Minto farmers markets had successful 2014 season

The 2014 season was a success for farmers markets in Minto.

Economic and business manager Belinda Wick-Graham told council at the Jan. 20 meeting the Harriston market is set for its third summer at the former train station on Arthur Street.

The market was actually uninitiated six years ago in Clifford, and was held on Harriston Motors’ property at  the south end of Elora Street for two years before moving to its current location.

“It’s really a great space and our vendors are enjoying it,” said Wick-Graham.

She said the market regularly features 10 to 14 vendors and there would be more if provincial regulations didn’t require a ratio of 50 per cent farm vendors.

Financially, the Harriston market generated $1,155 in vendors fees and turned a profit of $220. The market, which runs on Fridays, will open for the season on June 5. New features this year will include more food-related events hosted at the market, a market café and a weekly raffle, as well as development of a dinner menu/market grocery list program, said Wick-Graham.

Palmerston market committee member Luke Hartung said the Palmerston Farmers Market will celebrate its fifth anniversary at the Palmerston train station this summer.

Hartung said special events like a strawberry social, family day, corn roast, and season-ending breakfast have proven popular and a corn-eating contest at the Palmerston Fair in August helps to promote the market.

Councillor Ron Faulkner asked if the vendors were finding participation in the market profitable.

“If they’re not making money and they are not enjoying it, then they will probably stop,” replied Hartung.

The Palmerston market recorded a slight deficit of $221 for the 2014 season, but Hartung said that could be attributed to “a couple of one-time expenses.”

Wick-Graham noted the market turned a profit of over $800 in 2013, “So really, [it’s] not costing any money.”