France Benoit, left, and Lise Picard with their Golden Carrots. Photo: Yellowknife Farmers' Market
They’re big and chunky enough that any farmer would be proud to have grown them, but the three Yellowknifers holding Golden Carrots this month earned them instead.
For the first time, the Yellowknife Farmers’ Market handed out awards to three people “whose service exemplifies the importance of volunteerism in advancing the goal of sustainable urban agriculture, food security and local food production in Yellowknife.”
Golden Carrots have been used elsewhere as awards to recognize contributions to the food industry. In Yellowknife, their debut was timed to coincide with the 10th anniversary of the farmers’ market.
This year’s three Golden Carrot recipients are Amy Lizotte, France Benoit and Lise Picard.
Celebrating the trio on Facebook, the farmers’ market said Lizotte was probably “the first and earliest champion” of establishing such a market in the city.
She “inspired a small group of committed volunteers to head into action and has devoted many volunteer service hours to local, regional and national organizations,” the market wrote.
Urban farmer and longtime market vendor Benoit, the group’s current president, was recognized for her commitment to a farmers’ market in Yellowknife “from day one.”
She worked on projects that “led to increased pathways for food production and food security in Yellowknife,” the market wrote, while paying tribute to Benoit’s La Refuge farm for creating “healthy soil all over the city, so that food can be locally grown in multiple locations today.”
Picard was dubbed “the heartbeat of the market” for the time she has logged in planning, organizing and writing proposals to fund the market’s work, “year after year after year.”
The farmers’ market said Picard had been the driving force of its waste reduction and composting programs, noting she is “affectionately known as the Compost Queen.”
The last market of the 2023 season was held in mid-September, a bonus edition after several weeks were wiped out by Yellowknife’s wildfire-related evacuation.