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Minto Farmers markets prove popular

by Kris Svela

MINTO - The first season of farmers’ markets in Minto has been fruitful, according to representatives for the two markets that operated in the municipality this year.

Michael Holzworth and Luke Hartung of the Palmerston market, and Krista Fisk and Caitlin Hall of the Harriston market, reported to Minto council on Nov. 15 that both markets had a good start in their first season and plans are underway to continue the ventures next summer.

“The community support was excellent,” Holzworth told council of the Palmerston market, which was held each Saturday at the former train station. “We had a lot of repeat customers who came to the market every Saturday morning The location was part of the reason for the success.”

Fisk said the Harriston market proved equally successful. It was held each Friday evening adjacent to Harriston Motors in the community.

“It was very visible and we couldn’t have had a better location,” Fisk said.

“There were a lot of regulars who came faithfully every Friday and we appreciate that very much.”

Each market attracted about eight vendors selling everything from meat to local produce.

“For a smallish market we had quite a good mix of vendors,” Hall added.

Minto’s business and economic manager Belinda Wick-Graham said the markets offered an opportunity for residents to buy local products and produce. According to Wick-Graham the economic spin-off can be substantial.

“Did you know that if every household in Guelph and Wellington (about 75,000 households) spent an extra $10 per week on local food and business, that this would equal $750,000 extra in our local economy weekly,” she said of findings in a Guelph-Wellington local food challenge study.

“That equals $39 million if we kept that up all year.”

She added, “When money is spent in your community in a local small business, it is spent again locally, often five to seven times. That helps to keep those local businesses in business, keeping jobs in town.”

The Palmerston market was open from 9am to 1pm each Saturday from June to the beginning September, while the Harriston market was open from 3 to 7pm each Friday. Organizers of both markets said plans are underway to host separate events such as family days in conjunction with when the markets are open to attract more people.

Hartung said next year’s Palmerston market will run until noon rather than 1pm because vendors found customers dropped off at lunch.

Organizers from both markets thanked council and customers for supporting the ventures in their first year.

 

November 25, 2011

 
 

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