07.23.2023

Riley Park Farmers Market | Open Saturdays | 50th East 30th Avenue

Each and every Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., the Riley Park Farmers Market brings a delicious, nutritious slice of rural life to this urban green space adjacent to the recently New York Times-famous Nat Bailey Stadium.

More than 35 food and artisanal vendors set up shop at the intersection of 30th and Ontario, across from the gorgeous Riley Park community garden. (The Winter Market which runs from November to March takes place at the Nat Bailey Stadium parking lot).

And while one might come for the produce, repeat visitors will tell you that it’s all about the community; the interpersonal relationships that are metaphorically cultivated between grower and customer. These are small-scale farmers whose very business model tends to be precarious, especially in these inflationary times. Grocery shopping at farmer’s markets ensures that profits stay within the community.

Former RPFM manager Bree Hayden writes on her blog that “the markets truly are my happy place and there is nowhere I’d rather be. Our community, be they shoppers, staff, vendors, volunteers, etc. inspire me daily with their thoughtfulness, ingenuity, care for one another, and straight-up joy. I feel so blessed to be able to be a small part of it and am endlessly grateful for this community.”

June is a particularly bountiful month for fresh produce that runs the gamut from arugula to zucchini, with dozens of fruits, vegetables and herbs on display. You’ll find staples such as asparagus, bok choy, celery, cucumber, mushrooms, potatoes, sprouts and spinach and more exotic fare like burdock root, gooseberries, mizuna, and Swiss chard.

There’s much more to the RPFM than the agricultural bounty. Food trucks, street musicians and local artists add colour and ambience to what is truly a neighbourhood event. Artisanal
chocolate, craft beer, fresh-cut flowers and ethically-sourced coffee are often available lease note that public parking at Nat Bailey Stadium is not available on Vancouver Canadians’
game days – June 3, 10, 17 and July 1st. Market-goers are strongly advised to use public transit or arrive via the 30th Avenue bike route (ample bike parking available).

The RPFM is just one of eight weekly Vancouver Farmers Markets that take place across the city. Other locations include the West End, Kitsilano, False Creek, Hastings Park, Mount
Pleasant, Trout Lake and downtown at the Vancouver Art Gallery Plaza.

AUTHOR: STEVEN THRENDYLE