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bring on 2018! the Farmers Market on Freshwater


May 11, 2016 Facebook Twitter LinkedIn Google+ in your neighbourhood


Farmers Market Colin Greene

berriesSt. John’s is the oldest city in North America and her story is as wondrous and winding as the roads up from the harbour.  In the past 400 odd years there have been many points when ‘that’s just how it is’ took an ever-so-slight shift, and changed the trajectory to a new ‘what-will-be’.  The establishment of the St. John’s Farmers’ Market co-operative in 2007 was one of them.  Skip ahead a decade or so, and the new St. John’s Farmers & Community Market, with the new permanent home in the former Metrobus depot on Freshwater Road, and the St. John’s Farmers’ Market is going to shift the way townies do their market-ing in 2018.

The permanent home turned out to be about a $4 million dream early visionaries, and it’s coming true with a $100,000 contribution from the Aviva Community Fund (don’t mind the carpel tunnel from the voting), $2 million from the City, $1.17 million from ACOA, and about half million from the Provincial Government.

These hundreds of vendors and thousands of visitors is a long way from the first market in 2007, which happened when an organic farmer rented a hall downtown to sell her extra crops.   Danilo Gonzales became the Market Manager in 2012.  He knows the vendors all to pieces, and many of the 2500 regulars who come through the doors at the Lions Club on Saturday from June to December look familiar.

This is the place of local living dreams.   In the 14,000 square feet the market itself is one component, but there are other bits too.  Plans for the market space include one part farmers one part vendors with mobile booths, workshop/conference space (like space to show a film!), and the plan is to have a usually-open coffee shop with local roasts, local yummy baked goods and other niceties) as a social enterprise.  That will be a marvellous gift for the crowd in Rabbitown, Kelly’s Brook and Summerville.

And, as Community Markets are wont to be, it’s about people moreso that the amazing stuff people make with their hands and their ingenuity.  In philosophy and in actuality, the Farmers Market is a centre for collaboration that loves the multiculturalism and diversity of local.   Danillo says, “We’re working with Memorial and community organizations and finding really fulfilling ways to bring the whole community together.”

The community is raring to be there!