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Farmers announce new Peterborough market location

Farmers announce new Peterborough market location

The new market will operate at the City Centre Courtyard

By Diego Flammini
Staff Writer

A new Peterborough farmers market scheduled to open June 9 has an official location.

Yesterday, members of the Peterborough Regional Farmers Network (PRFN) announced its market will run at the City Centre Courtyard on Charlotte St. on Saturdays.

The farmers are excited about the potential opportunities at the outdoor space, which can hold up to 100 vendors. Between 40 and 50 vendors are expected to be on hand for the market’s opening.

“It’s a great place and we are very excited to be there,” Astrid Manske, a honey producer from Indian River, Ont., told today. “The space has so much potential and ideas on how to use it keep coming in.”

Manske and other producers created the PRFN after losing their spots at the Peterborough Farmers’ Market. They were evicted from the market after speaking out about a lack of transparency at the market more than a year ago.

Customers bought produce under the impression it was locally produced when, in reality, some vendors were reselling the products. The farmers’ concerns led to a CBC investigation in 2017.

After multiple attempts to mend the relationships at the old market, the producers felt like they had no other option.

“It just wasn’t working at the old market to try talking, let alone make any changes,” Manske said. “They decided we weren’t welcome there.”

She credits the local community with helping get the project off the ground.

“The support has been absolutely awesome,” Manske said. “They’ve wanted to help, they’ve spoken out and told the media what they think, and they’ve talked to the City about what they want. Our market wouldn’t exist if the community didn’t step in.”

The new market allows farmers to focus on positive goals, said Julie Fleming, a fruit and vegetable producer from Millbrook, Ont.

“It’s great to have a new place where our ideas can be shared and they can flourish,” she told today. “We were spending a lot of energy fighting to be allowed to stay at the old market. It was tiring but this new market has re-energized us.”

The next step for the PRFN is to find a space for the winter months.

“We want to be a four-season market,” Fleming said. “We’re working on finding an indoor location so customers can see us all year long.”