Grasmere’s Pioneer Hall was filled with buyers and vendors Saturday (Apr. 23) morning for an Earth Day-themed market.
It was the first big event at the hall since COVID, according to Pioneer Hall committee chair and former Triangle Women’s Institute (TWI) president, Judy-Lou McDonald.
They wanted to mark Earth Day (which was on Apr. 22) and do something with the hall, so a market was a natural idea. It was the first farmer’s market in Grasmere for over 30 years, McDonald said.
“It’s great,” she said.
“Nobody’s in a rush to go. They just really like to visit. And so it’s a meeting place. And that’s what we want for our hall… we want that for our community, to have a meeting place and try to gather people.”
Vendors were mostly locals with a few from the Elk Valley more broadly, said current TWI president Cathy Betteridge.
On sale were items like earth-friendly soap, wood products, homemade jams, breads and buns, and more.
One vendor, Jeremy Wilkes of Grasmere, was selling jewellery made from gold he hand-panned from the area, plus wood work.
“It’s a great turnout for the first market in the area, basically the whole community’s here. It’s nice to see all the creators from the valley getting together.”
On top of earth-themed products, the kids in attendance had the chance to partake in an earth-themed craft table, where they got to make bird feeders, little wind chimes, and planters out of toilet paper rolls. They also got free little pine trees to take home and plant.
Betteridge said the motivation was to teach them about the environment, to help them better understand “how important our earth is right now, and how they need to help take care of the earth, and recycle, grow things, feed the birds, take care of our beautiful surroundings.”
Judith Morvai was selling all kinds of jams, relishes, salsas, and knitted toys in the hall. She’s been attending the Baynes Lake market for about 12 years, and said “it’s a good idea to have one down here,” so close to her home.
“There’s a lot of people in this area, so it’s nice to get neighbours out.”
The market was also a fundraiser for the Pioneer Hall, and to bring in a little extra money for the TWI’s charitable initiatives.