By Angelica Ingram
Published April 21 2016
In less than a decade the Haliburton County Farmers’ Market has grown to include three vibrant locations a long season and close to 40000 customers in just 2015 alone.
Those were some of the accomplishments highlighted during the association’s annual general meeting held on April 14 in the Great Hall at Fleming College.
Last year was a significant one for the HCFM as they added a third location in Minden to their offerings said chairwoman Angel Taylor.
As a result total vendor income was up 66 per cent for a total of $433385 said Taylor adding the Minden location had a truncated season compared to the Haliburton and Carnarvon markets.
The HCFM started in 2009 with one location and now includes three with the possibility of a fourth in Highlands East if conditions are right said Taylor.
“We have to do more research and conversations will continue” she said adding it will only happen if it makes sense.
Last year patronage was up at both the Haliburton and Carnarvon markets by 38.7 per cent with a total of 37590 customers visiting the sites.
“That is a very respectable growth” said Taylor.
This year the Minden market which will begin earlier than it did than its inaugural year will be relocated to the former site of the Pritchard House which is adjacent to the Minden Hills municipal building.
The new location is a result of the construction of a condo building which the HCFM board knew about from prior to the start of last season.
Questions arose on amalgamating the Minden market with the Minden Hills Artisans Market to avoid confusion amongst customers however Taylor said that is not possible due to provincial rules regarding the ratio of farmers required to be a designated farmers’ market.
This year the Artisans Market will be moving into town and the HCFM board has created directional signage to distinguish the two markets.
Another new development this year is the hiring of Melissa Johnston to be the assistant market manager managing the Minden and Carnarvon markets specifically.
A Trent University student Johnston will be assisting manager Marla Force and was in the area last summer and could be seen at the Abbey Gardens table at the markets.
“I’m very happy to be coming back to the area” said Johnston at the AGM.
HCFM treasurer Fay Martin reported that the organization is in a comfortable financial situation accruing about $30500 in revenue in 2015 with $19600 in expenses.
Taylor said it was a good idea to have a healthy reserve fund for unforeseen future circumstances adding the organization has had the Ministry of Transportation on their backs regarding the Carnarvon market location which is located off Highway 118.
Two board members Anje Hilkers and Emma Horrigan stepped down for various reasons and Elaine Repath’s term came to an end.
Repath was re-elected onto the board along with new board members Andrew Graham and Jim Hammond.
All three board members were acclaimed.
The Haliburton market takes place on Tuesdays from noon until 4 p.m. the Carnarvon one on Fridays from noon until 4 p.m. and the Minden market is on Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
For more information visit haliburtoncountyfarmersmarket.wordpress.com.