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 Post subject: Any advice for an organic market gardener moving to PEI?
PostPosted: March 14th, 2015, 12:32 am 
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Grew up in southern Ontario in a town of around 20, lived 25yrs in Toronto, 1yr northern Ont., 1yr Nfld and now forth yr on Salt Spring Island BC. I have a market garden here and love it. I spend so much time outdoors I have to buy clean clothes when I go to the city :) I only grow vegetables. Would love to have a livestock and orchards but I rent my place and my field...
Love the life here but it is expensive and could certainly never own property here let alone acreage. My father has recently retired and wants to move to PEI. All of my grandmothers family are there. He will get the farm and I will run it.
I've only been once when I was 4 and know nothing about the island. What would be a good area for a market gardener? We are looking at a place 10 min to O'leary and 30 to Summerside. I checked out the Summerside market and the site is down and another advert says it's in a basement somewhere for 3-4 hours on Sat. (?) Charlottetown would be to far to travel for market I think. Would CSAs be popular around Summerside? What about meat CSA? Farm-stand? Pick your own? My father is pretty set on this place. I am suggesting somewhere between Summerside and Charlottetown. Do smaller towns have farmers markets that aren't on the internet?


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 Post subject: Re: Any advice for an organic market gardener moving to PEI?
PostPosted: March 14th, 2015, 7:31 am 
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Joined: November 16th, 2014, 12:56 am
Posts: 286
PEI is not a great spot for farmer's markets. Charlottetown is OK but tough to get in to.
I know some farmers who are doing well with CSAs.

I doubt you would be able to do a CSA with meat due to provincial inspection regulations.


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 Post subject: Re: Any advice for an organic market gardener moving to PEI?
PostPosted: March 14th, 2015, 4:00 pm 
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Almost an Islander

Joined: March 14th, 2007, 6:15 am
Posts: 162
Location: Springbrook, PEI
Crystal Green farms does a meat csa as well as vegetables. In fact, there are quite a few csas and they do quite well.


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 Post subject: Re: Any advice for an organic market gardener moving to PEI?
PostPosted: March 14th, 2015, 5:21 pm 
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Joined: August 23rd, 2005, 11:52 am
Posts: 11991
Location: Summerside
Blake McKinley wrote:
PEI is not a great spot for farmer's markets. Charlottetown is OK but tough to get in to.
I know some farmers who are doing well with CSAs.

The Summerside and Charlottetown farmer's markets are both awesome! It might be hard to get into the Summerside market though. It seems pretty full.

There seem to be a growing number of CSA's. The couple I'm familiar with seem to be doing well.

My family got our veggies the last few years from Jen and Derek's Organic Farm. They're great! http://www.jenanddereksfarm.com


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 Post subject: Re: Any advice for an organic market gardener moving to PEI?
PostPosted: March 14th, 2015, 5:23 pm 
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Joined: November 12th, 2004, 8:55 am
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Location: Islander
NewEarthGardens wrote:
I checked out the Summerside market and the site is down and another advert says it's in a basement somewhere for 3-4 hours on Sat. (?)


Check the site again as I was able to view it

http://summersidefarmersmarket.ca/

https://www.facebook.com/SummersideFarmersMarket

It's in the the bottom floor of the Holman Building (used to be a department store) and has been quite busy the few Saturdays I've been there (I live in Charlottetown so don't get a chance to get there in time most Saturdays.)


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 Post subject: Re: Any advice for an organic market gardener moving to PEI?
PostPosted: March 14th, 2015, 5:42 pm 
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Joined: March 4th, 2009, 11:37 pm
Posts: 1007
Location: Summerside
CSAs seem to be pretty popular in Summerside. We're in a veggie one (there are at least a couple to choose from) which also offers a monthly beef box if you want, and we're in a chicken one which also offers an egg add-on. All of the CSAs we're on have waiting lists.

We do Jen and Derek's veggie CSA, too, which has a mid-week pickup. It's nice because if by chance there's something we wanted but didn't get in our share that week, we can just pick it up from someone else at the Farmer's market on Saturday.

I know another veggie CSA brings all their weekly boxes to the market and they can do their CSA and regular market sales all at once.

So at least from the outside looking in, it seems like everyone's doing well and there's lots of business to go around. They just this week took down a wall in the Summerside Market and opened up space for more vendors. I remember seeing on social media that two new vendors were there for the first time this morning (not sure if it's a permanent thing, or just happened to be there today).

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It's hard to keep your mouth shut / Harder still to make noise ~ Page/Robertson


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 Post subject: Re: Any advice for an organic market gardener moving to PEI?
PostPosted: March 30th, 2015, 4:36 pm 
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Joined: March 30th, 2015, 4:25 pm
Posts: 1
I think you would do well, I know personally many of the organic farmers and those working towards organic around this area (Kensington). They are all growing businesses. I am a tiny homesteader and I can see this becoming more and more popular too. I think there is a real call for farmers willing to fill niches eg; providing raw milk shares and pasture raised meat, I don't think you even need to go as far as certified organic just as long as your using sound farming practices. PEI is slow paced and backwards (this can be a pain and advantageous), pretty much all my friends are from away..and that community is growing steadily. There are little farmers markets but they are not overly busy. Summerside farmers market is thriving and i can see that expanded in the future to more than just a Saturday 9am til 1pm.
Goodluck and I hope to meet you soon :0)


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 Post subject: Re: Any advice for an organic market gardener moving to PEI?
PostPosted: April 12th, 2015, 12:32 pm 
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Joined: July 30th, 2007, 10:01 pm
Posts: 636
Blake McKinley wrote:
PEI is not a great spot for farmer's markets. Charlottetown is OK but tough to get in to.
I know some farmers who are doing well with CSAs.

I doubt you would be able to do a CSA with meat due to provincial inspection regulations.


We, Hope River Farm, run a meat CSA. I am not sure why provincial inspection regulations would impact being a CSA or not?

Granted PEI has no farm gate rules, specially as it pertains to meat, but where you get your meat processed is not relative to running a CSA. I would love if farm gate had the same exemptions as you find in the NS slaughterhouse regulations.

As for the original question, the PEI Food Exchange recently assembled a list of CSA's in the province (http://peifoodexchange.weebly.com/csas-on-pei.html) and there is currently not many options west of summerside and east of charlottetown.

Summerside's farmers market is smaller that ch'town, but still fairly active. I think there is room for more farmers markets as well. They may not be as big as ch'town, but this past summer Stanely Bridge started one and it was busy throughout the summer. These things take time to establish as well, given that a farmers market is as much about social interactions as it is buying your groceries.

Another option is that many small stores and gas stations in PEI are awesome about carrying local produce, more so than any place I have lived before. The farther you are from the major centers the more influential these small stores are on people's buying habits.

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Hope River Farm Meat CSA


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