Farmers’ Markets and Rain: Don’t be a fair weather market shopper.

Rain is forecasted for our farm market this Saturday. Likely, you have already heard this, and we are not giving you breaking news. So why are we telling you this?

The long story short. Please come out and support us…even in the rain. We will be here selling produce, rain or shine. So don your raingear, open your umbrellas, and join us. Don’t be a fair weather market shopper.

The long story long, keep reading.

Like many environmental factors, rain is both positive and negative for farmers. This is not the time or place to go into all the positive and negatives, some of which we’re sure you already know. But we do want to let you know that rain does not stop the produce from growing. And if the produce is growing we have to harvest it. And if we have to harvest it, there is produce to sell…rain or not. We can’t simply leave it in the field and save it for next week. Unfortunately, a forecasted rainy Saturday market (whether it does in fact rain or not) often sees less than half of its customer volume. This is a significant financial loss for farmers and other market vendors. Now we know you need food regardless of whether it is raining or not. So take your support for local food to the next level. Please come out and support us…even in the rain.

Now there’s the plea…if it is in fact raining when you wake up. But we also want to introduce you to the mysteries and joys of microclimates, and specifically to those at the UBC Farm. When you see 10 mm of rain forecasted in the weather report, it has been generalized across the greater Vancouver area. However, if the forecast were specific to certain locations it would be significantly different. On average the Southern Gulf Islands receive half the rainfall that Vancouver airport receives. And on average the Vancouver airport receives half the rainfall that North Vancouver receives. Significant differences. If one were to place UBC Farm on the rainfall continuum of greater Vancouver, it would fall on the dryer side. Farm staff often commute through the Vancouver rain to find UBC Farm dry and pleasant. So if you wake up on Saturday morning and it’s raining over your house, come to the market and experience UBC Farm’s microclimate. Disclaimer! Don’t leave your rainy residence and plan for a pleasant picnic with farm fresh produce at UBC Farm because we told you it would be sunny. Still bring your raingear and umbrellas. Even at the garden paradise of UBC Farm, it does in fact rain…just not as much it does at your house.