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Farmer’s Market for Charity returns to support community groups

Pesticide-free and organically grown produce will be available, along with homemade preserves/jellies, homemade baking and a 50/50 draw 

Yara Community Gardens is hosting its 13th annual Farmer’s Market for Charity this weekend, where dozens of gardeners will sell their vegetables to help support community non-profit organizations. 

The charity event takes place on Saturday, Aug. 17 from 8 a.m. to noon at the community gardens on the 200 block of Home Street West. All funds raised will support Hunger in Moose Jaw and Riverside Mission. 

Riverside Mission will serve a pancake breakfast during the morning. Pesticide-free and organic produce will be available, along with homemade preserves/jellies, homemade baking and a 50/50 draw. 

There are about 150 people with green thumbs who use the gardens, two of which are located on Home Street West and a third that is located behind Bell Park near the corner of Ninth Avenue East and Caribou Street, explained Jeremy Zacharias, community gardens co-ordinator. Almost all gardeners donate a portion of their produce every year to the charity fundraiser.    

“It comes right from the gardens. You can even take a tour of the gardens while you’re there too,” Zacharias said. “It’s a wonderful way to create awareness for the gardens (and) for gardening itself. It’s to create some good community connections within our city too.”

There are tables and tables of food available each year, and each year, it all is sold, he continued. Hunger in Moose Jaw then takes the money raised and some of the produce and donates it to Riverside Mission. 

Most of the 150 gardeners will sell their produce during the fundraiser, said Zacharias. Some people won’t, though, since they themselves need the food they grow to survive. Yet, everyone is encouraged to make a donation if possible. 

Zacharias’ favourite part of the event is seeing the growth in community connections made during the morning. He pointed out there are wonderful people who support the charity event, including volunteers who wash and prepare the vegetables beforehand or set up for the event itself. He also enjoys socializing with people who come to the market every year. 

“For me, that’s the highlight of the day … ,” Zacharias added. “It’s a wonderful thing to see (gardening) flourish.” 

Besides the Farmer’s Market for Charity, Hunger in Moose Jaw is also preparing for its annual Pumpkin Harvest on Saturday, Sept. 21 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at its garden on the 1000 block of Grey Avenue. This is a family-friendly event and everyone is encouraged to attend.