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LETTER: Open letter to Nelson city council about the markets

From reader Valerie Sanderson

I am writing after reading the open letter that appeared in the Nelson Star last week written by a number of farmers who regularly sell their produce at the Farmers Market. I would like to echo their request to have the market downtown and to include other vendors. I have run a food business for the last eight years in which I buy substantial quantities of local produce and would like to note that in my opinion the farmers who signed that letter are all extremely professional, capable and adaptable. If they don’t believe that the current situation is workable then I would take this very seriously and add my voice to theirs.

I believe that we are all of the same understanding that this pandemic has the potential to cause some serious disruptions to our food systems in all kinds of ways over which we have very little control. Our locally grown food accounts for only about five per cent of our supply and I believe that it is a resource that we need to place at the top of our priority list.

When the matter of the location of the farmers market came up several months ago I realize that some of the bricks and mortar businesses expressed concern that allowing the market to go forward in the downtown core would likely limit the number of customers that could enter their stores because of the need for physical distancing. These concerns were raised at a time when the streets were still deserted and no one knew what the future would hold. Looking at how lively but well behaved the atmosphere is in our downtown I wonder if these shop owners even continue to have these same concerns.

When making a request I believe it is helpful to be specific. Please allow the farmers markets to operate at the Hall Street location.

Valerie Sanderson

Valerie’s Fermented Food and Seasonal Soups