Local farm-fresh food, regional beer, and BC wine, were served to those who came out to support RIPE last Thursday. This fundraiser to promote, support, and expand local farmers markets was held at Performance Works on Granville Island with a goal of inspiring others to take up the local food movement.
“We couldn’t have been more thrilled to see the people who attended RIPE 2009; these people wanted to support local food, local farmers and enjoy everything we organized for a night of fun – and that’s exactly what RIPE is all about,” said organizer Jackie Connelly. “A big thank you to our emcee Jamie Maw, Chef Robert Clark and his team at C Restaurant for the amazing food, and our generous sponsors who helped us make the event possible.”
Karen Hamilton of TinyBites was in attendance as well for this inaugural event. “Ben Garfinkel from Foodists and I had a great time socializing with the people that support the Vancouver Farmers Markets, including behind-the-scenes folk like operations manager Roberta Laquaglia and RIPE event organizer Jackie Connelly.”
Photo credit: penguinrobot on Flickr
“Over the years the Vancouver Farmers Market has seen expanded locations and dates, a decent ad campaign and enjoyed a growing number of attendance. It’s only natural that they seek out a more permanent venue,” said Ben Garfinkel. “RIPE was their first effort at an annual fundraiser meant to take them closer to this goal. With food prepared with local ingredients and a few vendors sampling their products, the evening was a little light on entertainment, but my taste buds got to play!”
Net proceeds from RIPE benefited the the Farmers Nest Egg Fund which supports vendor-farmers and expands the network of local farmers who make Vancouver Farmers Markets possible. RIPE also supports the New City Market, a state-of the-art, sustainable, LEED-certified, multi-function venue to house a winter/year-round farmers market and resource facility.
“It was heartening to learn more about the proposed New City Market,” noted Karen. “[It’s] a permanent lodging that they’re hoping to secure in the Main and Terminal area. Think Granville Island Public Market for locals, with an exclusive focus on BC grown or produced goods.”
Now that the RIPE event is over, a more permanent market and education about local ingredients is the focus. “The RIPE blog will take a bit of a breather, but continue to bring some recapping of this years event, and developments for RIPE 2010,” said Connelly. “Our goal will continue to be raising money for the New City Market and to support farmers in need with the establishment of a Farmers Nest Egg Fund.”
If you would like to get involved, check out the RIPE blog for information and contact info.