All of us at the Local Good are huge fans of Slow Food Edmonton and their mission to promote and support Good, Clean, and Fair food for all. They’ve recently begun a cool new event series we know you’ll want to check out. We asked project leader Amanda Van Spronsen to tell us more:
One of Slow Food Edmonton’s new initiatives is the Market Mob, where we encourage people to gather and explore the Edmonton farmers’ market scene. New members are excited to meet like-minded people and mingle with others who are also passionate about Slow Food values, such as supporting a robust local food economy, discovering the diversity in our region, and engaging in food traditions that celebrate clean and fair principles. Holding an event at a farmers’ market, where we can easily put our key principles into action, seems like a natural extension of our efforts.
We held our first Market Mob on June 19th at the Southwest Edmonton Farmers’ Market. They were tremendous hosts – we received a personal greeting and some swag to boot. The group atmosphere seemed to trigger a sense of discovery in people as well – everyone seemed eager to engage with the vendors and discover what they had to offer. It was a lot of fun!
The response has been extremely positive – people seem really excited, and several attendees blogged about the experience. Even more encouraging is the response from the farmers’ markets themselves – they have jumped on board with event promotion and worked with us to try to make these events extra special for those who attend.
We’re hoping that attendees of Market Mobs spread the word about what the various markets have to offer, and are motivated to make repeat visits because they have explored the market, connected with producers, and had a positive experience. It can be eye opening for those who have never been to a farmers’ market before: local Alberta food producers are doing amazing things, and they are really something to be proud of!
LG: What’s been the biggest lesson you’ve learned so far?
We learned that making ourselves visible encourages questions. A couple of the organizers were wearing Market Mob t-shirts (a beautiful logo created by one of our members, Emily McKenzie), and this helped to stimulate conversation with some of the vendors. We aim to increase the visibility – more people will be wearing the logo, we are building a sign, and we have a poster/sandwich board set up. The bigger the group, the more impact we can have.
LG: What’s coming up?
Currently, we plan on visiting the majority of the Edmonton & area farmers’ markets from now until October or so. Since it’s pretty early on, we’re just trying to be aware of the process so we can learn from any mistakes and build this into a seamless operation by next year! We’re most excited about working with the representatives from the individual markets and raising awareness of the awesome farmers’ markets in Edmonton.
LG: If people want to find out more, support Slow Food Edmonton, or get involved in a Market Mob – what should they do?
A: The biggest thing that people can do is simply to attend, and bring friends! Keep an eye on our website or like us on facebook to find out when the next one is occurring. A Market Mob is like a big group hug for the local producers – showing them in a big, visible way that we value them. All are welcome to join us! Our next scheduled mobs are July 13 at the City Market Downtown, and July 28 at the French Quarter Farmers Market. Hope to see you there!