Fresh local vegetables hit the market

Veggies Blade CleaverLocal vegetable grower Blade Cleaver is passionate about food sustainability, and he hopes to share his passion with locals and visitors each Sunday at the Sun Peaks & Region Farmers’ Market.

Cleaver has recently launched his first market stall, selling a range of vegetables including onions, lettuce, kale, potatoes, Swiss chard and more — all home-grown on Cleaver’s property in Whitecroft.

“I think there’s a need for fresh vegetables in the area that aren’t just from the grocery store. They’re all locally grown,” he said.

While this is his first year at the Farmers’ Market, Cleaver has already found it quite successful.

“We sell out of most things each week. The Swiss chard and the kale sell out every week.”

Veggie lovers looking for something different are encouraged to give the mustard lettuce a try, if they can get their hands on it — “It’s been selling out really fast, but it’s really good. It’s got a spicy taste, like wasabi.”

Cleaver said this year’s Farmers’ Market stall is a “trial run” to allow him to iron out any kinks before he expands his operations next year.

“We’re hoping to do three markets in the area next summer, and hopefully add some fresh flowers as well.

“It’s been really successful this year already. If we had the infrastructure in place we’d be doing the other farmers’ markets now.”

Cleaver said the money raised through the market stall was being reinvested back into his operation. He recently purchased a rototiller and is keeping busy during the week tilling his three-quarter-acre property. Next, he hopes to install a hoop-house so he can grow tomatoes and cucumbers.

Growing up, Cleaver spent a lot of time in his grandparent’s garden, and credits them for his love of gardening.

“My grandparents have a really big garden in Kamloops. I grew up around it my whole life and it really inspired me.”

If you’re looking for fresh veggies but can’t make it to the Farmers’ Market, Cleaver will deliver and can be contacted at 250-578-8140. He also has an open-door policy on his property, located at 3212 Cahilty Place, Whitecroft.

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