The Camana Bay Farmers & Artisans Market will have a seasonal break for three months, starting next month.
The last day of the market’s regular season will be Aug. 15 and it returns Nov. 14.
A produce-only market will continue in between those dates, taking place on Wednesdays and Saturdays along the ground-floor arcade of 1 Nexus Way, Camana Bay’s newest office building, instead of on the Paseo.
Dart Real Estate Senior Manager Events & Engagement Kristy Rivers said there are a number of reasons for the market break, some relating to the artisans, some to the farmers and some to the summer weather.
“With respect to the artisans’ segment of the market, Grand Cayman experiences a dip in international visitors between mid-August and mid-November,” she said. “There simply isn’t enough visitor traffic during those months to sustain the artisan market for most of the vendors.”
The farmers’ portion of the market is somewhat different in that more residents than visitors buy from the farmers. However, most Cayman Islands’ crops don’t grow well during the hottest and wettest months of the year, so the variety of produce is reduced significantly, Rivers said.
“Farmers’ markets around the world are seasonal,” she said. “We’re fortunate that we have a long growing season, but starting in mid-August, after the mango season is over, there’s a limited supply of local fruits and vegetables. Those farmers who have greenhouses or who grow crops that can thrive in Grand Cayman’s summer climate will still have an opportunity to sell their produce, but in a different, covered location.”
The covered area of Heliconia Court adjacent to the 1 Nexus Way office building will provide a sheltered area for the farmers to sell without the constant threat of cancellation due to weather.
“September and October are historically the warmest and wettest months of the year in the Cayman Islands and in the past, the Farmers & Artisans Market was often cancelled because of the weather, sometimes after the vendors had already arrived,” said Rivers. “With the market under cover between mid-August and mid-November, the farmers can come knowing they can still sell their produce even if it rains.”
Having the farmers still come on Wednesdays and Saturdays will not only allow Camana Bay tenants and local residents to continue to get some fresh produce, but it will also support the tenant restaurants and the weekly Flavour Tour, the Camana Bay dine-around event that highlights local ingredients on Wednesday evenings.
Rivers reiterated that the regular market break is only temporary.
“The Farmers & Artisans Market will return on Nov. 14, in time for the holidays and the high-tourism season,” she said.