How one town fell in love with shopping locally

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In Caronport, the social hub during the summer doesn't focus around drinking, nightlife or sports, but instead on their local business. 

 

Johannah (left) and Amy Bird buy somosas at the Caronport Farmer's Market on Saturday. The market is held outside on the grass next to the Pilgrim Centre, but was moved indoors due to rain. Times-Herald photo by Mickey Djuric

Every Saturday morning the town streets are filled with pedestrians who are either walking or bicycling to the local farmer's market at The Pilgrim Centre. 

Over the years it has become a local hangout where residents can catch up on gossip, see old friends, or shop locally. 

Conversation is just as important as the products sold, because anyone who lives in town will tell you the market keeps the community connected.

"This is one of the few social hubs we have during the summer. We get to see all the new neighbours this way, because we are a transient town and people are always moving in and out," said Tracy Taylor, who sells homemade goods at the market. 

For a town of about 1,000 people, the market really does offer unique items that go beyond fresh produce (which are also sold).

Books, jewelry from Bali, samosas and fresh honey are some of the products that lure residents to the market every week.

"We need more of these," said Johannah Bird, in regards to the farmer's market. "It's a small way to focus on locals."

"It's great for visiting with people," added her sister Amy Bird. "People's interests are really visible here and there's lots of chatting."

The market has been able to appeal to people of all ages. During the end of summer a lot of shoppers are college kids who have returned to Caronport for school. 

The vendors who sell products at the market have become a big part of the community. They have managed to engage the locals for years, all while getting them to beg for more. 

Mickey Djuric can be reached at 306-691-1263 or @Mickey_MJTimes. 

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