New Thursday Farmers’ Market to open at Wilson Fields
On Thursday, June 21 – the first day of summer — an offshoot of the popular Lindsay Farmers’ Market will be kicking off in the parking lot at the corner of Colborne St. and St. Joseph Rd., with access off St. Joseph.
Each Thursday from then through to Thanksgiving, the market will be open from 11 am to 5:30 pm, with vendors offering fresh local produce, baked items, preserves and more.
Those who make the market on Victoria Avenue in Lindsay a regular part of their Saturday mornings will spot a number of familiar faces among the vendors.
Con Costaki, who’s been at the Saturday market for the past 19 years, will be there with a full range of vegetables, changing through the season. Expect a variety of greens and some radishes, on opening day. He will also have seedlings for home gardeners to transplant. You can’t get more local: Con’s River Road Farms is just five km outside Lindsay.
Bev Delenardo, who will be managing the Thursday market, has also has been part of the Saturday market for 19 years. From King’s Wharf Gardens, near Dunsford, she’ll bring in seasonal vegetables, preserves and cut flowers along with hostas, daylilies and hard-to-find perennials. (As a Master Gardener, she can also answer gardening questions).
For mushrooms — everything from shiitake to Lion’s Mane — the market has fourth generation Lakefield farmer Ann McIlmoyle of Waymac Farms. (She has the distinction of coming from furthest away).
While wandering, you may want to stop at Jen Arnold’s Sweet Kitchen stall for a fair trade coffee and a macaron or decadent pastry, or maybe for popcorn at Ben’s Kettle Corn (made with non-GMO Ontario-grown corn).
To expand the range, new vendors have been enlisted, from near and a little further. For baked goods, there will be Mickaël’s Café Librairie with sourdough breads, brioche, bagels and bretzels (yes, with a ‘b). And Barb Trent, of the cleverly named ‘Hello Good Pie,’ will greet visitors with not only her pies and tarts, but also scones, cookies, and sweet loaves — plus Cornish pasties if sweets aren’t your thing.
From Cannington there will be Autumn’s Bounty Farm. The bee-keeping couple who operate the farm will have, in addition to the honey, maple syrup and some interesting produce. Paul from Stone Garlic Farms will be there as well with garlic grown on his dad’s farm in Fenelon.
Altogether, Delenardo is looking at 20 vendors for this first year.
Cui Bono? (Which is to ask, Who Benefits?) Why have an additional farmers’ market day?
Delenardo points out that the additional market day is good for her and other producers. “As a grower of vegetables, it’s nice to harvest twice a week.”
More importantly, the day and hours mean fresh and local offerings for a slightly different audience in the community. Delenardo explains, “It’s good for those getting off work and out and about shopping on a Thursday.” Her sister adds, “Thursday is flyer day and payday, so there are lots of people coming into town from Coby (Coboconk) and other places.”
The market could also serve tourists. Those on their way north might stop in, appreciate the farmers’ market atmosphere and being able to experience local food from those who grew or baked it, then be drawn to visit the downtown.
City staff can see the economic potential. Delenardo is quick to acknowledge the support of the City’s Parks and Recreation department in providing the space, and Economic Development’s Kelly Maloney: “Kelly has a wealth of knowledge, and gave us advice on insurance, grants, and promotion,” says Delenardo.
So, the answer to the question is that everyone benefits.