Why I Resigned the Carleton Place Farmer’s Market

Standard

collagepathback56x.jpg

 

 

I know I said no more community posts but after the many emails I have received asking me why I resigned from the Carleton Place Farmers Market– this is my bulk answer. This should not be considered a rant- this should be considered a desperate plea. I have kind of put a fork in it now.

 

Some of you might have heard by now that I have decided not to do the marketing for the Carleton Place Farmers Market again this year. It was a very hard decision, and personally heartbreaking, but it came down to the inner anger and frustration I felt which began to cause me great stress.

 

There are some that feel that I am a thorn in the side of Carleton Place, when in all reality they don’t realize the amount of love and devotion that I have. The way I do things are sometimes considered troublesome and unorthodox, but if I have to stand on my head and scream until the cows come home I was willing to do it to get folks to support our town.

 

The Carleton Place Farmer’s Market has slowly evolved into a popular community hub and last year more and more people from outside our community were bringing their families to the market square.

 

What did I learn from last year?

 

We have a great team at our market with producers and artisans that are willing to go above and beyond. Everyone got along and worked hand in hand together for the sake of that market –even faced head on with last year’s drought. We might not have everything you want, but we try very hard to give you the best.

 

There is nothing I would not do for those folks trust me. In all honesty you have no idea what you have at that market “under the exterior skin”. But year after year we have lost management due to the frustrations that everyone feels.

 

The town of Carleton Place and their local marketing teams don’t really put enough effort into supporting the market– when in essence they should be all over it “like a cheap shirt” as they say. A Canadian survey 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.

 

But these are all things I have documented over and over again for the past two years, and yet it keeps getting ignored. Instead of joining forces to promote the downtown I had a tough time getting my ads for the CPFM up on a local community Facebook page late in the 2016 season.  Excuses of my writing derogatory posts and then posting them on their Facebook page were 100% wrong.  Yes, I write some “not so nice” posts sometimes and I may be damn crazy — but I am not stupid. Something–anything– has to be done to get people’s heads out of the sand.

 

The CPFM could be an answer to drawing people to our downtown. 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.

.

 

New Year’s Day was my nail in the coffin so to speak– What should have been a packed upper arena hall for the beginning celebrations of Canada’s 150th never *materialized. Later, there was attendance upstairs but mostly from Kanata. Where was your local Carleton Place support? Where was the Carleton Place Farmer’s Market support after Labour Day and the tourists and cottagers had long gone– exceptional attendance dwindled for the first time in 2016.

 

But no matter how many hours I put in each day doing my own thing to try and promote the town it falls on deaf ears. Last week when I realized how hundreds of thousands had read my posts in 2016 –yet town support, or even a slight wave of the hand of acknowledgement was still not even close I became discouraged.

 

Faced with having to deal with shenanigans all over again my stress level rose and I knew my health could no longer deal with it. It  just wasn’t worth me having another stroke over the town of Carleton Place.  Not because of the farmers– or the people– but for the reason that I feel no one “gets it” sometimes at the higher levels.

 

A local resident said I sound angry when I complain about Carleton Place and he is right. I am angry that generic ideas from years gone by are still used- I am angry that social media is not used more and especially more uniquely — I am angry seeing an event poster used time and time again– when after the second time viewed “they have seen it” and you have lost the public.

 

I am the first to admit I don’t have all the answers, heck maybe I am dead wrong. But, this is a new world folks– a world where you have 5 seconds to get someone’s attention. Posters in a  grocery store and hopes that people will just show up don’t cut it anymore. Your community has lots of choices to choose from now. Please take care of your local gem at the market square. It could be one of the salvations for the town of Carleton Place if marketed correctly.

Civic pride–our place, our community. Please support your town

*Sean Redmond– you were my hero on New Year’s Day. Of course I had a giggle over your outfit– but that is the way you do it. Rock on!!

collagemerleee.jpg

 

 

 

Advertisements

About lindaseccaspina

Linda Knight Seccaspina was born in Cowansville, Quebec about the same time as the wheel was invented and the first time she realized she could tell a tale was when she got caught passing her smutty stories around in Grade 7 at CHS by Mrs. Blinn. When Derek "Wheels" Wheeler from Degrassi Jr. High died in 2010, Linda wrote her own obituary. Some people said she should think about a career in writing obituaries. Before she laid her fingers to a keyboard, Linda owned the eclectic store Flash Cadilac and Savannah Devilles in Ottawa from 1976-1996. After writing for years about things that she cared about or pissed her off she finally found her calling. Is it sex drugs and rock n' roll you might ask? No, it is history. Seeing that her very first boyfriend in Grade 5 (who she won a Twist contest with in the 60s) is the head of the Brome Misissiquoi Historical Society and also specializes in local history back in Quebec, she finds that quite funny. She writes every single day and is also a columnist for Hometown News and Screamin's Mamas. She is a volunteer for the Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum, an admin for the Lanark County Genealogical Society Facebook page, and a local guest speaker. She has been now labelled an historian by the locals which in her mind is wrong. You see she will never be like the iconic local Lanark County historian Howard Morton Brown, nor like famed local writer Mary Cook. She proudly calls herself The National Enquirer Historical writer of Lanark County, and that she can live with. Linda has been called the most stubborn woman in Lanark County, and has requested her ashes to be distributed in any Casino parking lot as close to any Wheel of Fortune machine as you can get. But since she wrote her obituary, most people assume she's already dead. Linda has published six books, "Menopausal Woman From the Corn," "Cowansville High Misremembered," "Naked Yoga, Twinkies and Celebrities," "Cancer Calls Collect," "The Tilted Kilt-Vintage Whispers of Carleton Place," and "Flashbacks of Little Miss Flash Cadilac." All are available at Amazon in paperback and Kindle. Linda's books are for sale on Amazon or at Wisteria · 62 Bridge Street · Carleton Place, Ottawa, Canada, and at the Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum · 267 Edmund Street · Carleton Place, Ottawa, Canada--Appleton Museum-Mississippi Textile Mill and Mill Street Books and Heritage House Museum and The Artists Loft in Smith Falls.

6 responses »

  1. Linda. You try your best for CP. And I think you for that.

    We do not seem to have very proactive leadership or at least they don’t seem to accept outside opinions very well — says someone still waiting for something to be done about the Riverside Park hedges. We should all be on the same team, but …

  2. Linda, I was born in this community and came back to raise my kids here. Unfortunately, I have come to realize that given the many benefits in this town, the leadership does not want to promote for the sake of the town but is very centered on advancing themselves. They have no idea how to make the town marketable, or attractive to draw to the downtown core. All they can think of is more housing or box stores. A lot of the people moving here work in Ottawa and don’t really support the town center. My father used to complain about the “old boys club” and, god bless his soul, was right. My wife and I are now considering moving out of town in our retirement years due to the apathy our leaders show for this wonderful area. Good luck, Linda, sorry for your loss.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s