For the Gazette
“Does Port McNeill have a Farmers’ Market?”
That simple question placed on a Facebook site started a lengthy discussion, garnered plenty of advice and drew more than 88 comments.
Amber Kennedy, a new resident to Port McNeill who posed the question on the Facebook site, Port McNeill/Buy/Sell/Swap, said she was surprised at the flurry of replies she received.
“I was amazed at the initial response to my post,” she said.
“With that kind of interest I was surprised that there was not a market already in this area.”
Realizing such a market could be a successful community event, Kennedy, Sally Peart and Gwen Alsop met last week at Mugz Coffee and Tea House.
The trio enthusiastically accepted an offer from Port McNeill Coun. Gaby Wickstrom to join the fledgling group.
“I was involved with the chamber a few years back with a core group that started the Seaside Market it was quite successful for the first few years but really needed a larger group to organize it.” Wickstrom said.
“When I saw the interest on Facebook I wanted to become involved so that I could be a liaison for the town and relay information.”
Peart travelled over on the ferry from Malcolm Island to take part in the meeting.
“After seeing so many comments regarding the starting of a Farmer’s Market in Port McNeill, I knew I had to have my say,” she said.
“I wanted to share information with food vendors about the health regulations.”
The Sointulian said she was responsible for Sointula’s Farmers’ Market for the past three years.
“It was great in the beginning,” said Peart, who noted the eventual lack of vendors as the reason it didn’t succeed.
The group resolved to do some market research and test the viability of proceeding further.
A Facebook page was initiated to gauge the interest level of North Island residents and to seek information to see if enough vendors are interested.
And, the most important question: Would North Island shoppers support the event?
If garnering 215 Facebook members by Monday morning is any indication, the response is a resounding yes.
“I really hope that enough people can get together to make this happen,” said Kennedy.
“I think a market to showcase local goods would be great as there seems to be a lot of talent here, but without more volunteers to get this off the ground it can’t happen.”
Interested individuals are asked to contact the organizers at PMFarmersMarket@gmail.com or on the Facebook site, Port McNeill Farmers Market.