With a goal of providing support for local producers and craftsman and supplying community residents with fresh produce, the Carleton Place Farmers Market has been active in Carleton Place since about 1991. And while the market has seen a few location changes, many new vendors and clients, the market remains the same at its core.
The market is open and alive with activity every Saturday from 8:30 am until -12:30 pm from May till the end of October at Market Square (7 Beckwith Street). In 2012 Market Square was re-developed specifically for the Carleton Place Farmers Market. The large and well vented pavilion was built to keep market goers dry in the rain, and well shaded on hot summer days. Very few markets in the area are covered, and even fewer feel are as well ventilated, keeping the market cool even in unseasonably high temperatures.
The market boasts around 35 vendors, all selling locally grown produce, unique crafts or freshly made food items. Many seasonal vendors drop in at different points of the season offering the freshest and most seasonal produce, from scapes and garlic to fresh strawberries, rhubarb and greens. During any given week at the market you will find fresh local produce (often picked that very morning), fresh baked goods, unique crafts, hot meals, and often live entertainment in the form of a local band or musician. There are also some unique vendors like Conrad of Conrad’s Bike Repair on the Go, who repairs bikes brought to the Saturday market.
Every year the market hosts special events like Harvest Festival which takes place every September, complete with an apple pie eating contest and horse drawn carriage rides. The first market of every month is Artisan week, during which tables are given to local artists to come in and promote/sell their work. This gives local artists a chance to meet members of the community face to face, as per farmers market tradition. Featured artisans include Debbie Gibson with her quilts and sewing, Hackberry Men’s Shed selling handmade woodworked items, and pottery and sculptures produced by Magical Mudd.
Many market goers and vendors remain dedicated to supporting the market because of the close client – producer relationship that is fostered by getting to buy directly from the person that has grown or made the product. Many of the current vendors have been selling at the market for years, like Merle Bowes of Limekiln Farms who has been bringing fresh produce for over 20 years. Scott Dunlop of Dunlop Honey has been coming to the market for 13 years, says the reason he chooses to sell through the market is because of the close relationship and trust he builds with his clients. Many locals will return to the market year after year, for his honey.
It is becoming increasingly common for other markets to allow vendors to re-sell produce that they have purchased from large food retailers, allowing them to sell all foods at every point in the season. The Carleton Place market stands out with their no-resale and local only policies, ensuring that all items sold at the market must be produced by a local business or individual and that the market goers only receive the highest quality goods. This means the produce sold at the Carleton Place Market are some of the freshest around, all season long.
The Carleton Place Farmers Market has a long tradition in our community, and Market Square is a great place to start or end your Saturday morning errands. We encourage you to stop in for a visit and take the time to chat with some of the vendors and take pride in bringing their fresh farm goods to area tables.
The Farmer’s Market runs every Saturday morning 8:30 am – 12:30 pm from May until the last weekend in October at Market Square, 7 Beckwith Street. For more information about the Market and their events, check out their website: https://cpfarmersmarket.wordpress.com/