A photo of carrots at the Yellowknife Farmers' Market posted to the event's Facebook page.
Yellowknife’s farmers’ market opens its 2023 season on Tuesday, although the elements might present a lively evening.
The forecast for the market’s return is rain and widespread smoke, winds occasionally gusting to 40 km/h and the risk of a thunderstorm – so if you read this before leaving the house for work, maybe bring something waterproof.
Those smart enough to grab an umbrella (or brave enough to dash carefree into the weather) will get to celebrate the market’s 10th anniversary. The non-profit was formed in 2013 to “grow a local, sustainable and northern food economy in Yellowknife.”
“On the day of the first market, we had no idea whether anyone would show up. There were just a handful of vendors,” France Benoit, the market’s president and one of its co-founders, was quoted as saying in a press release this week.
This year, Benoit said, there are nearly 50 vendors signed up.
“That’s what’s so incredible about this community. We support each other to take the risk of trying something new, putting ourselves out there to show and share what we can create from this land,” she was quoted as saying.
Benoit will appear at Tuesday’s market, which begins at 5:15pm, alongside former Yellowknife mayor Mark Heyck, who will ring the market’s opening bell as he did for the first time 10 years ago. The Yellowknives Dene Drummers will also perform, while musician Grace Clark is slated to play the event.
At least 33 stalls are expected on Tuesday. A map on the market’s website shows you who is expected to appear each week and where in Somba K’e Park you can find them.
Special 10th-anniversary events are planned throughout the summer – the market ordinarily runs weekly until September – and June 27 is earmarked as volunteer appreciation night. The market will run on Monday, June 19 rather than June 20, to avoid clashing with set-up work for National Indigenous Peoples Day events on June 21.
On July 30, the market will host what it termed a “Saladbration!” in partnership with the Territorial Agrifood Association. This is, indeed, a celebration of salad, and it will involve “a giant community-sized salad created live in Somba K’e Civic Plaza.” (An enquiry about the possibility of a giant community-sized steak was not returned.)
Events at this summer’s markets will include a range of family activities, the distribution of free seeds, a workshop for young growers and a historical display.
Meanwhile, if you’re running your own garden this year, remember the market operates a harvesters’ table where people can donate or sell their extra vegetables, berries or wild harvest.