As Islanders are aware, PEI has a large amount of farmers with at least $400 million dollar a year being pumped into our economy directly from the amount of product our farmers sell. We put on events based around agriculture such as Old Home Week, Charlottetown’s weekly farmers market, Kensington’s Community Harvest Festival, Crapaud Exhibition, Fall Flavours, the Dundas Plowing Match, and the list goes on and on.
With our Farmers and Fisherman going through the tough times, I think Montague should have it’s own Farmers Market down on the waterfront on a weekly or bi-weekly basis. Montague was the initial place where a large effort was put into play to organize fishing and farming on Prince Edward Island so I think it would be the ideal place for another Farmers Market.
While Charlottetown’s Farmers Market is a hit, I think having one in Montague will draw upon the local and tourists to check out the Montague Farmers Market. This would make it more encouraging to drive down to the old train station and helps build a sense of community within Eastern Prince Edward Island. While people closer to town would be more apt to go to the Charlottetown Farmers Market (except maybe those looking for a change), it becomes less appealing to drive to Charlottetown as you end up further away from town.
A farmers market would also be more appealing, as residents would be buying from their neighbors and 92% of people polled in The National Farmers’ Market Impact Study in 2009 reported that it is extremely important or somewhat important that they purchase their products from an actual farmer, rather then through supermarkets reselling. In that same impact study, they spoke with people who do not visit the farmers market. The report back was that of the 1300 people who don’t visit, almost 650 of those respondents said that there was no farmers market nearby.
By having a farmers market, we would be helping create anywhere from 1-5 jobs per vendor. On top of this, the average purchase at a farmers market by a shopper is $32.06 which would be a direct benefit to our farmers and fisherman who decide to sell at the market.
With the waterfront being a beautiful area, I think it is time Montague has a farmers market on the waterfront. Having the fact you can buy local products, added in with seeing our great neighbors (and not so great) and of course the great view, I think a farmers market should be setup down around the train station, much like it is done in Charlottetown.
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