to the Errington Farmer's Market's early history (1972 - 1988)

Geraldine Shaw and her father, Fred Kaufer, co-founded the Errington Community Farmer's Market on Vancouver Island in 1972, together with her husband Terry and two sons, Stan and Mark. 

Gerry Shaw
Fred Kaufer

The market grew out of their memories of a huge open air farmer's Market in Roseville, California, a few miles from where Fred and Irene lived on their farm in Rio Linda.  The Shaw family often visited them while living in California up to 1969, before the Shaws left for Canada to live in Wilson Braddock's old log cabin at the end of Leffler Road in Errington.  Rather than a big open-air enterprise, however, Gerry's idea was to create a small country market that would make it easier for farmers and crafts people in the local area to sell their produce. 

With her father's help, Gerry purchased the property on the corner of Grafton Avenue and Errington Road from Don Green, a long-time resident of Errington. 

Building the market was not without controversy. Gerry loved the woods and envisioned the market to be nestled among the beautiful trees, located at that time, just opposite the Errington Store. Her father, on the other hand, was raised in the wide open plains of North Dakota and preferred to clear all trees from the land before building. Animated discussions took place. That Gerry's artistic view prevailed is seen to this day in the lovely Market now situated in the woods by the Errington War Memorial Hall. 

<--from one of Gerry's hand-drawn brochures

It took a year of hard work clearing bush, (with serious negotiations over each individual tree that had to be removed!) and building rustic wooden stalls with family help, including Stan and Mark's cousin, George Kaufer Jr. Finally, the Market was opened, with great success, in the summer of 1972. Smells of the fresh brewed coffee and the best home-baked donuts and cinnamon buns in the region wafted through the trees from the concession stand. Fresh country produce, hand crafts and baking filled the vendor stalls. Coming to the market quickly became a meeting place and an ongoing Saturday morning summer tradition for local neighbors and residents throughout the area. The market continued to operate as a family-run business for many years during the 1970's and 1980's, until Gerry passed away in 1988. 

The Errington community came together in a remarkable way to take on the task of running the Market during Gerry's long fight with cancer. During this time, while she was still able to assist, Gerry helped friends and neighbors to formalize the creation of Errington Market Society, with a goal to ensure operations would continue on a sustainable basis. A huge volunteer effort made it possible for the Farmer's Market to be moved to its beautiful new location near the Errington War Memorial Hall, where it continues to this day.  

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The Errington Farmer's Market continues today!  

For more information about the Errington and the rich history of this lovely rural community on Vancouver Island, see http://www.erringtonhall.bc.ca

Click on the photos below - you will find some interesting stories there.