By Connor Lynch
PETERBOROUGH — Peterborough’s new farmers’ market, formed after five vendors with the old market were barred over a local food fight, is reportedly thriving in its downtown location.
The new market, the Peterborough Regional Farmers’ Market opened in early June with 40 vendors, including McLean’s Berry Farm, one of the five vendors barred from the old market in May.
The berry farm partnered with the Peterborough Regional Farmers’ Network, a local not-for-profit.
It wasn’t quite on a whim and a prayer, but it seemed a long shot to start, said the network’s president, Neil Hannam. “We had less than $3,000 in the bank and absolutely no idea where to do it.” A stroke of luck solved their problem. A local property owner, Brad Smith, called to say he had a property in downtown Peterborough that he had wanted to use as a farmers’ market. The apartment block with a recently renovated public space would be more than roomy enough. It’s about a 20-minute walk north from the first market.
The new market now has 50 vendors and uses a third party to verify that all food vendors produce the food they sell. A CBC investigation at the old market found vendors were reselling produce from the Toronto Food Terminal. That created a backlash from vendors who wanted local-only produce sold at the market.
The original Peterborough Farmers Market currently has about 90 vendors.