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Farmers Market ramping up barn building campaign

Just as the New Glasgow’s Farmers Market barn fundraising campaign was beginning to ramp up last year, everything came to a halt for the world with the health pandemic.

After initiating a new online ordering system, reopening the market, and keeping the online orders coming, nearly a year later the market is finally ready to roll out the campaign.

Kristi Russell, market manager, is excited to finally get back to fundraising for the new building which, evidently, the market needs more now than when the campaign was set to begin.

“It’s clear that we’re just going to have to live with this (virus) a while,” she said. As the dome building ages and with a new online system that requires a fair amount of preparation space, more space with a new barn would also mean more room for vendors in the colder months when outdoor stands are not feasible.

“Having increased space will give us space to have the online orders and we would like to have a little general store,” Russell said. The general store part of the plan would be to take some of the produce and other goods that maybe did not sell on Saturday and give customers a chance to stop by during the week as they need items rather than waiting until Saturday.

The need spans much further than the store and online ordering.

“I’ve already had to turn down vendors; we don’t have the space to accommodate them,” said Russell. “We would be able to run a coffee shop from there.”

Since the plan was to roll out sponsorship packages last spring, Russell explained that the packages and information are already available on the market website under the raise the barn tab at https://ngfarmmarket.com/raisethebarn/.

Along with donating buttons on the site and the coffee shop, Russell added that the market is also listed as a vendor on the online store where people can choose to donate while they place their order for the week.

The project already has some funds ready but is not near the goal yet. Russell said the Municipality of Pictou County has agreed to donate $45,000 over three years toward the project and the market has some savings, however, she said that there still needs to be somewhere between $300,000 and $400,000 raised. The project is estimated to cost $800,000 in total with the rest of the funding hopefully coming from ACOA grants.

But before Russell can think about the grants, the market must have its share of the money first.

“This (barn) would be a larger space than that (building)” said Russell referring to the current year-round building. “We need to make sure it has the kitchen facilities that we need and the washroom facilities we need.”

Although the dome building will have to come down for the new barn to go up, Russell shared that where people might think that all the materials from it will be thrown away, they will actually be reused or repurposed for the new building where possible. An example of this includes the concrete pad that the dome sits on that will be used as a base for the new building. Heaters that have been purchased by the market for the dome will also be taken out and reused as well as other materials.

“Where people might think that the need has decreased, it has actually increased,” said Russell.