Sunday, 30 September 2007

A Visit to Meaford Farmers' Market

We were at the Meaford Farmers' Market on the second-last day it is to be held this summer. (October 5th will be the last day.) Which was a pity, because it looked like it was an excellent little market. If I understand correctly - it's a little hard to believe, it looks so polished and well rounded - this was the first year of operation for the Meaford Farmers' Market. It looked like it was a roaring success, and I am sure it will be back next year.

We were there on a rather strange Friday afternoon - the market ran from 3 to 8 pm on Fridays - and we passed our time a bit nervous that the sky would open and pour rain on us at any moment even though we were in brilliant sunshine. It didn't, although the sky remained rather dramatic throughout our visit.

For a brand-new market, Meaford had an impressive and unusual array of vendors, including Stoneyfield Elk Farm. The owners of Stoneyfield will soon be opening a small shop, "The 100 Mile Market", which will sell produce from a number of the vendors at the Meaford Farmers' Market throughout the winter; contact them for more information.

I was quite astonished to see a stand selling freshly pressed oils from flax seed, pumpkin seeds, etc. Unfortunately, I did not get a chance to look too closely at this stand, but this is the first time I have seen Ontario artisanal oils available. You can check them out at Oil Mill Farm for more information.

There were several bakers at the market. I can vouch for the brownies and lemon squares sold here... very good!

There were fewer fruit vendors than I would have expected; but many of the orchards in the Beaver Valley have their own fruit stands or even small shops on site. The beaver valley is famous for its' apples, but they have pears and plums as well; and cherries if I had been there earlier in the year.

There is plainly a lot of interest in organic produce around the Meaford area. One organic vendor was Twin Creeks Farm, where I was able to pick up an Early Jersey Wakefield cabbage, to my intense excitement - it's the first time I have seen one.

The other organic farm that I saw was Niagara Escarpment Organics, who in addition to their own produce had a selection of locally grown grains, including puffed cereals. Wow! First time I've seen that, too!

Will the treasures never end? How about some freshly baked bread from Monckton Organic Farms and Bakery, made with their own flours and honey?

Not organic, but well done for snacking on the spot or during an evening in front of the telly, Ella Marie's Kettle Korn provides a bit of entertainment while you wait. Freshly popped corn is dusted with just a little sugar and salt for very compelling munching.

Highway 26 outside of Meaford, as well as other highways in the area are also full of little markets on site at the orchards for which the Beaver Valley is famous; Almonds' is one,

and Goldsmith's is another. Most of them have a range of products besides their own fresh local apples.

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