Nine-year-old Fynn Collins has a plan: grow seedlings, sell them at the Market and put away enough money to buy herself a car when she’s 16.
“It will be my car, so mom and dad shouldn’t have to pay for it,” she said last Saturday as the Frontenac Farmers Market opened for its 13th season. “I may save up for my own TV before that.”
About two years ago, Collins got interested in gardening. She particularly liked growing seedlings and this year when her mom Amanda told her the Farmers Market was opening soon, she knew exactly what she wanted to do.
“I decided I wanted a stand,” she said.
So, she got busy starting her seedlings, even to the point of growing some under artificial lights. For the opening day, she had a variety of pepper strains for sale, along with some mini-cheesecakes, but this is just the beginning. She plans on expanding her inventory as other seedlings reach the transplanting stage.
She said she loves all sorts of plants but Kale seems to be her favourite.
“I pick it out of the garden and eat it,” she said.
For now, Collins is looking at this venture as “a good summer job” but the idea of making a living as a market gardener some day does appeal to her.
“I love gardening,” she said.
Collins is a welcome addition to the Market this year, said self-described “chief go-fer/manager Debbie Harris.
“We have a full house this year with some new vendors like Fynn,” Harris said. “And it’s good that we have a variety of farm vendors.”
For example, she said, besides Collins they have people selling vegetables, including hydroponically grown varieties, prepared foods like pirogues, a couple of vendors selling meats, baked goods and “old favourites like jams, jellies and herbs and of course having coffee available is very important.”
The Market is open every Saturday in the parking lot of Prince Charles Public School from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. right through until Halloween.
They like to have ‘special’ days, like the annual Tomato Day, but those things tend to be dependent on things like weather, growing conditions and fate.
“We seem to like to fly by the seat of our pants,” Harris said. “But people can check our Facebook page for special events.”
The market goes every Saturday, regardless of weather. They’ve been rained on, snowed on, and lived through some pretty good windstorms.
Even this year, a little rain didn’t dampen their enthusiasm.
“We’re never very sure about the weather,” Harris said. “I’ve been doing my sun dance all week.”
But as long as people keep coming, they’ll keep doing it, she said.
“We appreciate the support the community has shown us,” she said. “If they’re not here, we’re not here.”