I have been going to the Coldstream farmers market for about three years now.
It has varied from a very small to mid-size market. Nevertheless, in most situations the market has provided all of the necessary items that I look for in a market. Summer has been a difficult time for the Coldstream market since there is competition from the large Vernon markets.
Despite this, the Coldstream farmers market has managed to arrange a sufficient number of stalls that provide almost everything one could want in local food, which was (and hopefully still is) the historical concept of a market.
It is such a pity that the market will likely not continue due to recent petty comments and regulations that do not accommodate a small market in a small city.
I was sad to see a recent letter in The Morning Star regarding the Coldstream farmers market. In particular, I was dismayed to see the Coldstream market organizer, Anita Fletcher, criticized so harshly. She has worked tirelessly with little appreciation or monetary gain to support the market and the community of Coldstream.
I have seen paid market organizers not do as well as she has done volunteering her own time and effort. Throughout the years, I have observed her nurturing new small businesses that start in small markets like Coldstream’s. I am amazed that Fletcher has not been complimented rather than criticized.
As well, throughout the years, she has endured several obstacles to simply organize a local market which most towns and cities support and have.
Fletcher and the other contributors to the market do not make large sums of money as in other markets, largely because of the market size.
These small business stalls either do not want to sell huge quantities as required in a larger market, or they just want to experiment with selling a product in a small market.
The stalls vary from artisan baked goods, organic produce and people trying out a new business idea.
This summer, the regular Coldstream farmers market stalls have prepared for this season by growing or preparing their wares to find that because of regulation changes, their venue is probably no longer possible.
In particular, since there is only a small number of stalls during the summer, the rent is likely too high for them.
Since the summer market does not occupy the entire park and the number of vendors is small, could there not be an alternative arrangement such as a small fee for each vendor instead, so that the market can continue?
Although the local Coldstream farmers market is a small market, it is a community event and should be supported for that reason.