Langley farm market organizers puzzled by drop in attendance

Manager hopes unique new vendors, Meet My Market promotion will attract more people out to KPU parking lot each Wednesday

Attendance is down at  the Langley Community Farmer’s Market this season, and organizers aren’t quite sure why.

Although last week’s market had a record 1,200 visitors, the weeks before have not been nearly as busy, said Langley market manager, Amanda Smith.

And it’s not just in Langley — markets across B.C. have seen smaller crowds this year.

“I’ve been talking to some other vendors that also frequent other markets, like Granville Island or Coquitlam, and their feedback was that quite a few markets are a bit slow.

“They just feel the whole market scene has been slower,” Smith said.

But with some new, unique vendors, Smith is hoping people come back to support their local farmers.

The Langley market boasts 50 different vendors including two new bakers, Dragon Mist Distillery selling hard liquor, Twisted Hills Cider, organic farmers from Langley, cheese makers from Agassiz and more.

They are also one of the only places in Langley where visitors can find food trucks — a popular staple in cities like Vancouver, but seldom seen locally.

“This whole food truck thing, that’s what people are craving,” Smith said.

Last week’s market featured GYPSYtrunk Vegan Food Cart, and there are more to come this summer, Smith said.

For the month of July, visitors also have a chance to win a trip to Sparkling Hills Resort in Vernon.

Bring a friend to any market in B.C., fill out a ballot at the info booth, then post a photo on social media with the hashtag #meetmymarket and tag it

@BCFarmersMarket for a chance to win.

Participants will also be entered into weekly draws to win $50 to spend at the farmer’s market of their choice.

And on Aug. 5, the Langley market will join forces with Langley Eats Local to showcase even more local food growers and producers in the Kwantlen Polytechnic University (KPU) courtyard.

There will be food samples, canning demonstrations, prizes, face painting for kids, and many other free activities.

“The vendors that we have, especially our farmers, are based on their proximity to Langley.

“The furthest is from Causton for Okanagan fruit,” Smith said.

“If you like to support local business and the farmer, our market is the way to do that.”

The Langley Community Farmer’s Market is held on Wednesdays from 2 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. in the parking lot of KPU at the Langley Bypass and Glover Road.

For more information, visit www.langleycommunityfarmersmarket.com and www.bcfarmersmarket.org.