|Working it at a Farmers' Market!|
We laugh now, looking back at the first few markets at Riverbank Discovery Centre! There was us and our friend Jim, a baker, two little tables. Fortunatley, the market grew. We always struggled to promote the Farmers Market at the Riverbank Discovery Centre: it couldn't be seen from the street so it relied on advertising to grow, and there is never enough budget for ads while keeping the table rentals reasonable and still paying the licenses, rents and insurance. With that in mind, Farmer Man had the idea to start a market at one of the busiest corners in the city so, a few years ago, we started the Friday Night Farmers Market at Shopper Mall! It did quite well, quickly, showing us the value of 'location, location, location' and high visibility, however the rent and insurance requirements were much higher.
Now, those of you who know us well know that we're not that organized...well, Farmer Man is the farmer and organizing fell to me. And I'm not that organized, or good at paperwork, or happy doing office stuff. We never made any money at organizing markets and they were taking up a lot of our time. In season, we'd get a lot of phone calls every week: inquiries about what veggies would be at the market coming up that day (when we're really busy getting the veggies ready for market that day), inquiries from people thinking of selling at a market, inquiries about whether we knew when a certain seller or product might be coming....much time spent in talking on the phone or returning emails. Really, we just wanted to grow and sell our vegetables!
So, we were interested when we heard of a new community-based project called The Global Market. A company, Perths, was closing its' downtown Brandon dry-cleaning plant. For new building construction to happen on the site, an extensive and expensive environmental clean-up would have to happen, so the company decided to donate the land, with the Brandon branch of the Canadian Mental Health Association organizing, with stakeholders as diverse as Westman Immigration Services and Samaritan House. The space is close to BU, close to residential areas with plenty of parking! The plan includes permanent tents, green space and seating! The organizers already have interest from a couple of food trucks; 'Funky Food' the chip truck is already using the empty lot, serving their goodies during the week! Apparently the Jamaican food truck 'Irie Kaya' will be on site shortly! Vendors from Brandon's much-loved International Women's Market will use the space as their summer home - meaning great, fresh ethnic food and crafts! The Global Market, to my understanding, will welcome home-based businesses like Avon, Arbonne, Pampered Chef and such, and sellers of new merchandise like sun glass vendors, T-shirt sellers and the like! There are plans for Saturday evening live music, with the 0 block of 12th Ave closed for street parties! Should make for a fun and diverse market!
Although it has been a tough decision, we've made the choice to join The Global Market. We're going to free ourselves from all the duties involved with organizing The Farmers Market at Riverbank Discovery Centre and The Friday Night Farmers Market! The Global Market should be open by June - we anticipate being there Saturday mornings for sure and probably at least one evening during the week; follow Aagaard Farms on Facebook or Twitter to get our latest news! We know that a number of the vendors that participated with us at our markets the last few years will be joining us! Stay tuned for more details: The Global Market has a Facebook page at Global Market Brandon, MB so go 'like' them and keep up on all the latest info!
We would like to take a moment to thank all the Buyers and Sellers who have supported us over the years! It's been great to get to know so many fabulous Brandonites! We hope you'll all come join us at The Global Market, it should be a Blast! In the meantime, we can concentrate on 'Growing Great Food for Our Neighbors', which is, really, what we do here at Aagaard Farms!