Upon entering Bill Johnstone Memorial Park on market day, one is immediately swept up in a crowd of chattering, vibrant people, reeled in by colourful booths, and enchanted with mouth-watering smells. “The farmers’ market is the heart of a community,” proclaimed Elita Rahn of Jolicure Farm from her eye-catching stand at the Sackville Farmers’ Market. “It brings people together.”
The farmers’ market, the largest weekly gathering in Sackville, runs every Saturday morning from nine until noon. It is a place to be social, creative, inspired, and support local people. Ross Williams from Ketchup With That Kitchen said amid the surrounding bustle that many ingredients used in their products are bought directly from the market. His spread of baked goods had a hearty, homemade look; the result of food grown and made with love. “It’s the same as when I was a kid, growing vegetables for my family. Even now, I’m growing vegetables for people I care about,” Rahn commented.
The Farmers’ Market has been running for about 33 years according to the market manager Michael Freeman and has given several Sackville businesses a head start. Barnyard Bicycle and Fener’s (which both recently opened storefronts) started out as stands at the Sackville Farmers’ Market. “It’s a place where people go from ‘I have an idea and $15 to invest in it’ to ‘I have a business that’s open seven days a week with employees,’” Freeman continued. Shelbie Donald from Fancy Fish Doodles, relatively new to the market scene, explained that their art is a hobby at the moment but that “hopefully, one day” they would be able to create for a living.
Debbie Brine of Lighthouse Baking is also “trying to make [her] own way into Sackville” by selling baked goods at the market. She added that her daughter Nicole helps her in the kitchen, a familial aspect that many of the market vendors share. Jessy Wysmyk, who has a love of tasty food and the outdoors, “co-own[s] and operate[s] Wysmykal Farm with [her] partner Charles,” and at Ketchup With That Kitchen, it is Williams’ wife who does all of the cooking.
When asked if there is anything else that is important to the market’s story, Freeman concluded, “I think you’re going to get the rest of it from all the people that are here.” With its agglomeration of people, food, and art, the farmers’ market is the place of origin of a community’s story.