I recently spent a little time in nature in the beautiful north - sharing space with the river otters, loons, a rather large snapping turtle, and some amazing friends. The trip home took ten hours because we decided to just head south and stop whenever the urge hit. While in Bancroft where we stopped for lunch, I caught a glimpse of the farmers' market happening on the main drag. A few temporary tents and an artistian exhibit tied in with a coffee shop and bakery business. This was a Thursday market that had maybe 15 vendors; it is hard to say what their Saturday market would be like but it reminded me of a few things to be extremely grateful for at our own Horton Farmers' Market.
The building and outdoor pavilions of our market were built to last. The upgrades, including the most recent project of the re-opening of the building, have enhanced the convience of our facility. We have excellent shelter from two market troublesome weather conditions - rain and wind. We don't have to worry about setup and take down of tents, and we have washrooms and hydro on site. We still have free parking and the outdoor vendors get to drive up to their stalls and use their vehicles as additional storage/space to vend.
Another key element is the richness and diversity of our area farmers' market-garden crop. The kids and I play a game where we try to name all the vegetables we know of a certain colour. My favourite is purple - on market day I have found cauliflower, beans, carrots and eggplant all in a beautiful shade of purple.
This saturday we have few more new vendors including Chris Dancey bringing her heirloom tomatoes, herbs, and organic popcorn. The young girls from Purple Panda creations are back with their new venture into entrepreneurism selling their handcrafted jewlery and other items. Artisit Heather Keating will have some of her creations on display and Jaina is returning with her daughters selling Indian Samosa (I bought 6 that disappeared in less than an hour after market ended). Freshfest will be there every Saturday until the even on August 26th and Janine Tucker will have a stall with En Fleur Lavender in Bloom.
I am would love to list all the vendors every week just to remind everyone who is there and what is available but the list is extensive and keeps growing. Even if they are not your regular vendors, please take time to say Hi and chat if space and your schedule allow. Stan from Kosic's Tomatos always has a story to tell; Gary & Pom at Lotus Thai are famous for their spring rolls; Ralph Troupe of Troupe Farms has a whole crew of folks both behind and infront of his stall who are happy to chat, and the team at R-Grow Farms - I love seeing the creative ways they display their sweet potato and yellow watermelon.
Congratulations to Deb Dees on winning the customer appreciation draw. Deb is a long-time market attendee and she and I often chat on market mornings about life. My daughter draws the winner out of the ballots each week and she is always so excited by her task.
Please mark Thursday, August 19th, 7pm on your calendar as busy and plan to take in a presentation at the Senior's Centre in St. Thomas by municpal councillor Gord Hume. His book is called the Local Food Revolution and he has a lot to say about food and politics. His book will be available then or you could pick up a copy at Municipal World in Sparta.
My apologies in the delay of this post. My timing was a bit off this week and I haven't quite got the Wi-Fi-while-travelling thing down pat.
Look foward to seeing you at the market!