A welcome dose of honesty found its way into a discussion in a town in Ontario about what to call a “farmers market” with few actual farmers. The market in the town of Port Carling, in the lake-cottage country 125 miles due north of Toronto, needs more produce, those in attendance at the meeting, sponsored by the Muskoka Lakes Chamber of Commerce, agreed. But if that produce is trucked into the venue by those who did not actually grow it, should it still be called a “farmers market,” some wondered.
No, said a couple of market vendors who were at the meeting, according an account of the debate published Feb. 8 on the web site of the Almaguin News.
“I find it a little misleading to say farmers market” when there are few farmers in sight, said vendor Gil Moore. “I expect to see farmers there and we only have one or two. I don’t think it leaves a good feeling.”
So what should a market that lets vendors sell anything be called?
How about “summer market,” some suggested. Others said producers should be allowed to bring in produce from outside the local area, but only if it carries a sign identifying it as such.
“The problem comes when the unsuspecting customer comes to the booth and thinks they’re buying local product,” said vendor Sandra Morandin. “As long as they’re up front and the customer knows this is not locally grown … I have no problem with that. It’s just the honesty factor.”