Mary Forstbauer (Dec 9, 1948 - October 30, 2015)
On October 30, Mary Forstbauer, matriach of the Forstbauer Family Natural Food Farm, passed away from complications arising from a blood infection. She leaves behind her husband, Hans, 12 children and over 30 grandchildren. Her passing is a great loss to the farmers market community.
If you didn’t have the chance to meet Mary Forstbauer in person, you surely have benefited from her perseverance and vision because farmers markets in BC have been changed for the better by her work.
Mary was an amazing woman and has left an amazing legacy. Not only did she raise 12 children – an accomplishment that is hard for most of us to even imagine. She was also an accomplished farmer and businessperson. For over 30 years, her family has farmed in Matsqui and Chilliwack, bringing wholesome food to farmers markets since we opened our first location at Trout Lake. She was a pioneer in the sector, a role model for many market farmers.
She was an advocate and fighter; passionate about organic agriculture, farmland stewardship and farmers markets. Her work at the BC Association of Farmers Markets cannot be understated – she WAS the organization at different times in its development and gave countless hours of her time keeping it together and helping it grow.
Even though she was obviously a busy person, Mary made time to serve on volunteer boards of directors, attend new and small markets to help get them on the right path and was always available to give advice to the new farmer or market manager. Her generosity with her time and attention has benefited many of us and most definitely the agriculture and market communities of this province.
Mary sat alongside VFM staff at many meetings between local health authorities and market organizers, bringing real, honest experience and common sense to the table. People listened to Mary and she got things done. She cared about her community – organic farmers, all farmers, shoppers, eaters, her family, all families.
Please join her family and friends to celebrate her life next Monday.
Mary Forstbauer's Celebration of Life
8700 Yong Road, Chilliwack, BC
Monday, November 9 at 3pm