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Market on Main shuts down for season
It was a cold, rainy day and there were only two stalls remaining when the last Market on Main of the season was held Saturday.
Nonetheless, the sellers who stuck it out had strong praise for the way this year’s market went.
Market on Main has been running every Saturday morning since May in the park next to the Town Hall.
This year, Wednesday evening markets also ran throughout the summer at Gyro Park.
For Barb and Dave Kowalik, of Midway, who sold jams and jellies made with fruit from local orchards, part of the experience was meeting and getting to know other sellers.
“This was our first year here,” said Dave Kowalik. “We do the Grand Forks market on Tuesdays and Fridays and the Osoyoos market on Saturday. We had a really good summer this year.”
New customers became return customers for such popular items as their blueberry garlic jelly, tequila jalapeno jelly and peach, vanilla and coconut jam.
The peaches for the latter came from the orchards of Dave and Jean Evans, who were running the next-door stall and were among the sellers the Kowalik’s got to know through the market.
Dave Evans, 80, said he has four acres of peaches on his farm between Osoyoos and Oliver. At Saturday’s market he was selling Okana apples, a variety that he bred himself and which recently won recognition from the Canadian Food Inspection Agency.
The Market on Main has given him a chance to sell fresh fruit and vegetables to repeat customers from places as far as Vancouver, Edmonton and Calgary.
He’s also happy with the Osoyoos market.
“I like it better than the Oliver market,” he said. “That’s why I’m here.”
Evans’ one complaint is that as a farmers market, he would like to see a higher proportion of vendors who are farmers.
In addition to products grown by local farmers, the market also features crafts sold by local crafters.
Barb Kowalik considers the Osoyoos market “exceptional.” It’s success, she said, hinges on good management.
“The guys that run the market on Saturday do an exceptional job of making sure everything runs smoothly,” she said. “Another great thing is the music on Saturdays really brightens up the atmosphere.”