Market vendors not very keen on chemicals

Tyler
Tyler Clarke
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Those wary of chemicals going into the production of most food have a natural alternative at the Prince Albert Farmer’s Market.

 

Those wary of chemicals going into the production of most food have a natural alternative at the Prince Albert Farmer’s Market.

Standing by her product both figuratively and literally, Sharon Wilson said that the coolers of beef she sells at the market do not include hormones or antibiotics.

“There are a lot of people who are big on natural,” she said at the season’s first Wednesday market this week. “They want to keep the chemicals down to a minimum.”

Wilson Beef, located south of Prince Albert near MacDowall and Red Deer Hill, has been with the same family for 40 years and is now in the midst of its fourth generation of Wilsons.

“If you want to sell your animal a lot of people use steroids because they want weight gain,” she said. “Money is the all-time denomination factor, but we don’t use (steroids). We never have. We’ve found that we can make a living without, and it’s an added expense as well.”

Although she’s uncertain as to whether the negative affects of hormones, antibiotics and other chemicals have been blown out of proportion, Wilsons said that everything they sell at the Prince Albert Farmer’s Market is natural.

“If an animal gets sick, we’re going to treat it with an antibiotic,” she clarified. “If it does get ill, we don’t use that animal for farmer’s market. That animal gets put back in the pen and gets sold on the open market, after a 30-day to 60-day waiting period.”

While one might not associate “natural” with a tomato grown during the dead of winter, the climate-controlled greenhouses of Teresa and Arnold Brewster are pesticide-free.

We don’t use (steroids). We never have. We’ve found that we can make a living without, and it’s an added expense as well. Sharon Wilson

“We just weren’t too excited about all the chemicals that go on our food, so we decided that we would make a little dent in it in our own little way,” Teresa explained.

“You can’t control everything, but we figured this is a good start.”

Teresa said that this year’s crop appears to be doing well, despite a particularly cold winter during which their greenhouse heaters worked at a greater rate than usual.

Although this week’s Wednesday Farmer’s Market was more sparse than she’d like to see, Teresa said that foot traffic should pick up in the coming weeks.

“It takes a while for people to get used to the idea that we’re here again, but we think it’ll get better and better and there will be more and more vendors, too,” she said.

The Wednesday market will continue to take place at the southwest corner of the City Hall property until mid June, when it will move onto Central Avenue.

The Saturday market started last weekend and will continue throughout the summer at the northeast corner of the City Hall property.

These two markets take place from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Last year’s Thursday market at the Prince Albert Tourism parking lot at Marquis Road and Second Avenue West will continue this year, although vendors have yet to select a start date for this 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. market.

Organizations: Prince Albert

Geographic location: MacDowall, Red Deer Hill, Central Avenue Marquis Road

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