"I'm getting a little bit more markup and I don't have to drive all over creation to sell it," MacFarlane said in a telephone interview.
The Fernwood dairy farmer, who sells pork as a sideline, says the cost of raising pork has gone through the roof. But he's happy if he can sell a pig or more each week at the market, noting he can use what's left over in boxed pork from his farm. MacFarlane plans to keeping selling at the market all winter.
"If we were to stop being there," he said, "we'd have to start all over again come springtime." Market manager Gerry Reichheld estimated close to 1,000 people visited the market peak Saturdays this past summer, adding it's likely half that many now. "I don't think there'll be any problem at all going until Christmas," Reichheld said, explaining they'll reevaluate after the holidays.
The market now has about 30 vendors and a waiting list. Reichheld said colder weather means less produce, but the market will still offer items like potatoes and carrots, breakfast and lunch, baked goods, meat and crafts. Reichheld explained while there's a waiting list, an aspiring vendor with something unique to sell could potentially jump the queue. MacFarlane has found the market attracts more customers from outside than in the city, but he expects it to grow.
"A lot of people in Summerside haven't discovered it yet, or they haven't been able to fit it into their schedule." Gail Curran, owner of Peeks and Perks Café, operates her business at the market Saturdays instead of opening her own place downtown. She sells espressos, lattes, lunch and baked items at the market. Curran also plans to stay the winter.
"It's going to depend on the local support," she said. "That's your bread and butter." The market operates 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the basement of the Holman Building. For more information, call Reichheld at 854-2353. Andrew and Janet Richardson of Déjà Brew serve organic fairly-traded coffee every week at the Spring Street Farmer's Market in Summerside.