McLean Berry Farm Shocked After Receiving Notice It Might Be Kicked Out Of Saturday Farmers Market After 27 Years

Buckhorn's McLean Berry Farm has been a staple at the Saturday Farmers Market in Peterborough since 1991—the year Jane and Sam McLean bought the farm, and started attending the market—but their existence at the market is now under threat after receiving notice they might be evicted. 

Indeed, they are one of seven local growers (the others are Circle Organic, Otonabee Apiary, Ashburnham Farms Gaelic Garlic, Finest Gourmet Fudge, Chef Marshal and Necessitea Elixir) who may be expelled from the market after allegations of disruptive behaviour that has hurt the market's reputation.

Photo courtesy McLean Berry Farm

Photo courtesy McLean Berry Farm

In a heartfelt Facebook post that begins "Our farm is under attack....and we need your help" that is getting hundreds of shares, McLean's writes they are "shocked", "confused" and "hurt" by the possibility of being terminated from the market at a January 8th Farmers Market meeting that will determine their fate.

Here is an excerpt from the Facebook post...

"Just before Christmas we were sent a letter from The Peterborough Saturday Farmers’ Market (The Peterborough District Farmers Market Association Board) telling us (and the six other vendors) that a meeting and vote will be held on January 8th to terminate all seven of our memberships and our abilities to sell at the Peterborough Saturday Farmers’ Market.

We are so proud to farm, and proud to be a part of this community and have the amazing local support that we do have. It fills us with joy to hear that people love our farm, what we grow and that they they’re able to access fresh fruits and vegetables at farmers markets. We are so grateful for all of the community support over the years, because it means that our family farm has been able to grow and that the next generation can come in and continue this legacy; however losing the ability to sell at this market is undermining our success as a local farm, and it’s undermining the success of local agriculture throughout our entire community.

We don’t understand why our livelihood as a local farm who has been selling at the market for the last 27 years is suddenly in jeopardy. We don’t understand why speaking up and asking for openness, transparency, fairness and honesty has turned into wanting to remove us from the market."

You can read the Facebook post in its entirety below...

Erin McLean, who wrote the Facebook post on behalf of the family farm, tells PTBOCanada that the response to her Facebook post has "been generally phenomenal, if not a bit overwhelming."

"We have so many messages of kindness and support—I've been in tears more than a few times reading the amazing things people are writing about our farm and their love of us and local farms at farmers markets and why these markets need to continue to support local farms."

Photo courtesy McLean Berry Farm

Photo courtesy McLean Berry Farm

"We've also had a lot of questions, a lot of which we'd like to answers to as well and have been responding to customers who are asking questions as best we can," McLean tells PTBOCanada.

"All that we've been asking for is openness, honesty, transparency and fairness for all market vendors and speaking up for farmers who have been similiarly targetted or removed in the past. We don't think that is too much to ask of a farmers market board."

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A petition #NoPinkSlips on Change.org has been started that people are being encouraged to sign that already has generated more than 4,000 signatures [UPDATE, December 29th: the petition has now reached more than 8,000 signatures]. The petition is meant to protect the rights of local farmers, and will be presented to Peterborough Saturday Market Board and City of Peterborough.

As things stand now, McLean Berry Farm and the other six vendors will learn of their future at the market at the January 8th board meeting.

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"Lakefield: Sketches To Remember" About Town's Rich History Will Be A Must Read

UPDATE: June 22nd -> Lakefield: Sketches to Remember will be released on July 1st at the Lakefield Isabel Morris Park by the arena. Arnold and Ridpath will be there from 4-7 p.m. to sign the book, which retails for $30. It will also be sold at Happenstance in Lakefield and The Examiner building in Peterborough.

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ORIGINAL POST

Without a brother’s love, a family so important to Lakefield’s history may not have existed. Without the strength and courage of war veterans, the village would have not had its lumber company, insurance firm, hardware store and some strong family connections.

Those are just a few of the 40 stories and illustrations included in an upcoming book, Lakefield: Sketches to Remember, by author Ed Arnold and Lakefield-based artist Drew Ridpath. The two have been putting together their Canada 150th birthday gift to the village for more than a year.

The front cover image was taken by Ed's son, PTBOCanada's Scott Arnold...

Lakefield: Sketches to Remember is filled with explosive, emotional and hidden stories about some of the people behind the incredible black and white drawings of buildings displayed throughout the book—which is slated for release on Canada Day.

Arnold and Ridpath will be speaking to an audience at Christ Church in Lakefield at 7 p.m., Wednesday, June 21st about the book and a few of the buildings featured in it. They will also be announcing when and where it will be officially launched.

“When we moved to my family's hometown more than 40 years ago, I loved the people, history and beauty of this area," Ridpath says. "I started drawing pen and ink sketches to capture the unique character of our village. Ed's storytelling and the sketches combine to show how Lakefield has changed over time but still maintains the charm and feeling of a special village.”

The back cover and all the illustrations in the book are by Drew Ridpath...

Ed Arnold, an award-winning journalist who has written 16 local books, has this to say about the impact of writing, researching and collaborating on this book...

“When I started this journey with Drew, I had no idea how powerful the stories would be. Some made me laugh, others brought tears. It was an incredible trip through Lakefield’s past and present."

The Christ Church event on June 21st is a fundraiser for the museum with admission $10 at the door with limited seating.

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PCVS Graduate Kerry Clare To Present At 23rd Annual Lakefield Literary Festival

The Lakefield Literary Festival has been an institution in the Kawarthas for more than 20 years. In commemoration of Margaret Laurence, Catharine Parr Traill, Susanna Moodie and the community’s ongoing literary heritage, the festival celebrates Canadian authors and promotes the joy of reading and writing among children and adults.

Kerry Clare

Kerry Clare

This year's 23rd edition (running July 14th to 16th) kicks off with local PCVS graduate Kerry Clare, author of Mitzi Bytes. This debut novel from Clare explores social life in the age of the internet.

Clare is also editor of the anthology The M Word: Conversations About Motherhood. Her essays, reviews and short fiction have appeared in publications such as The Globe and Mail and Chatelaine. She teaches about the art of blogging at the University of Toronto, and writes about books and reading at her popular website, PickleMeThis.com

Other hosts/presenters this year include the likes of Douglas Gibson, Charlotte Gray, Andrew Larsen, Jane urquhart and Marni Jackson. The Lakefield Literary Festival events are held at a variety of venues which you can find here. For more info, visit the Lakefield Literary Festival website.

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Peterborough Parenting Author Ann Douglas Releasing New Book "Parenting Through The Storm"

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