EARLTOWN – Local farmers’ markets are kicking off their season, and that includes the brand new one in Earltown.
Shannon Dalberg and Pamela Craig are two of the members of the organizing committee. They will both have their own products for sale at the market – Dalberg with her Mountain Meadworks products, and Craig’s Dry Humour Dehydrated Goodness.
It opens May 17, and will run every Friday, 2-6 p.m., at the community hall. It will be open until Thanksgiving weekend in October.
“The idea for a farmers’ market has been stewing for a while,” said Dalberg. “We had a meeting at our place back in November and decided then to put this together.”
Craig said both women are in the self-employment benefits program through CBDC NOBL in Truro, and had been looking at neighbouring farmers’ markets to have their own products showcased.
“It seemed like there could be the opportunity here to open a farmers’ market,” she said.
Along with Craig and Dalberg, there are three other small business owners or farmers from the area on the market’s board of directors – David Heatley, of The Nuthatchery; Stephanie Banks, of Sweet Earth Farm; and Wayne Edgar, of North of Nuttby Farm.
The members will all be vendors at the market, as will about another seven to 10.
“We have so many exciting vendors,” said Dalberg.
“It will be a mix of vendors,” added Craig. “For some, it will be their first time at a market, and for others, they’ve been farmers’ market vendors for a long time with a strong reputation.”
Vendors, they say, will come from throughout the area, as far away as Malagash. The board of directors is trying to keep as many local vendors available as possible.
Some vendors will be occasional vendors; some will be outside; and some will be inside the hall. There’s also the potential of a food truck on site. Products available will be coffee roasters, baked goods, smoothies, cheese, honey and other bee-related items, dehydrated goods, produce such as fruits and veggies, maple syrup products, and meads – craft beverages made with honey similar to ciders.
In creating the market, the board of directors chose Fridays for a couple of reasons.
“We want to try and capture the cottagers market – those coming by on Fridays – and we didn’t to compete with existing markets,” Craig explained.
“By having it on a Friday, it gives those vendors in Saturday markets an opportunity to participate as well,” added Dalberg.
Craig said the board members are prioritizing primary producers for the market.
“We are very farmer heavy,” she said. “We do appreciate artisans, and there will be space for them as well.”
While this will be the first season for the market, the two women say they’ve already gotten some positive feedback from members of the community, as well as local producers.
To lead up to the market opening and offset costs for things such as insurance, a fundraising supper sold out.
“Everybody was supportive and has been enthusiastic,” said Dalberg.
While they’re anticipating a positive first season, Dalberg expects they may need to look at their season prior to next year.
“We might need to alter our hours, depending on how the first season goes,” she said. “Unfortunately no time works for everyone.”
Along with the soft opening on May 17, the market will celebrate a second soft opening on May 24, followed by a grand opening celebration on May 31.