Comment 6345

By gary buttrum (anonymous) | Posted April 13, 2007 at 01:13:38

and i, as well, apologize, Concerned. i get a little excited when it comes to this issue. i agree that there is no reason to have one truck driving past all the people and a hundred cars following to pick up what the truck dropped off. as far as the city goes, i think the most important thing they can do for farmers is to impose a long term fixed urban boundary. this would help by easing the pressure development places on rural farmers. perhaps then someone like myself, in his early thirties might actually be able to afford the mortgage on a farm.
i would love to look into the actual numbers, Concerned, and because i just don't know, i am not criticizing your statement, but i wonder if your comment about your tax dollars flowing to downtown is accurate. and i only state this because it is the wide held belief in the core that all the tax money is going to the new suburban areas. i agree that some very high profile cash is allotted to the downtown making it easy to assume that the net balance is a little off, but seeing the state of the core compared to westdale or meadowlands or the new park facilities in waterdown i wonder what the real figures are. again i take very visible examples and am extrapolating perhaps unwisely. i really don't know.
i do know however that it is very easy for the city to maintain its present crash course to insolvency by keeping the downtown and the suburbs and the rural areas at each others' throats. this is i think largely based on misinformation about what is really going on in these very different areas.
again, all this is very complicated and relies on the unravelling of so many different elements to even get a glimpse of how we might be able to solve this problem.
back to the market, i think that as with most goods or services, it is generally better to support local businesses who are flexible enough to respond to what we as the consumer wants, be it in season local produce, union made goods or more environmentally responsible products or services. i like living and working in hamilton and thus if i support my neighbours who also live and work in the city we can all do a little better. the sad part is we all generally want the same things out of life but get stuck behind false or misleading rhetoric. sometimes even the big bad developer is just a guy trying to support a family.
to address jason's questions, people sell what people buy, so the more people ask for local produce and are willing to perhaps pay a premium for it the more stalls will sell it. that is the beauty of small business. it is easier to talk to the people who actually make the decisions that affect the products they carry. also, as a consumer, become informed about locally grown food. eat in season, understand when local produce is available and take advantage of it. right now ontario greenhouse tomatoes and cucumbers are available, mushrooms are always in season, storage onions, potatoes, carrots, beets, parsnips, brussel sprouts, cabbage, and apples to name a few are all still available. look at the signs, and don't assume because local strawberries are in season that the ones at a grocery store are not american. a continental food system has introduced some very odd overlaps of seasons. and if i can be a little self serving here, if local produce is not available, consider purchasing imported "staples" like lettuce or citrus fruit from someone who does grow their own or who regularly has local food. this will keep the vendor or farmer in business until the next summer.
i have not read the consultants report through so i can only comment on what i have heard second hand but i think the most important thing to come out of it so far is the idea of a board of directors that operates independently of the city and the stallholders to guide the market with larger longer term issues. as for gentrifying the market, i don't think they could if they wanted to, yet. the report probably bases these ideas on other markets who have more established middle class downtown populations. hamilton just isn't there yet. the market has mearly shifted to serve those who are still shopping downtown, which has increasingly been new canadians.
and i will end with this, if you want to save the market, save the downtown by bringing the next generation of people to live here back to the core. support residential redevelopment of the core!
thanks for reading

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