Good year for farmers’ market: vendors

With the Clover Valley Farmers’ Market having wrapped up for the season Saturday, the consensus among vendors indicates they had a good year there.
Ray and Evelyn Bragg of “Bragging Tackle” were busy selling homemade wood carvings and other trinkets from their table Saturday. But even though it was the final market of the year, it likely won’t be the last time they’ll be there.
“There’s been a lot of new people here this year,” he said.
“You see a lot of new faces for a change,” she added, noting both of them have been quite pleased with their sales at the market.
“It’s been a really good year for us,” echoed Pat Clysdale-Cornell of Rainy River Valley Meats, which markets holistically-grown meat products from three local farms.
“We’ve developed some new products,” she noted. “More into cold meats than sausage.”
Clysdale-Cornell said she’s had tourists from Newfoundland to British Columbia stop and buy her wares at the market. And she’s also seen an increase in Americas coming through this year compared to last–meaning she and her partners intend to be back in 2000.
“For us, the appeal for a booth is we can tell people where the meat has been,” Clysdale-Cornell said, giving them the chance to explain their meat products come from animals that were given no growth-hormone and very little, if any, antibiotics.
“I find a lot of people want to know that history,” she remarked.
Meanwhile, business also has been good for the “Toy Lady,” Else Fischer, who has been selling dolls, key chains, and other tiny items at the Clover Valley Farmers’ Market for more than 10 years without a single complaint.
“I make my grocery money every weekend,” she said. “It’s like a candy store beside a school–all loonies and toonies.”
Fischer believed what makes the farmers’ market here go so well is the social appeal it offers customers as well as the wares. “People like to see people and they like to buy odds and ends,” she explained.
Kim Mose said everything seemed to run “as it should be” during her first year as market manager, saying she’s received no complaints.
“Some days were more popular than others but overall it was good,” she continued. “We did some head count on some days and it was quite high.”
Deb Cornell, president of the farmers’ market board of directors, said she’s also been pleased–both as a director and vendor.
As to what changes need to be done for next year, Cornell said the board will discuss that in a wrap-up meeting early in the new year. But she stressed the market always is on the lookout for new vendors.
“It’s more and more challenging all the time to find farm-related products,” Cornell said. “So we’ll have to continue to be inventive in that respect.”