Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Moncton's Fresh Farmers Market


Someone You’ll Meet At The Farmers Market

Written by: Sharon A. Layton-Pollock

Hi, let me introduce you to one of the many vendors at The Westmorland Street Farmers Market. Her name is Kim Norden and she has fresh products just for you. Kim and her partner, Stephen Taylor, from Mannhurst Rd., near Petitcodiac operate Stephen Taylor’s Farm.

Kim and Stephen supply meat for six restaurants from Rothesay to Shediac and for the Salisbury and Havelock Legions. Kim is interim president for the Sussex Farmers Market Ltd. and the New Brunswick representative for N.B. Farmers Markets Canada.

Before getting into the Farmers Market business Stephen made his living as a cattle dealer. He shipped cattle across the border into Pennsylvania, USA. When the borders were closed to Canadian cattle and the prices had gone very low, Kim and Stephen knew they had to shift gears and find another venue to sell their product.

In 2003 the Kingston Farmers Market Co-operative Ltd. on the Kingston Peninsula contacted Kim and Stephen, asking them if they would join their market and bring their product to sell. The clientele who bought at this farmers market came from Saint John, Quispamsis, Rothesay and the summer cottage dwellers. So, with one freezer and some frozen hamburger, they entered the Farmers Market culture. They were surprised and pleased at how quickly their product was purchased and were asked for more. It was at this time that they realized this would be a venue worth pursuing.

It was a natural progression to keep adding different product line to their existing one. They added fresh hamburger as well as frozen, roasts and steak from the cattle they raised. During market hours Kim and Stephen set up a BBQ that too went over very well.

After a time, the 1 ½ hour drive, one way, began to get very tiring and a closer market was considered. They moved to the Farmer’s Market Co-op Ltd. at 210 John Street, Moncton. After working 2 ½ years Kim and Stephen have built up their business and enjoy a returning clientele. Change is still in the air and this market spot is making way for a telemarketing business. With these new developments the John Street Market, as of November 18th, 2006 is joining with the Marche Moncton Farmers Market on 120 Westmorland Street.

Here Kim and Stephen will settle in and sell their complete line which includes; beef, pork, chicken, turkey, eggs, smoked ham and vegetables when in season. Kim says that their customers like the fact that their products are all natural grown. She says she enjoys being at her booth where she can answer the many questions her customers ask her. Some of the questions are; what did the animals eat, how old it was, its living conditions?

Their turkeys are raised on their farm and are free range, being fed feed and vegetable tops and peelings. The feed they buy for all their animals is from the Sussex Co-op and some from Havelock. Both mixes their feed on site with no preservatives or animal by products added, and is free of growth hormones. Kim also added that there are no antibiotics in their animals at time of processing, and their processing facilities are government inspected.

Kim and Stephen raise black and red Angus cattle, white hens, brown hens and a specialty hen called Silkys that lay green eggs and are a favorite of many of their customers. To fill their orders for meat kings they purchase them from David Constantine of Lewis Mountain. David is a licensed butcher of fowl. David prepares the birds for market on Friday afternoon for market on Saturday to ensure the freshest product as possible. David also prepares Kim and Stephen’s turkeys for market.

Sometimes Kim and Stephen raise their own hogs, but when they don’t they get them from their neighbor who also has a government inspected operation. They take their ham to K&B Meats in Sussex who ‘Maple Smoke their ham. K&B Meats is also a licensed establishment. Often Kim is asked if her smoked ham is cooked and she informs them that it is not, and proceeds to tell them the best way to cook or fry it. Customers come back and thank Kim and inform her on how delicious their meals were. From her booth, Kim answers many cooking related questions, and offers a print out of her complete product line and prices for their convenience, as well as specials of the month. Customers may place orders with Kim during morning hours at the market which are 7:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. or by calling Kim at home (756-8914) prior to the next market date.

There are between 10,000 to 15,000 people who relax, enjoy and shop at the over 130 vendors at the Westmorland Street Farmers Market every week. There is something for everyone, whether you’re looking for baking items, local produce, fresh meat, cheese and eggs, arts and crafts, holiday items, or just a chance to browse with a good cup of coffee, the market has it all. So why not come out and join the crowd and buy all naturally grown products for the good of your whole family.

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