Dundas In The News
City folks meet farmers at market Bringing back the farmers’ market in Dundas is just one of Chris Krucker’s plans as he continues to ’dream big’
THE HAMILTON SPECTATOR
(Apr 23, 2009)
City folks will get to know the producer behind ManoRun Farm when they shop at the Dundas
Farmers’ Market this summer. Chris Krucker is a new farmer by most accounts, just 10 years into
this full-time lifestyle. His commitment to building and strengthening healthy food communities, though, has been an integral part of several initiatives designed to move Hamilton toward a food-secure future.
Education is a big part of what Krucker does. On his farm in Copetown, he trains a new generation of farmers, as interns contract for the summer to learn about integrating organic farming into local communities. He enlightens supporters of his community supported agriculture (CSA) program on the how and why of local organic food and eating seasonally, and offers events at the farm to celebrate
together around the table.
Krucker and his wife, Denise Trigatti, also own two houses in the heart of the city, where urban food projects -- lessons on urban food production, seasonal cooking and preserving locally grown food -- are slowly taking hold. "We’re still in the ’dream big’ stage," Krucker says of the plans for a community food centre on Murray Street East.
Helping to restore Dundas Farmers’ Market is his latest effort to make the urbanrural connection. "We brought back the market. That was the easy part," he says of the group determined to put more local, sustainably grown food on the tables in this region.
"It won’t be the same market that it was historically," he points out. "It will have new farmers, and the pricing will be different. We won’t try to compete with the grocery stores."
What this Dundas BIA initiative will do, though, is provide a place for city folks to meet their local small-scale producers and processors. Fruit, vegetables, meat and cheese at the 20-stall market will be local -- within a 160-kilometre radius of Dundas -- and processed products such as baked goods will have at least half of their ingredients produced locally.
Since decisions about the market are made jointly with the BIA and vendors, the market is designed to enhance rather than compete with the unique food businesses along King Street. Even the decision to open on Thursdays, from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m., was based on drawing visitors to both the market and the shops.
In the past year or two, there has been a lot of demand for farmers to attend markets across the region, and Krucker gets calls from as far away as Woodbridge. He would rather stay close to home, though, and work to educate his own neighbourhood, build partnerships and help the Hamilton area develop a strong and vibrant food culture.
The Dundas Farmers’ Market will open June 11 at the corner of Hatt Street and Memorial Square in the TD Canada Trust parking lot. The market is looking for vendors. For information, visit downtowndundas.ca or callChris Krucker at 905-304-8048 or Melanie Golba at 905-659-2572.
Valley Town’s signature festivals make top-10 again
August Cactus Fest always welcomes new volunteers
By Craig Campbell, News Staff
Dundas Star News - Mar 11, 2010
Dundas’ two signature summer festivals were both named to the Top 100 Festivals and Events in Ontario list by Festivals & Events Ontario last weekend.
For the second consecutive year, both Dundas International Buskerfest and Dundas Cactus Festival have both made the prestigious list — selected from more than 2,000 events and festivals held across the province each year.
It’s Buskerfest’s fifth time on the list. And for Cactus Festival it’s the second nod. Each of the top 100 is highlighted in the annual Festivals and Events in Ontario Guide.
Steve Deighton of the Cactus Festival board said volunteers noticed a change last year after the event made it onto the list for the first time.
Taking part More inquiries came in from vendors and performers interested in taking part.
“People were seeing some value,” Deighton said. “The list certainly has some caché.”
There’s no rest for the event organizers, however. The Dundas Cactus Festival organizing committee is still looking for new volunteers for the veterans to mentor this year.
Deighton hopes to continue injecting life into the festival by adding more volunteers to the board.
“With any festival, there is changeover and we are trying to be proactive and put in some succession planning as well.”
He does not want to wait for any of the current 15 board members to decide to leave before preparing others to step in, and has no intention of seeing the event relapse to the handful of board members there six years ago when he joined.
Deighton said anyone interested in joining the board and helping out for a couple of hours a month should send an email to email@example.com
“The message is – join a winning team,” Deighton said.
“If you have a great idea, come on and join us, and help us activate the idea.”
He’s looking forward to an exciting event this season, combining the Cactus Festival’s 35th anniversary with its second year of inclusion on the top 100 list.
Deighton noted there’s growing excitement in the community, with the ongoing push to make Dundas Hockeyville, and the increasing success of the two major local festivals.
And Deighton pointed out these things are achieved through the hard work of the community.
“Dundas is on a roll,” he said.