Marketing the locals

Ryan
Ryan Cooke
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Farmers Market Week gets underway showcasing homegrown farmers

TRURO – Colchester County put itself on display Saturday morning at the Truro Farmer’s Market, as Farmers Market Week kicked off with a crowd.

With a gathering estimated at more than 1,000 visitors throughout the course of the day, vendors put their goods on full display. Walking through the market, the regular smells of fresh flowers, spices, desserts and vegetables wafted through the air.

For regular vendors like Lloyd Mapplebeck of Hillendale Perennials, it was a big day of networking.

“Well I’ve been here for more than 20 years now, I guess,” he said. “So anytime you get a big crowd like this, it’s great for getting your product out there.”

Mapplebeck mingled with the crowd, and spoke to anybody who walked by his display. With one of the larger set-ups, weekends at the market account for about 30 per cent of Hillendale’s business.

“It’s a big part of what we do,” Mapplebeck said. “It’s also great to get out and meet the people of the community and build a relationship with the area and with other vendors as well.”

For people walking by, it was tough not to stop and check out the scene.

Horses carried children around the lawn, as more kids sat and drew chalk art on the pavement. A line of parents and their kids wrapped from the face painting and balloon animal tent to back inside the market. Judges walked around the kids at noon and awarded prizes for the best chalk drawings.

Inside, swarms of people circled around the displays. Vendors sold cakes, cookies, art and jewelry. Kenda MacLellan worked behind the counter at the Petit Riviere booth, displaying wine.

“I can’t make anything people would want to buy, so I sell wine,” she laughed.

MacLellan, a frequent visitor to the market, said there’s something about buying local that makes her feel more at ease.

“I know the people here,” she said. “If I buy something from Steve Sharpe, I know what I’m getting and where it’s coming from. I trust that.”

Sharpe, who runs Little River Farm in Brookfield, has been a vendor at the market for more than two decades. The farm harvests vegetables each Saturday morning, completely fresh and pesticide free when it hits the market.

Having a week to celebrate local farmers is important, Sharpe said.

“Having more people around, we get a chance to show them that local food is better food.”

On a personal level, Sharpe is appreciative of the organizers who put the week together.

“It’s great to be recognized and celebrated for how I make a living.”

Geographic location: Hillendale, Brookfield

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