It was a little windy and a little overcast, but vendors and shoppers alike were happy to be back Saturday for opening day of the Regina Farmers’ Market.
The 2022 market season got underway with a happy crowd and no pandemic-related limitations — a big but welcome change from the last few years.
“It sort of feels like the first sign of the seasons changing, that spring and summer is coming, now that the farmers market is back,” said executive director Holly Laird. “It’s very exciting.”
Curtis and Dawn Hicks, the force behind custom butcher Riverview Sausage and first-time participants at the market, were busy handing out samples right from the beginning of the morning.
“Everyone wants to try and see for themselves what our product tastes like,” said Curtis. “We’re lucky the weather is co-operating and there’s lots of interest, so we’re pretty excited.”
The decision to join the market felt like the right one as a small local business, said Curtis, as it’s an easy place to engage with their customer base on a close and personal level.
“It’s a good opportunity to bring our local stuff, that all comes from Craven area,” said Curtis. “It’s always a good place to be, and always busy.”
For Howland’s Honey, a seasoned vendor from near Good Spirit Lake who has been coming to the market almost since its inception in 1975, the feeling is mutual.
“The market has always been a staple for us, we enjoy doing it,” said Danny Wasylenchuk, who operates the third-generation business with his wife Sasha Howland.
Although the market is outdoors, the last two seasons did see a shift to online service and, once allowed to be back in-person, adherence to masking and distancing policies. But the temporary limitations haven’t stifled the enthusiasm for market regulars. Online shopping is still an option for those who can’t attend in person.
“It’s nice to see a little bit more of a relaxed atmosphere,” said Wasylenchuk. “And it’s great to see people’s faces and interact with them, it’s been nice.”
The overwhelming feeling for this season is excitement, said Laird, with no lull in vendor interest.
“We actually have quite a few more here today, on our opening market, than we did last year, so we think that’s a really good sign we’re starting to recover from the pandemic,” said Laird.
“Everything in our market is baked, grown or designed in Saskatchewan, so this really is one of the only ways you can connect directly with your farmer and have a relationship with the people growing your food.”
The outdoor markets will take place as usual every Saturday and Wednesday morning from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Pat Fiacco Plaza until October, in “rain, shine or snow, knock on wood,” said Laird.
The news seems to be flying at us faster all the time. From COVID-19 updates to politics and crime and everything in between, it can be hard to keep up. With that in mind, the Regina Leader-Post has created an Afternoon Headlines newsletter that can be delivered daily to your inbox to help make sure you are up to date with the most vital news of the day. Click here to subscribe.
Regina Leader Post Headline News
Sign up to receive daily headline news from Regina Leader-Post, a division of Postmedia Network Inc.
By clicking on the sign up button you consent to receive the above newsletter from Postmedia Network Inc. You may unsubscribe any time by clicking on the unsubscribe link at the bottom of our emails. Postmedia Network Inc. | 365 Bloor Street East, Toronto, Ontario, M4W 3L4 | 416-383-2300