Best Farmers’ Markets Outside Vancouver

You'll get a heaping portion of community spirit while you pick up organic greens, browse local crafts and enjoy street performances at these farmers' markets

Farmers’ markets often offer the freshest, most flavourful food a shopper can get. But they also provide entertainment, artisan crafts and a chance to get to know BC’s unique communities

While Vancouver Farmers Markets include five popular markets every summer, in addition to those at Oak Street and UBC, venture beyond the Lower Mainland and you’ll find farmers' markets in a many of BC's smaller communities. And some of them are real gems.

Here are five BC farmers' markets with something special to offer.

Cottonwood Community Market and Nelson Downtown Market, Nelson

Protecting the natural environment is important to The West Kootenay EcoSociety, which runs the Cottonwood Community and Nelson Downtown markets in Nelson, but so is building a strong local economy.

These markets feature the finest products from within 100 kms of Nelson and are a destination for locals and visitors seeking local food and artisan crafts. The Market Fest is a night market held three times each summer with entertainment, vendors and dancing in the street.

Comox Valley Farmers’ Market, Courtenay/Comox

The bounty of fertile Comox Valley has been available year-round since 1992.

Now held twice a week, the farmers’ market is a community effort intent on celebrating the abundance of food grown and produced in the valley. It’s one of the only markets in BC to offer only food and agricultural products – produce, meat, baked goods, honey and more.

Penticton Farmer’s Market, Penticton

If you grow it, bake it or make it in the South Okanagan and Similkameen Valley, you can sell it at the Penticton Farmer’s Market, home to one of the most successful farm-to-city food micro-systems in the country.

Home crafters, buskers and small-scale farmers, with an emphasis placed on organic producers, begin in May just a couple of blocks from Okanagan Lake and continue through to the end of October.

Moss Street Market, Victoria

Located in the Sir James Douglas schoolyard, this community-based, environmentally minded market is celebrating its 20th year providing a well-curated variety of goods, with priority given to local organic farms, handmade crafts, artisan products, inspiring services, community education and free arts and crafting for kids.

Many vendors don’t offer plastic bags and the market staff ensure that compostables, recyclables and disposables are appropriately dealt with.

Jaffray-Baynes Lake Farmers’ Market, Jaffray

Situated in the gorgeous countryside between Fernie and Kimberley, this summer market features a festive environment while offering up plenty of home-grown produce and locally made artisan crafts. The West Coast oysters are a special treat for inland British Columbians.

Enjoy breakfast served by the local Lions Club or a coffee from the onsite cafe. Camp at the Surveryors Lake campground in Kikomun Creek Provincial Park and make a weekend of it.