking fantastic, like the corn, beans, cucumbers and potatoes." said Ens.
Ens said it’s a fun morning at the market because of the conversations and relationships she has with the customers and also because of the 9 a.m. rush when everyone is trying to get the some of the vegetables that are new to the market that week.
Margaret Allen, who has been going to farmers markets for more than 10 years, said she comes to the market to buy a little bit of everything. On Saturday she bought cucumbers for pickling, beans, bread and some baking.
"It’s worth the trip — better then sitting at home, that’s for sure. I like to visit with the people working at the vendors. You get to know them and you get to have conversations with them when they’re not to busy," Allen said.
Holding a bag with an apple crisp in it, while on the hunt for some fresh produce, Larry Mennie said he comes to the market later in the morning after the early rush and that he isn’t worried about missing out because there is usually lots to go around.
"This is my garden here in the parking lot. It’s a lot easier to weed," Mennie said.
Kyung Kim was showing the market to her parents who were visiting her from Korea. Kim comes to the market to buy bread, honey and vegetables.
"I like that the food here is homegrown and I like to support small farmers," Kim said.
Republished from the Brandon Sun print edition July 30, 2012