Good year for farmers' market

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New manager brought many positives

Lyle Carter

Jamie Alcorn is able to draw on past work experiences to help her in the role of manager at the Truro Farmers' Market.

Jamie Alcorn is the market manager for the Truro Farmers' Market.

Alcorn's previous experience included Elizabeth Fry Society (working for women in prison) and People First Nova Scotia (helping people with disabilities). She also spent a number of years in sales with Sunspun Natural Foods of Truro and worked for three years as a constituency assistant to local MLA Lenore Zann.

"I found a different work environment from my previous jobs," Alcorn, 54, of Truro, said. "But I noticed when I started here with the market that all my past employment experience was helpful in my role as market manager. I have been able to call on past experience and this has helped me, absolutely."

Alcorn was born in Manitoba and grew up in Tatamagouche. She graduated from North Colchester High School.

"I've always been attracted to farms, animals and nature," she said. "My parents always had gardens when I was young and I had a garden."

Alcorn took notice earlier this year when the position of market manager was advertised.

"I applied for the job and was offered the position," Alcorn said. "I started work March 11 and the market opened April 6. The final two Saturdays for the market for 2013 were December 14 and 21."

Supporting the local farmer and the local economy is a high priority for Alcorn.

"What happens at the market is a relationship develops with the person who has grown, hand made or baked a product. When the farmer arrives Saturday morning, often the product has just been picked. You know it's fresh and more nutritious."

Celebrating it's 33rd year and second year indoors at 15 Young St., Truro (the former location of the Truro Fire Hall) the market has enjoyed a good year.

"The attendance has been well," Alcorn said. "In peak season we've seen as many as 2,000 customers on a Saturday. This is five hours, from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. The market is recognized as a popular community event.

"Each Saturday local musicians provide entertainment. People love this and it provides a fun, social atmosphere. People meet up with old friends and make new friends each week. The food court is usually full. People comment about the positive attitude and positive energy at the market. I thank the community for the part they have played in making this another successful year."

Many vendors have had a longtime involvement with the market, said Alcorn.

"There are two categories of vendors - member vendors and casual venders," she said. "Some long-term vendors have been coming to the market for 20-plus years. They provide a strong anchor and consistency for the market.

"The 33 years of development and expansion is testimony to the dedication and commitment to all the people who previously played a role in the market. In the few months I've been here this stands out to me."

The market started in 1980 as an idea of TDCL, now called Downtown Truro Partnership.

"There was an awful lot of history before I ever came along," Alcorn said. "The small family farm is essential to food security in rural Nova Scotia. Growing varieties of vegetables and plants is important to our history and agriculture."

Bela Casson is a longtime vendor at the market.

"Attending the market is a wonderful thing for people to do on Saturday mornings," Casson said. "The atmosphere is really good. Jamie Alcorn brought a great background when she started with us back in the spring. Everyone is really happy with the job Jamie is doing as market manager. Jamie has many positive things to add to the community and market. She has raised the level. Jamie has many good ideas."

The Truro Farmers' Market, which operates under a 12-member board of directors, will reopen early next spring.

TAGLINE: Lyle Carter's column appears every Tuesday in the Truro Daily News. If you have a column idea, contact him at 673-2857.



Organizations: Elizabeth Fry Society, Sunspun Natural Foods, Downtown Truro Partnership Truro Daily News

Geographic location: Manitoba, Tatamagouche, Colchester Nova Scotia

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