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St. Norbert Farmers’ Market Adapts to New Reality

Source: Canstar Community News, by Janice Morley-Lecomte

Summer is a great time to get out and visit local sites and to purchase fresh produce supplied through local venues. Le Marché St Norbert Farmers’ Market is one of these venues.

The St. Norbert Farmers market has been actively engaged in the community for 33 years. Crafters, local market gardeners and producers have long enjoyed the ambience and steady increase of people who come out for the day to purchase local goods. The onsite canopy offers additional space and adds to the length of the garden market season.

The market is open Saturdays from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. and Wednesdays from 3 to 7 p.m., while the online market is always open for placing order.

Vegetables, meats, produce, baked goods, crafts, soap, hand sanitizer, and preserves are some of the many goods one can purchase on a shopping trip. The market boasts over 100 local vendors on Saturday and 50 vendors on Wednesday afternoons. Uniqueness and local talent are abundant at the many tables which display the vendors wares; every vendor is a local producer and every product sold at the market is made, baked and grown here in Manitoba.

Wednesday afternoons may be more intimate in numbers, but still offer the same variety of local goods that one finds at the Saturday market.

Marilyn Firth, executive director of the market, has had to adapt to the many changes that occurred when the novel coronavirus halted many venues in our province, and was able to put a new online ordering system in place.

Marilyn said the online market was launched in early April, and has been a huge success. Over $100,000 in sales have been completed through the online order system to date; sales which directly go to the vendors, as the market is a not-for-profit co-operative.

Further, the online market has grown to include over 1,000 items and over 58 vendors. Many food items currently offered in the market are available for purchase online. Craft vendors are also slowly switching to the on-line market.

This is a great way to purchase local produce from the convenience of home. One simply has to go online and place and pay for an order. Customers then drive to a pickup location at the market on Saturdays, where the completed orders are delivered to their cars.

"We are so pleased with the success of our online market," Marilyn said. "It’s especially helpful for individuals who are immune-compromised, or who simply prefer to avoid public spaces, as well as those who prefer to shop from the comfort of home and just pick up, but who still want to obtain local produce and support our Manitoba producers."

The online market can be found at www.localline.ca/le-marche-st-norbert-farmers-market-coop.

At the market itself, there are many safety protocols in place. Entrance controls manage the number of people on site at any one time, signage encourages physical distancing, hand sanitizing stations are at both entrances and exits, and sanitizing protocols are in place throughout the market day.

This further ensures everyone can enjoy the products from the market, and support our local producers, while keeping safe.

Blog Feature Image_Winnepeg Free Press St. Norberts Market