New farmers' market takes root in Clarenville

Farm and Market Clarenville opened for business in June, and has quickly grown into a bustling business with 35 booths.

Vendors offer fresh local produce, as well as flowers and hand-crafted items

Vendors at the new farmers' market in Clarenville use a greenhouse and raised beds to grow their own produce on site. (Krista Chatman/Submitted)

A new farmers' market has taken root in Clarenville.

Farm and Market Clarenville opened for business in June, on the Trans-Canada Highway next to the Clarenville Inn.

It has quickly grown into a bustling venue with 35 booths. Vendors offer fresh local produce, as well as flowers and hand crafted items.

Managing director and farmer, Krista Chatman, said the project began with an idea from Keith Pardy, one of the co-owners of the hotel. ​

When Pardy realized the carrots his cook was paying for were coming from Israel, he figured it might make more sense to start buying produce locally.

"That's how they ended up down on my farm, Three Mile Ridge, down in Lethbridge," Chatman said.

Krista Chatman is a farmer and managing director of Farm and Market Clarenville, located off the Trans Canada Highway next to the Clarenville Inn. (Krista Chatman/Submitted)

"They came in looking for local produce, wondering if I could supply [the Clarenville Inn] with some fresh, farm-grown vegetables, and I certainly could."

According to Chatman, Pardy then decided to invest in an acre-sized plot of land next to the hotel for growing vegetables. In order to best decide what to do with the land, a board of directors was created — and came up with the idea for the market.

"I think the whole region needed it, the whole of Bonavista Peninsula was lacking in something. There's lots of festivals, lots of craft fairs and everything on the go, but there was nothing that was every weekend, nothing that you could count on that was going to be there," Chatman said.

In addition to giving residents a new weekly market, Farm and Market Clarenville has encouraged new business growth in the region.

Farm and Market Clarenville opened for business in June. It is a seasonal market that operates on Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. (Krista Chatman/Submitted)

"People are making things because they have a venue to sell," Chatman said. "We grow produce right here on site so we have a greenhouse, and we have our raised growing beds, and a root cellar to store all our crops in."  

Chatman hasn't decided yet when the market will shut down for the season, but she is already looking forward to continuing the operation next year.

"It's been fantastic. We're having a very, very successful first year," she said.

"We can only hope next year will be just as successful."

With files from Weekend AM