The Moose Jaw Homegrown Farmer's Market, the longest-running farmer's market in the city, will start its season this Saturday, May 27, from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Langdon Crescent in front of the Public Library.
The market is a true homemade, handcrafted, originally produced, locally supported event, and has stayed faithful to that commitment for over 20 years.
"Last year was a good year, really amazing and busy, so we're very hopeful this year will be the same, and maybe even more busy," said Diane Kramski. Kramski is the treasurer for the Homegrown Farmer's Market and the proprietor of market vendor Dewclaw Gardens.
"I will have a lot of baking, preserves, jam, and then a lot of my handmade items — sewing, knitting, things like that," Kramski said. "We have a great variety of vendors, and I can't stress enough that everything is made by that vendor. It's all homegrown, homemade, handmade, and all local."
Farmer's markets have served as community gathering places and events since ancient times, and remain vitally important as a way of supporting and preserving local food traditions, connecting producers to consumers by cutting out intermediary dealers, promoting sustainable agriculture, and giving the community access to the freshest, highest-quality goods.
"We can't wait to get started this Saturday, and we have a number of new vendors ... I think we have 10 to 15 new vendors," said Julie-Anne Howe, who volunteers on the Homegrown Market board as secretary. "We're up from last year, which is exciting. We have a coffee roaster coming, we have some new handcrafters, some new produce vendors as well, dog treats, Western wear, and another tea vendor. And we have a lot of our long-term, foundational vendors as well."
Howe is a third-generation cattle rancher who runs Howe Coulee Charolais, a Charolais breeding ranch south of Moose Jaw, with her husband Kelly. They also own and operate Bar Over HC, an agricultural consulting company and apiary. Howe has been selling Bar Over HC honey products at the Homegrown Market for seven years, now.
"We have locally produced honey on our ranch, and we offer raw and savoury honey products to the local market. We're very local and sustainable — we actually have a number of sustainability agreements with local conservation organizations, and we're just really happy to be part of the downtown scene."
The Moose Jaw Homegrown Farmer's Market is partnering up with the Moose Jaw Museum & Art Gallery (MJMAG) this year for Park Art, the MJMAG's most important annual fundraiser. Park Art is held in Crescent Park in front of the Moose Jaw Public Library and MJMAG, so it will be a convenient combination with the market and add even more variety to one of the largest artisan's fairs in Saskatchewan.
Park Art is Saturday, July 1, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. With the addition of the Homegrown Market vendors, there are expected to be nearly 120 stalls for Canada Day 2023.
The Homegrown Market will continue until Thanksgiving weekend. Interested vendors should apply through the market's website site at mjhomegrownmarket.com/apply.