Letter-Farmers market issue, a municipal issue

 

Dear Editor,

I am writing in response to a recent letter you published from a Mr. Mason about the Iroquois Farmers Market vendor permits. 

In his letter he referenced our farm located in Ingleside and that people such as myself are taking all the permits from local area vendors.

First let me start off by saying that permits are available to all and any persons willing to operate at the local area farmers markets and are available at the township office at the beginning of every year. We purchased our permit back in March of this year, and it states directly on it that sales of any goods are to start no earlier than April 15 and end no later than December 31 of that same year that they are purchased. 

It does not state an exact date for the market to begin and we have chosen to begin our market days in June as that is when the produce will be ready for our customers. 

I am sorry if Mr. Mason did not purchase his permit at an earlier date to ensure he had the right papers in place to sell his wears. 

As for the fact that we are not local vendors I am very saddened by this comment. It is true that we no longer reside in South Dundas, but before purchasing our farm we were long time residents of South Dundas (we lived in Morrisburg and in Williamsburg) and my husband’s family still resides in Morrisburg. Our farm is located on the South Dundas/South Stormont border. 

It is people like Mr. Mason and his opinions that have made it so that new vendors would prefer to take their business to larger cities instead of staying close to home and offering their services or products to the local residents. 

I am happy that I will be bringing my Gluten Free Baked goods and organically grown produce to South Dundas as there is a need for these products in our community. 

I hope that comments such as those made by Mr. Mason do not scare off potential new vendors. And instead of them looking to the larger cities they will look to our local farmers markets to sell their products so that there will be many options available for those who come to the markets every week. 

We should be encouraging others to come to South Dundas to sell their products not frowning down on them or belittling them.  

As only five permits are issued every year, we should be looking at the township to increase these numbers and ask them to make available more permits for vendors so that we can bring forth more people willing to sell their products instead of turning them away just as the township did to Mr. Mason in the first place. 

His issue should be with them and not with me.

I thank you for taking the time to read what I have to say and in listening to my side of the story as I felt like I was being attacked by the words Mr. Mason had to say in regards to his very upsetting letter to you. I hope you will publish this letter so that others can read about the other side of being a new vendor and purchasing permits.

Sincerely,

Ann Marie Hollister

SHELDANNA FARM

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