Successful season for farmers market

 

By Karen Fallon

Key strategies for the Amherstburg Farmers Market are the “Buy Local” and “Local Grown” initiatives of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs, notes Anne Rota, manager of tourism and culture, in a report to council.

According to Rota the 2012 season for the Amherstburg Farmers Market has showed marked growth over the previous season.

Dean Collver, director of recreation and culture presented the post-report for the third season of the Amherstburg Farmer Market located at the Malden Community and Cultural Center at Howard Ave & County Rd 20, at council’s Oct. 29, meeting.

The 2012 AFM season ran for 17 Saturdays from May through September averaging 14 local vendors/producers per week. Utilizing a brand synergized with the ‘Buy Local’ ‘Windsor Eats’ and ‘Ontario Markets’ groups the AFM continued to grow in capacities and revenues.

The three original objectives of the Amherstburg Farmer’s Market were defined as: developing and maintaining a farmer’s market for the purpose of promoting local farm, agriculture and to a lesser degree art and products; supporting public interest in the in the access to and the consumption of local Ontario products and creating and cultivating a receptive environment for related community events that focused on healthy eating, marketing local attractions and businesses therefore supporting local economic development.

This year a grant from Hellman’s Mayonnaise saw an internationally recognized brand lend its name and some financial support, with some tailored promotional activities that were “very successful and added another level of professionalism to the AFM events,” notes Rota in her report.

In February 2012, council directed administration to conduct a pilot project in respect to the feasibility of a downtown market.

The test was conducted on June 10 and July 8, at the corner of Russell and Richmond streets and revealed “less than desirable results.”

“The project yielded the successful realization that the country market is actually where the market belongs,” said Collver.

Councillor Carolyn Davies says she feels the trial wasn’t long enough, as people didn’t get an opportunity to “get it into their psyche.”

“I spoke to a number of folks who were away for that weekend and if it had been another weekend they could have made it,” said Davies. “I think we really have to trial it longer, for a season.”

 

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