NGFM Fun Facts

Did you know?

  1. We are a proud member of the Farmers Markets of Nova Scotia?! 

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What does this mean?

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2. We are a non-profit organization

  • Our focus is not on profit, but rather on our vendors and community and ways to improve opportunities for both small business/entrepreneurs and our community. We rely on table fees, your support through fundraising events and grants and this goes right back into the Market so that we can offer our vendors and community more opportunities.
  • We are proud as a member of FMNS and through the funds we collect to invest that back into the Market.
    • We offer our vendors many training opportunities and ways to improve their business at low or no cost to them
    • With partnerships, grants, volunteers and fundraising, we are able to grow and complete projects to enhance the Market and community
      • examples are: New year round building, dome renovations to the kitchen (more renos coming to the kitchen & bathrooms soon), Market kitchen & appliances, heaters for the dome, Giving Garden, new tents, new tables, new stage for events and more!
  • Due to your support of fundraising events, we are able to keep our vendor fees low lifting barriers to effective business for our vendors. We are able to develop sustainable projects and initiatives.

3. We are community minded.

  • Now that most of our really big projects are done, we have turned our attention to ways we can make increasingly meaningful contributions to our community by forging partnerships with other organizations also dedicated to improving our community. Please stay tuned, we hope to have some great announcements on some exciting new programs and initiatives very soon!
  • Want to find more ways to be involved? We are working on it and will hopefully have something to tell you later on this season!

None of this could happen without you  or your support. It’s important you come out and support your Market and vendors as much as you can! Your support comes full circle back to the community!

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Every Day is Earth Day at the Market

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We missed getting this post up in time for Earth Day, but then we think Earth Day should be every day, so that makes us right on time!

We all want to be environmentally friendly, but we also know that there are challenges. We are sharing this post with you to show how the Market can play a role in your environmental goals.

DID YOU KNOW?

Recently, the NGFM made a policy to eliminate styrofoam take out containers? This is not as easy as it sounds, there are a few reasons why a vendor can’t just switch overnight. We want you to know that we are trying and so are our vendors. Our vendors take pride in what they offer you. They want you to have the best quality product but they also realize that many patrons are budget conscious. Switching to environmentally sound containers can be cost prohibitive. Compostable containers can add up to $1 or more per piece depending on material costs and shipping. While some guests can easily and happily absorb this increase, there are other patrons that may find this difficult. Then there’s the matter of finding a container that will hold up to the food that gets placed in them. Many of our vendors offer liquid or “saucy” foods and we know you would like to not have leaks. We have given our vendors some time to adjust but by the end of May you will see that most of them will have switched over to something more environmentally friendly.

WHAT CAN YOU DO?

BRING YOUR OWN

You can help! Bring in your own containers, cutlery and coffee mugs from home. Keep a set in the car in one of your reusable bags in case you make an unexpected trip in. That way, you’re always prepared! Our vendors will happily fill your own reusable dishes. This will help lessen the amount of overall trash that makes its way into the landfill.

BUY RE-USABLE ITEMS

We have a number of environmentally friendly items that are available for purchase from the Market. Better yet, they are locally made, which in itself lowers your carbon footprint. More on that later.

REUSABLE BAGS

We have a number of reusable shopping bags at the Market available from various vendors at various price points They are made from durable materials and will last you a long time and they are also fashionable and attractive, making them perfect for a multitude of uses. Here are just a few examples:

PRODUCE BAGS

We are thrilled to share with you for the very first time, these amazing produce bags from Quilted Chaos. Made from a breathable poly mesh, these will hold your produce and make it easy to transport. Charlotte will have these available in two sizes, purchase in a set or on their own and reuse! Fully machine washable.

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PLASTIC WRAP ALTERNATIVE

We are happy to welcome a new vendor to the Market this season! Beezy Wraps is a plastic wrap alternative. Made from cotton cloth, honey and tree resin, these wraps can be used on just about anything! If they get a little soiled, just give them a rinse under cold water and you can continue to use them. Unlike plastic wrap, when they reach the end of their long life cycle, these will completely break down.

These items are just the start! Did you know that Lismore Sheep Farm carries wool dryer balls and pillows filled with wool? Completely natural filling that will break down after its lifespan and more hygienic too. The Natural Edge has laundry alternatives and there are many natural soaps and more! There are lots of environmentally better choices to be found at the Market to help reduce waste and environmental impact.

SHOP AT THE MARKET

The single biggest thing you can do to make a positive impact on the environment is to shop at the Market. And if you are visiting somewhere else, visit their Farmers Market. SHOP LOCAL!

How does simply shopping at the Market help the environment?

Well, let us tell you!

All the products at the Market are locally grown or made. All the produce, honey, eggs, meats and lobster are grown, raised and fished locally. Items are not shipped from overseas or trucked across the country, they are grown or made right here! That means a reduction in your carbon footprint.

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A photo used when speaking at a local school. Yes, we do speaking engagements as well! We love to talk about all things local and how it makes a difference!

As you can see illustrated in the diagram I used above, there are many more steps used when purchasing a product that is not locally produced. There is more packaging, much of the food that travels is processed in one form or another to keep it fresh at the least, then there’s the increased distribution, more money spent on marketing signage etc before it reaches your table. There is increased waste created by the additional packaging, some of which cannot be recycled. And your product will be older by the time it reaches your table…in Nova Scotia, your non-locally produced food travels on average more than 4,000 km and yes, that includes the new online “farm fresh” home delivery meal programs.

When you purchase locally made products, it comes straight from the farm to Market and travels less than 100km. There is less packaging and sometimes no packaging, especially if you use one of the options available at the Market above. There is very little signage and if there is waste, most of it can be reused, recycled or composted and then that compost can be reused in the farm or your own garden. The bonus is that most of your food is picked and makes it to your table in less than 24 hrs. Many of your farmers are harvesting on Friday or even Saturday morning before market starts.

The more you can grow yourself or source from your community, the better it is environmentally and economically for the community. If you can’t get it at the Market, then buy as close to home as possible. Start at the Market, if you can’t get it there, move to products produced provincially, work your way out.

Eat seasonally when possible. Eat more of the things you can find in season instead of purchasing imported food. Preserve. Buy at the the Market in season or grow your own, then can, freeze or dehydrate. Eating seasonally and preserving are things our ancestors did before there was such a thing as national transport. Families each grew and raised what they could and then shared the bounty with the rest of the community. If they couldn’t grow or raise it, clearly they didn’t eat it.

Eating Local
From Visually
So you see, there are many ways that you can help at the environment, just by being prepared and taking a couple of extra steps. The bonus is that when you shop local your money stays in your community, helps entrepreneurs and fosters local economic development and growth. If you don’t support your local producers, they will disappear!

Below is video, it’s American, but the sentiment is the same.

It’s a Bird, It’s a Plane – Nope, it’s a Super Volunteer!

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It’s National Volunteer Appreciation Week!

 
Our volunteers are the unsung heroes. Often in the background so you don’t see them, but you see and experience what they do. There is never enough recognition for the amount of work they do.
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We have a number of volunteers who are not even vendors.  They are local-loving community members that come out every week because of their love of the Market, all things local and their community. They run the welcome table, carry things in for vendors, sell 50/50 tickets, assist me every Saturday (and beyond) and just generally help out and make it all happen. They  help to make our fundraising events a success, they help set up and tear down in rain and snow. They have helped to run programs and even act as babysitter once in a while for our vendors so they can give you better service! Many of these things are not expected, our volunteers are just the most amazing, super-kindhearted, giving people that care. Did you know that many of our volunteers have been with us every Saturday for 3 and 4 years now, helping to grow the Market right along with the rest of us?!
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Christopher 3 years ago
In addition to community members, we have some vendors that go above and beyond their required volunteer duties to help make sure the little things get done and help with the big things so we can do more big things.
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The other unsung volunteers of the Market is our Board of Directors. They are not paid, but volunteer their time making sure the nitty gritty of the Market operates.
So a big thank you to:
Sarah (President, Le Soap),  Dave (Vice President, Big Cove Foods), Vandana (Treasurer, Shree Curry Place), Cathy (Secretary, Bramble Hill Farm), Conny (Member at Large, Natural Edge), Colin (Fundraising Co-ordinator, Knotty Acres)
And yes, these are some throw back photos…apparently we need some updates! So enjoy the unintentional #TBT
As a non-profit organization, we could not accomplish half of the things we do without our volunteers. They help the Market to operate seamlessly and in fact, they will be helping out this weekend so we can also have a presence at Saltscapes. A few of our volunteers are pictured here, but we have many volunteers that have helped us over the years and a few camera shy ones that elude our camera (on purpose).
Not to mention, they are super fun and energetic and make the rest of us wear hats and costumes! Christopher is a good sport and let’s his photo be taken for these events! We don;t have many others in the archives for this reason!  
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Christopher & Rhonda

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So to all of our volunteers that contribute, THANK YOU! We appreciate you! 

And as a customer, please do us a favour, if you happen to see see a volunteer this Saturday (or any Saturday), please be sure to go out of your way to stop and tell them thank you!
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Music at the Market- Josiah Pratt

From the early age of 3, Josiah Pratt set off on his musical career. Natural ability will only take a talented artist so far, but a strong will and determination has helped push this young man forward and continues to drive his development and success.

Playing a range of music from classic favourites like the Beatles right through to today’s artists like Ed Sheeran, Josiah’s acoustic style has something for everyone!

We look forward to welcoming Josiah and having him perform for us at the Market a few times this season!

Josiah Pratt

Ch-ch-ch-Changes!

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It’s spring and one of the first signs of the season is when we open the Dome, our seasonal 2nd building!

Your vendors start gradually returning to the Market over the next month leading to our Peak season kick off on May 19th!  Be sure to visit vendors in both buildings and be sure to look over the next months as vendors will shift locations as more return!

So now you’re thinking to yourself, “Well that’s great and I love scavenger hunts and all, but I would just really like to know…where’s my vendor?!”

Well, while we don’t have an app for that, we sure do have a spiffy new tool for you! We have invested in a software program designed specifically for Farmers Markets. We are the first Farmers Market in Nova Scotia to get this up and going, so we’re pretty excited! Our friends over at MarketWurks (thanks, Chris and team!) have been working hard to get this up and running and we’re finally at the point we can tell you about it!

Now when you go to our website, you can click on Who’s at the Market. There, you will find two options, one option is Market Maps, and the other is a complete listing of currently approved 2018 Vendors.

But wait, there’s more!!

We have a new YouTube Channel! Be sure to subscribe and there. We will be uploading our popular Facebook Live videos there and we have some exciting uses for the channel coming up this season too!

And we’ve done a video showing you how the new map and vendor features work. It’s my first video so be a kinder and gentler viewer. I promise to pick up my game, but hopefully it will shed light on the new feature!

Here’s the video:

And there’s still more!!

Did you know we have a newsletter too? Yup, that’s right! Stay in the know and keep up to date with the Market and all the happenings!

Sign up below to be included as a Market supporter!

Subscribe to Market Mail, our monthly newsletter

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Check it out!

Check out our new blackboards!

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This has been on our wish list for a little while and we are super happy to have been surprised with these blackboards, with many thanks to the Town of New Glasgow! These blackboards lived a life in classrooms and were reclaimed from a school. They’re now upcycled and will live on at the Market…to have fun and yes, even educate in a small way! We are really happy to re-purpose!

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We have three of them throughout the Market and a re-claimed white board now located in the dome. One will have Market Messages where you can see what’s coming up at the Market and very soon, we will have a question, activity, fun fact or thought of the week, and you’ll get to leave yours too! Another fun way to participate, learn, connect and engage with your community at the Market!

Oh and did you catch the message on the blackboard this week?

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Ok, so maybe some tips on writing straight on a chalkboard would be useful!

 

Shopping Small=BIG Difference

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Shop Local, Buy Local, Spend Local, Support Local…we hear all of these things all the time it seems. Local is the new buzzword.  Shopping local has become trendy and popular. You see it in stores, on television, virtually everywhere. But does it ACTUALLY make a difference when you shop local? Everyone always tells you it matters where you spend your money, and we tell you that all the time. But why should you believe us? Lots of people tell you lots of things and sometimes it turns out not to be true or it’s some kind of stretched reality of the actual truth.

Trendy and popular is great only if it becomes an actual trend. To have a lasting shift in behaviour and thinking, is something quite different. Thankfully though, shopping local is an actual trend. People are caring more about where their food and goods come from, and they want to know who makes/grows them. It is beginning to be a movement and we are starting to see a measurable shift and for good reason.  The impact you have when you shop local IS real and I am not talking from a Market(ing) standpoint, after all we are non-profit. We exist for our vendors and because of our vendors and community. What we do is for them and for you.

So instead of me telling you AGAIN, that where and how you spend your dollars makes a real difference, I’m going to share with you some of our vendor success stories. You know these people. If you shop at the Market, you see them every week.

These are your friends, your neighbours, your community.  Actual. Real. People.

Before we start, let’s refresh a couple of important points for you to keep in mind as you read their stories.

  1. All vendors run their own businesses. The Market has a set of rules and regulations and policies that help us to operate smoothly.  However,  when it comes to the actual vendor and their busiest, that is all them. They have full control over their business.
  2. Vendors are at the Market for different reasons. Some are there as a hobby, some like to keep busy during retirement, some are using is as a business tool to test products, develop business models and launch into bigger arenas. For many it’s a livelihood or an important part of a livelihood and for others, it funds interests and the “extras”. Maybe next time you’re at the Market, ask a vendor why they sell at the Market. Trust me, it’s really interesting.

So knowing that, lets move on. We asked our vendors to submit their success stories. They want you to know that you make a difference. Your dollars spent at the Market have changed lives. No joke.

Here’s some stories (and there are more):

Bramble Hill Farm

2017 was a game-changing year for Bramble Hill Farm. Since starting at the New Glasgow Farmers Market in the spring of 2015, Cathy has felt encouraged and supported by amazing customers and fellow market vendors.

Throughout the last few years, as her business has grown, Cathy has focused on finding her ‘fresh niche’ and worked to offer fresh salad produce year-round. In the summer of 2017, Bramble Hill Farm ran a successful Kickstart campaign helping to raise the capital needed to build a 4-season greenhouse.

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This expansion would not have happened if it weren’t for the generous support of market customers, family, friends and FarmWorks Investment Cooperative. What started as a micro-local dream of providing fresh salad to her community market here in New Glasgow;  has become a reality of a flourishing business supplying wholesale and restaurant customers. In 2018 has expanded out to vend at city markets. It all started right here at home in Pictou County where Cathy  always looks forward to greeting smiling market customers on a Saturday morning and offering the very best of her farm products. As Cathy put it, “Passion fuelled this dream but our community built it!”

Shree Curry Place

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Vandana, Sam and son Dhruv are Shree Curry Place.  They will tell you that they believe their biggest business success is the Farmers Market. “We consider the Farmers Market to be our main success. Because of the wonderful customers and their response at the Farmers Market, we gained the confidence to open the Food Truck.”  “We see returning regulars, but there’s not a single Saturday we do not see  lots of new people, who end up being regular shoppers at the Market.” This winter, you will find Shree Curry Place in the Market Kitchen with an expanded menu, including breakfast!

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The Spoonery

You may have caught a live Facebook video we did in November or December. As can happen, we had some technical issues and so we’re not sure whether you got to hear about Matt’s success story and if you did happen to catch it, it still warrants repeating. Matt operates The Spoonery. He hand crafts wooden spoons, cutting boards and his ever-popular BBQ scrapers among many other unique items. Like many of our vendors Matt worked full-time in addition to crafting his wares and vending them at the Market. During a casual conversation with Matt, he mentioned how he was enjoying retirement…clearly he picked up the puzzled and confused look on my face and then elaborated. Matt expressed that since he started at the Market, he has seen his business steadily increase and that 2017 was his best year to date. In fact, it was so good, Matt was able to realize his dream of leaving his job to focus solely on his craft. All because you supported by spending with him. Matt will be expanding into other endeavours with The Spoonery but his heart is at the Market, so you will see him back in the spring when we expand back into to two buildings!

Big Cove Foods

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Many of you know Dave, Sarah (and now, baby Rex). They have been with the Market for several years and we have all watched them as they have grown their business.  Not only do they sell at our Market, but they now sell online, opening a whole new world of possibilities for them. You can also catch them at Halifax Seaport Market occasionally.

“The market has been a great starting off point for our company and continues to be a great part of how we grow, as we get a very personal, one on one feedback back from our customers.

Creating ingredients that our customers can take home and become inspired to cook only enhanced our drive to keep on that path of making new and interesting products. When people return the following week to share what delicious things they made in their own kitchens using our products, that’s really what the farmers market is all about; a community inspiring and encouraging small businesses to keep going.

Thanks to the support of the New Glasgow Farmers Market, we were able to put all our focus on Big Cove Foods and continue to create new products out of our newly built commercial kitchen. An opportunity that would not have been available if it weren’t for the help of our community.”  #supportsmallbusinesses

Small Holdings Farm

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This season, we welcomed Keltie and Michael to the Market. They relocated to Pictou County to revitalize a farm that is now known as Small Holdings Farm. You may also recognize Keltie as the Exectutive Director of the Farmers Markets of Nova Scotia.

“This summer was our first season at the New Glasgow Farmers’ Market – in fact, it was our first summer owning our own farm. We truly looked forward to going to market each and every week and we are eagerly awaiting spring, when we’ll have tables of fresh vegetables once again. 20 years from now, when someone asks what our first season at the New Glasgow Farmers’ Market was like, I will smile and think of the day one of our regular customers brought us a jar of their homemade preserves. Thank you to the wonderful customers, vendors and staff that made us feel so welcome.”

Additionally, thanks to community/Market supporters like the Kilted Chef, several of our vendors have had the opportunity to promote their products on the ferry between Caribou and PEI. Vendors such as RoRo’s Hotsauce, Chapel Cove Chocolate, Big Cove Foods and Knotty Acres to name a few, have benefited from the extra exposure for their business and the opportunity to promote all the wonderful local products that come from right here in our own backyard!

So as you can see, you have made a real impact on real people. People have been able to pursue their dreams as a direct result of dollars being spent locally.  This is happening all over our province and country. So wherever you are, visit your local Farmers Market and small local businesses. It is an important and necessary step to promoting a healthy, local economy in your community and contributes to the larger overall picture.

We will continue to share success stories with you, because a little great news goes a long way.

See you at the Market!

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2017, A Year in Photos at the New Glasgow Farmers Market

In addition to our 2017 Year in Review post, we thought you might like to take a look back at all the awesome happening at the New Glasgow Farmers Market last year! We look forward to making new memories with you in 2018!

 

 

Music at the Market- Hayley MacLeod

Hayley MacLeod graduated from Acadia University with a BA in English and a BMus focused in Music Education.

Today, she teaches traditional fiddle, classical violin and music theory from her private studio in Pictou County.

Hayley began playing and recording with local musician Ashley George in 2015 and the two now play in a 4 piece Celtic Rock band, The Kitchen Criminals.

We are thrilled to welcome Hayley to the Market for the first time tomorrow, September 30th to help celebrate Culture Days, and nothing say Nova Scotia culture more than the fiddle!  You will catch her from 9am until 10:30am!

Thanks and Giving!

Well, now that the dust has settled and we’ve had time to catch our breath, it’s time for a (very) long overdue Giving Garden post!  We didn’t get the opportunity to thank everyone at the opening so here it is!

What started out as a very small garden with a modest budget generously granted to us by the Pictou County Community Health Boards, quickly grew into a massive undertaking when with the help of the Town of New Glasgow who assisted us with the application and donated the land, we received an additional $13,000 grant from the Nova Scotia Department of Communities, Culture and Heritage.

Being that the funds given to us were part of the 150 Forward fund in honour of Canada’s 150th Birthday, we set ourselves a very ambitious deadline of Canada Day. That gave us just 4 weeks from the time we received the good news until the deadline to turn the space behind the Market building from drab to fab! We had our Community Garden committee made up of a few dedicated volunteers to get things going. We had a huge task…with very rocky ground!

Armed with funds, big dreams and lofty goals, we set out on our mission.  Each week, a group of volunteers who are also vendors came out to get to work.

In addition to these volunteers, there are a number of contributors we would like to thank for their kindness and generosity for helping us to reach our goals and stay on budget.

Firstly, we would like to thanks our partners who we already mentioned above. To the Pictou County Community Health boards for their generous contribution who believed in our vision and started the ball rolling on this project with their investment.  Secondly, to the Department of Communities, Culture and Heritage who granted us the financing to make our end goal achievable in just one summer. And last, but not least, to the Town of New Glasgow for their in kind donations of land and resources and who submitted the application for funding to the Province on our behalf.

Next, we would like to make a couple of special mentions. Kenny Lim and his team from Murray Lim concrete poured the beautiful new concrete pad at the back of the building.  Kenny took the time to listen, got the big picture and made sure we had the pad that would give us the most for our dollars.  They made time for us in their busy summer schedule and kept us on ours.  Due to their hard work, you will have an outdoor classroom and beautiful space to enjoy for years to come.

Charles Champagne, who saved the day with his machinery.  Charles came out in his spare time (he’s also a farmer so there’s not much of that) and helped us move dirt and gravel. Without his help, there’s no way we would have made our deadline.  We would have still been digging into the rock today if it weren’t for him!

Colin and Bob, aka the new Dynamic Duo.  Colin and Bob put a significant amount of time into the garden.  Colin designed the garden’s layout and built all the wooden structures as well as the three colorful picnic benches you can enjoy every Saturday. Bob and Colin were there every single day and put in some very long hours.  In fact, Bob still waters the garden every morning until we can get a long term plan in place!

We purchased plants from West River Greenhouses. Farmer Bob spent time with us picking the right plants for the right locations and making sure we had what we needed.

Central (now Kent) Building Supplies who gave us a break on painting supplies for our patio furniture.

We’d also like to thank Nature’s Nook and Kranny, who after they heard one of our plants went missing, donated new shrub to replace it.

We kept our dollars as local as we could and shopped with many local businesses to keep the money in our community. The Adirondack Chairs came from Market vendor Paul Judge and were painted by volunteers. You will also find birdhouses from youth vendor Samuel Thompson of Samco Creations.

This year, we concentrated on getting plants in. There’s not a ton of variety but we have been able to give away what little we’ve harvested. We have some broccoli and cauliflower coming along and next year, things will get bigger and better!

It makes our hearts happy to see people enjoying the garden, not only during Market, but also during the week.  A relaxing place to sit back and enjoy the view of the river to talk with friends or just for silent reflection.  We still have a  few finishing touches to go. We have a sign coming and a bench and some other odds and ends too.

After that, the next steps will be coming up with a long term plan for maintenance and distribution of any harvest we have. We will be looking for assistance from community groups for help with this in the coming months.  Some of our fundraising efforts will help with maintenance of the garden. If you’d like to contribute you can always buy 50/50 tickets at the welcome table each week, attend our fundraising events etc…all of the proceeds from these things to to help the Market and initiatives like the garden.

We’d like to thank the following volunteer vendors who spent their time to help install the garden (hopefully we’ve remembered everyone):

Bob & Christine, Petite Riviere Winery

Colin & Adam, Knotty Acres

Niki, Sweetheart Farms

Megan, Marshdale Farms

Dionne, Art by Dionne

Nelson, MacD’s Bees

Sarah & Brian, Sunny Cove Honey

Conny, The Natural Edge

Melissa & Al, Handcrafted by Melissa

Janice, The Cupcake Lady

Rachael Robitaille & David

Gizele Mitchell

Gallery

What we Started With

 

Week 1

 

Week 2

Week 3

Week 4

Opening Day- Canada 150, July 1, 2017

Since then