MIDDLETON, NS - A new farm market is going ahead in Middleton and organizers have their fingers crossed for a bright, sunny opening on May 31.
So far 22 vendors have signed on for the outdoor, fair weather market that will be held Thursdays from 4 to 7 p.m. at Macdonald Museum on School Street right beside Middleton Regional High School.
An organizing meeting was held in late March, and despite being postponed by a day because of a snow storm, a good crowd charted the future for the market. Museum director Janice Slauenwhite said that while there might have been snow on the ground, there was excitement in the air.
“The vendors and the public consumers who were at the meeting were all very excited about it,” she said. “They feel it’s much needed in the area. Since the meeting we’ve been contacted by a lot of people asking questions, signing up. As I said we have 22 vendors now. Everyone is excited.”
And everywhere she goes she asks people if they’ve heard about the market and every person has said they had.
“So word is spreading and people are really excited – and we’re very excited about seeing everybody on site Thursday afternoons,” she said. “We’ve got lots of space.”
She said 28 people, including 12 vendors, were at the meeting.
“We wanted to get a consensus of what day of the week they thought would work, and the unanimous vote was for Thursday afternoon from 4 to 7 p.m.,” she said. “So we can provide a great shopping experience for people getting off work. And through the summer months people might come over and have a bite to eat. There will be live music – that kind of thing.”
Those at the meeting also wanted the market to be authentic.
“The vendors unanimously requested that this market be you made it, you baked it, or you grew it,” she said. “This market will not be featuring any yard sale tables or items that were not created by the people selling them – or that weren’t hand-made, hand-grown, or home-baked.”
Cost to vendors is just $5 per week for a 10 by 10-foot space and the grounds in front of the museum gave handle about 55 spaces, Slauenwhite said.
“We hope that people can bring tables but we have a few,” she said, adding that vendor offerings will be diverse.
“We have soaps, knitting, paintings, some crafts, several vegetable vendors, there’s going to be fresh eggs, there’s going to be meat, someone’s approached us about doing sausages and hotdogs,” she said. “And we are offering space to non-profit groups on a rotational basis -- probably as we fill up we may get limited in what we can offer – and non-profits can use the space for free.”
The Museum will be open during market times, said Slauenwhite. “Normally we close at 4:30 p.m. but we will be open until 7 p.m. and we have bathrooms available for the public and people can come in and look around the museum as well if they’d like to,” she said. “There’s lots of interesting things to see and do here.”
May 31 is the opening and the market is expected to continue for about six months every Thursday.
“We’re hoping for a nice sunny day for the opening,” she said. “If our vendors feel they have product enough we hope to go through to the Thursday before Thanksgiving.”
Slauenwhite said the grounds in front of the Macdonald Museum can handle the tables and the crowds, plus there is plenty of parking available for the public. The one thing they do need are more volunteers.