It’s 5:30 am on a Saturday morning, and Manitoba’s farmers are arriving at the site of Le Marché St. Norbert Farmers’ Market. They’re bringing the bounty of the fields to the tables of the city, as they do every week, rain or shine, from June through to the end of October.
Le Marché St. Norbert Farmers’ Market is Manitoba’s largest and best-known farmers’ market. Featured weekly at the market are locally grown produce, delicious fresh baking, homestyle jams and preserves. There are wonderful homespun crafts, uniquely designed jewelry, fresh cut flowers and much more. The colours are vibrant, the produce field-fresh. Lively chatter and friendly faces welcome residents and visitors alike, every week of the season.
The first St. Norbert Farmers’ Market was held on July 16, 1988. On that sunny day two decades ago, 8 vendors gathered on the grass to sell their wares. There were no canopies, no parking lot, and little fanfare. The mood was local even then: it was a “make it, bake it, grow it” market, supporting local producers. Since that first successful year, the market has grown by leaps and bounds. It is now organized as a non-profit co-operative with 130 full-time vendors and as many as 50 casual vendors! And today, the market is intent on maintaining its’ local roots, in keeping with its motto declaring “where we make it, bake it, and grow it for YOU!!”
The markets’ growth is testament to the determination of the farmers and crafts people of Manitoba, matched only by the enthusiasm of Winnipeg’s residents for local, Manitoba-made products.