While the Prince George Farmers' Market digests the news of their new downtown home, the crew behind the university market is also working to define a sense of place.
The University Farmers' Market is gearing up for its second year at UNBC and the team is building on the previous year's experience to broaden both their scope and horizons.
Beginning this season, which opens Sept. 11 at the NUSC Event Space, the market is accepting applications from vendors from all UNBC regional campuses.
"This allows us to extend conversations about strengthening communities to all UNBC campuses, and it also allows us to invite a greater number of vendors to participate in our market," said market manager Serena Black.
When the market launched last year, committee chair and UNBC associate professor Scott Green really wanted to create a venue for community.
"The goal, the vision has always been about bringing people together from different places, different perspectives," he said.
But attempting that outreach coupled with the large learning curve associated with putting on a weekly market proved to be more difficult than anticipated.
"We had no idea what we were getting into," Green said.
One of the main hurdles was actually getting vendors. The Tuesday afternoon time slot may not have conflicted with those vendors who are Saturday staples downtown, but getting away from their farms - or their jobs that subsidize their farming - was not not an easy option, Green said.
In addition to opening the door to vendors from further afield, the market committee is also working to build partnerships between producers and between producers and students to help lighten the burden of distributorship, inventory control, accounting or whatever the case may be that's keeping them from vending.
"Students could have a really rich learning experience," Green said.
And that experience doesn't have to be relegated to students. Anyone looking to share their skills or learn new ones are welcome to volunteer with the market.
"There's a place for anyone in this project," said Green, who wants to create a volunteer program that's not about filling specific roles, but about "plugging into something that's meaningful."