Our Farmer’s Market is slowly evolving into a community hub. Each Saturday I see more and more people meeting friends and bringing their families to the market square. It is not only one of the best ways to support and buy local– it is also giving you, as a customer, an opportunity to hang out and talk to our local farmers and artisans. It takes years to gain status- but I am positive that this year we have built an even stronger foundation and increased our visibility to making our market known county wide. I can truly say it is an honour to work with this group– all with the same goal– to make the Carleton Place Farmers Market a local landmark.
A Canadian survey of over 800 customers from a variety of Canadian farmers markets- indoor and out around the country proved that 60% of farmer’s market shoppers also visited nearby stores on the same day– and only on days that they visit the market. Another survey noted that participating farmers also patronized at least one other nearby store on their way to and from the market.
Various studies in Ontario noted that a dollar spent at a local farmer’s market has a larger effect on local economy than one spent at a local grocery chain store, and that dollar even circulated longer.
Evidence from Farmers Market Ontario even enforces the findings suggesting that visitors to farmers’ markets fully intend to interact with the commercial area that contains the market, in a variety of ways. For example, Cummings et al., found that 50 percent of farmers’ market customers in Ontario would “…make additional shopping stops during their outing to the market”.
Did you know when we had our 25th birthday celebration in July, I calculated a list of those who participated in our celebration draws. Over 25% were from outside of Carleton Place–imagine if marketed correctly and even 10% shopped on our Main Street afterwards. Cross-promotion does not cost much and it gives results. We need to stop kicking dreams around for our downtown and get down to what really works.
Did you know this about the Carleton Place Farmers Market?
1.Did you know the oldest and youngest farmers sell side by side at our market? ( Limekiln and Terramor farms)
2.Did you know you can buy meat with your fresh produce? ( McGahey Farms and Natural Lamb- Keith and Deb Salisbury)
3.Have you met the folks at Indian Creek Orchard whose farm is a polyculture community micro farm? Have you ever met our seasonal vendors like Beckwith Berries (who was in the film Metal Tornado) or watched Diamondbrook Farm polishing their apples–they even sell untreated popcorn along with their apples.
4.Have you ever met John from Path Back Farms? Now there is a treat– especially when you try our hot out of the oven Itsy Bitsy Hot fresh Bagels with his Red Pepper Jelly.
5.We have Conrad’s Bike on the Go every Saturday. Bring your bike in and Conrad can make it like new again.
6.We have people like Chridomar Gardens and My Hobby Farm that make pickles and jams from their gardens and Grandma Garretts, Missie’s fresh baking and Vegan baking from The Crunchy Cabin.
7.Then there are the artisans that come every week ( Chris and Debbie and Portshell Crafts) or those that come once a month on Artisan’s Day, and we are the first on the block to have Indian Street food (Raj’s Indian Kitchen).
8.Finally, have you ever met ‘the beekeeper’? Dunlop’s Honey is known as Lanark County’s finest. Almonte can have their Hummingbird Chocolate, but the Carleton Place Farmers Market has Dunlop Honey truffles.
By Tara Gesner
Information where you can buy all Linda Seccaspina’s books-You can also read Linda in Hometown News