The Langley Community Farmers Market wrapped up its season on Wednesday, Sept. 20, at the Derek Doubleday Arboretum.
For its final market day, vendors included local farmers like Dhaliwal Farms, Corbicula Pollen, and Fresh 2 U Farms Microgreens, among many others.
Carolyn Essaunce, chair of the market and co-owner of Corbicula Pollen farm with her husband, has been attending the community market since 2019.
The corbicula, also called the “pollen basket,” is part of the tibia on the hind legs of bees which collects pollen from plants when bees retrieve nectar from deep within each plant. When they return to their hive, the bees use their head to squish the pollen into their hexagon cells, mixing it further with nectar to compact and store it.
“In the hive, bees use honey just for their carbohydrates, just their fuel. The bee pollen is more protein per pound than beef, so it’s a primary protein source for bees,” Essaunce explained.
Bee pollen is high in Vitamins A, B, and C, amino acids, and antioxidants. It can also help boost immunity, and reduce inflammation.
Essaunce sells bee pollen collected from her hives scattered around the Lower Mainland on leased property as small, chewable multi-vitamins.
“I use it as a chewable multi-vitamin – put some in my palm and eat it everyday. Some people put it in salads, yogurt, or smoothies,” she said.
On its own, the bee pollen has an earthy taste with a hint of honey flavor.
After graduating the beekeeping program at Kwantlen Polytechnic University, she worked as an assistant in the program and oversaw 400 colonies for the school, where she saw the pollen traps in storage.
“One day I [decided] to put them on the hives… and I fell in love with beekeeping,” she reminisced.
When KPU’s beekeeping program was shut down, Essaunce bought the traps at an auction so she could sell bee pollen.
“We are the only bee pollen processors in B.C.,” she said.
In addition to bee pollen, her farm also sells honey and beeswax candles.
People interested can learn more about bee pollen at corbicula.ca.
Amanda Smith, executive director of the Langley Community Farmers Market, said this season went very well for a third year at the arboretum.
“The time seems to work the best because people can come after school or work or kids practices, so it seems to fit the majority of the community, for that 3 to 7 p.m.,” she said.
Next year’s market will also be at the arboretum thanks to its central location and easy access with a bus route and bike lanes on Fraser Highway, and lots of parking. Overflow parking is also made available at the Saint Andrew’s Church.
Smith said they will be bringing back the apple pie bake-off to finish the season, where the public can also enter their homemade apple pies.
“We will keep our BeerCentric event, but we will be adding a wine week,” Smith exclaimed.
And, with additional funding, she hopes to offer kids crafts once a month at the market.
The market will start in June again next year.
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