Robert Barron Citizen
Russell Farms Market in Chemainus is set to reopen on March 4.
The open-air farmers’ market, which has been in operation since 1951, shut down on Feb. 1 after its longtime lessee decided not to continue with the business.
Now Russell Stewart, who has owned the market for decades, has partnered with local farmer France Bournazel to get the market on track again.
Bournazel said it “just didn’t work out” for the previous operators, so she and Stewart decided it was time to take the market back. She said the market is “going local” in that it will focus mainly on selling produce that is grown in the area.
“We’re also joining forces with Katie Farm (in Duncan) so there should be lots of local fruits and vegetables in the market, particularly in the summer growing months from May to December,” Bournazel said.
Bournazel said the last month was spent thoroughly cleaning the market and doing renovations where they were needed in preparation for its reopening.
She said she is pleased with how many calls they have received asking when the market will reopen and if any help was needed to prepare for opening day.
“Russell has been here feeding the valley for a long time from his farm and is well known and well liked,” Bournazel said.
“He’s feeling pretty good about taking over the market again and wants to see it the way it was before.”