GFM Network News


Farm Fresh Food Hub board co-chair Katie Daman announces confirmation of a provincial grant.

Farm Fresh Food Hub gets a financial boost from province

An influx of provincial cash will get a local food distribution off the ground, the Farm Fresh Food Hub announced September 25. “We’re really excited,” board co-chair Katie Daman told the assembled crowd at the “season finale” of the South Osborne Farmers’ Market. The Farm Fresh Food Hub is a non-profit community service co-op run

The popularity of farmers’ markets has created a situation where roughly the same number of customers are spread out more thinly.

More markets, more vendors, more challenges

Increasing visitor traffic to farmers’ markets would help, says Jeff Veenstra, Wild Earth Farms owner

The perception is farmers’ markets are booming, and that’s true if you’re a consumer. More farmers’ markets with more vendors selling at them is great for customers, but it’s adding challenges for those whose livelihood hinges on how well a day’s sales goes — especially when customer traffic falls off. Jeff Veenstra, is co-owner of


Direct Farm Manitoba is a new organization formed in 2016 to represent the small-scale farmer and its membership includes many new entrants to agriculture keen to forge strong direct-to-consumer relationships. The DFM met in Winnipeg February 9 for its annual convention.

Direct Farm Manitoba hopes for better connection

2016 census revealed a vibrant direct-marketing sector in Manitoba, but that hasn’t translated into memberships in the organization

There are 900 farms in Manitoba selling agricultural product of one kind or another direct to customers, and Direct Farm Manitoba (DFM) wants to connect with more of them. The farm number comes from the 2016 Census of Agriculture data which revealed both a vibrant direct-marketing sector for Manitoba and one probably a whole lot

The St. Norbert Farmers’ Market has unveiled its plans for a new four-season market structure that will open to the public this spring.

St. Norbert market gets out of the rain

The popular venue will get a canopy for the summer as 
well as a year-round covered area

St. Norbert Farmers’ Market is going under cover this spring. The third and final phase of an ambitious site renovation at Manitoba’s largest farmers’ market is now nearly complete, with new canopies expected to be on the site in time for opening day, says executive director Marilyn Firth. St. Norbert announced nearly five years ago

Gialuca Brunori  

Farmers’ markets drive food sector innovation

They offer valuable insights into changing consumer tastes and preferences

While many view farmers’ markets as an enjoyable and quaint, albeit inefficient, place to buy food, few would characterize them as cutting edge. But small-scale farmers and farmers’ markets are an important source of innovation in the food system because they are a source of direct consumer feedback, Gialuca Brunori, a professor with the department


Erin Gobeil (l) and Ashley Sadler (r), Global Market co-ordinators are looking forward to the coming farmers’ market season, which will begin in Brandon in late May.

Brush up on regulations to ensure a smooth market season

Do you know what is required when selling your product at the local farmers’ market?

Looking to offer up some products at the local farmers’ market this season? Best brush up on provincial regulations. “Farmers’ markets in our province continue to grow every year,” said Mike LeBlanc, chief public health inspector with Manitoba Health. “And when consumers go to a farmers’ market they expect safe, healthy and fresh products.” LeBlanc

St. Norbert’s indoor winter farmers’ markets are test runs in preparation for expansion year round, say executive director Marilyn Firth and FMAM president Phil Veldhuis.

St. Norbert’s Farmers’ Market grows — in winter

Customer demand is the main driver behind plans to expand to year-round operations

The temperature is hovering around -25 C outside, but shoppers at St. Norbert’s Farmers’ Market mill among its stalls like it’s a balmy Saturday in July. They’re indoors, of course, visiting Manitoba’s largest farmers’ market’s winter market. This is the second winter St. Norbert’s stayed open for biweekly Saturday markets after October, with about 30

Customers look over the produce marketed by Teenie Yanick and Ernie Peleshok.

Starting a farmers’ market

Shoal Lake Ag Society aims to see markets thrive and vendors grow

Starting a farmers’ market is a challenging task. The Shoal Lake Agricultural Society learned this first hand in hosting single-day markets this past summer. Besides generating a customer and vendor base there are also key administrative foundations that need to be established. Although 2014 was the first year that Shoal Lake became involved in a


Business development support was good to get their small honeybee apiary and meadery up and running in Alberta, 
says Cherie Andrews, who co-owns Chinook Arch Meadery with her husband Art.

For direct-farm marketers, Alberta is a great place to operate

Support includes help to finance travel and research, and allowing sales of alcohol in farmers’ markets

Direct-farm marketers in Alberta have their share of regulatory hurdles to gripe about, but they have distinct advantages and supports which marketers in other provinces would envy. When apiary owners Cherie and Art Andrews were first eyeing prospects to start making mead (honey wine), the province gave them several kick-starts, not the least of which

Bailey Gitzel sells her cookie sandwiches and French macaroons at the opening day of the Carman Farmers’ Market June 19. The 17-year-old Graysville entrepreneur also sells honey produced from her own beehives. She plans to study agriculture at university.

New specialists, more online resources for small-scale production

The government must act quickly to keep up with needs of a fast-emerging sector, says report chair

Manitoba is acting on the recommendations for improving the working environment of small-scale farmers and processors, says Agriculture, Food and Rural Development Minister Ron Kostyshyn. Last week he and other MAFRD officials were at the St. Norbert Farmers’ Market to introduce the two business development specialists being reassigned in the department to work with these