Mary Forstbauer Grant

Every year, the BC Association of Farmers’ Markets honours the memory of Mary Forstbauer by offering a grant to a BC farmer who sells at BC farmers’ markets. The award is to be used by a farmer for the implementation of a new initiative on their farm. The grant can be used for the following:

  • Supplies
  • Training
  • New equipment
  • Services, contractors, staff, consultants

2024 Grant Amount:


2024 Application Form and Deadline:

The 2024 application form is now closed.

Eligibility Criteria:

  • Must be a farmer vendor at a BCAFM member farmers’ market
  • Applicants must reside in BC
  • Farms must be located in BC


Forstbauer Family Natural Food Farm was founded in 1977 when Mary and Hans Forstbauer bought a seven-acre farm on the Matsqui Prairies (near Abbotsford). As many recognize, Mary and her husband Hans were pioneers in the organic farming movement for over 30 years. Mary was and still is the embodiment of organics in BC, and her children proudly continue this legacy.

In addition to farming, Mary volunteered on many non-profit boards. She was a founding member and president of the BC Association of Farmers’ Markets (BCAFM), and served on the boards of the Certified Organic Associations of BC (COABC), the Bio-Dynamic Agricultural Society of BC, and the Artisans Farmers Market Society. She was also the 2015 recipient of Canadian Health Food Association Organics Achievement Award. Mary was instrumental in building the local food movement and farmers’ market community in BC. Her top priority was to get as many farmers involved in farmers’ markets as possible and she did a lot of peer mentoring to help make this happen.

Mary was admired and loved by many in the farming and farmers’ market community and sadly, Mary passed away in 2015.

2023 Grant Recipient – First Light Farm

Congratulations to First Light Farm! To support the movement away from single-use plastic at the farmers’ market, owners Jesse Johnston-Hill and Chris Rubens will implement a self-serve greens station where customers can bring their own containers and avoid using a new bag each time. Their new commercial scale will make it easy to tare any type of container and fill it with greens—and eventually any product First Light Farm sells.

We’re excited this grant is helping them double down on their pollution reducing actions and we can’t wait to see how their project turns out. Next up on their mission to becoming zero-waste? Solar power and an electric delivery vehicle.


2022 Grant Recipient – Earth craft Farm

Congratulations to Jake Thorburn from Earth Craft Farm. Jake sells at the Duncan Farmers’ Market and Island Roots Farmers’ Market. The grant will allow them to purchase more perennials which was inspired by their love of permaculture and will increase the diversity of their crops. The extra trees will provide habitats for local pollinators and other beneficial insects as well as snakes and frogs and protection for their vegetables from the weather. Excess fruits will be brought to markets to share with customers!


2021 Grant Recipient – BIRD TREE URBAN Farm

Congratulations to Kristina Metzlaff of Bird Tree Urban Farm! She sells at the Revelstoke Local Food Initiative Farm & Craft Market and along with her partner and “chicken whisperer”, Greg Golovach, plan to update their refrigeration system. We are inspired by how they have innovated to make things work at home until now to meet the growing demands of their customers–from the cooler on the porch to overflow crops stored in the living room, and can appreciate how such an update will not only optimize their operations, but also make room for other projects such as an irrigation pump for a new field.

2020 Grant Recipient – Pitch & Arrow Farm

Congratulations to Rosalinde Mutch of Pitch and Arrow Farm! They sell at the Nakusp Farmers Market and Revelstoke Local Food Initiative Farm & Craft Market, and plan to build a site appropriate “Grizzly bear-proof” chicken tractor. A truly Canadian conundrum, this practical, safe and sustainable solution for adding chickens in bear country will help reduce pests and provide fresh, local eggs, but most importantly for Pitch and Arrow Farm to improve their ability to generate more nutrient-rich soil.


Congratulations to Sue Hughes of Sunrise Cottage Farm who sells at the Metchosin Farmers Market. With the grant, Sue will be building a proper post-harvest cleaning, washing and packing station to the farm. They will also include a wheelchair accessible section in the packing out area so more people can engage in farming activities in a comfortable, safe and warm manner.


2018 Grant Recipient – Barndance farm

Congratulations to Kritsi McCrae and Paul Keays of Barndance Farm, recipients of the first Mary Forstbauer Grant! They plan to build a concrete composting bay at their greenhouse site to more efficiently collect, store and turn their garden compost.