Friday, 19 September 2008

A Visit to Holstein Farmers Market

Where the heck, you ask, is Holstein?

Holstein Farmers Market Sign
It's a small village not far from Mount Forest, just off Highway 6, and for a village of its size (not large) it has a remarkably good farmers market. At least so I was told, and I believe it. It is certainly the friendliest farmers market we have been to so far. Unfortunately we were there on a Saturday when it was predicted to bucket rain all day, and about half the vendors had gone awol. But if the weather is good, and you find yourself scooting along highway 6 near Mount Forest on a Saturday morning, be sure to drop in.

Holstein Farmers Market Park Entry
The market is located in the middle of Holstein, in Egremont Community Park, which is a lovely long little park that leads to a walking trail along an old railway line, and contains a sprightly little river with a small dammed lake.

Holstein Farmers Market Lake
Somewhat to my surprise, I met an acquaintance from Cambridge on the dam; he had come up to fish for trout. Am I the last person to find out what a marvelous little place Holstein is?

Holstein Farmers Market View From Dam
Looking down at some of the market from the dam.

Holstein Farmers Market Baked Goods and Wooden Items
We indulged in some very nice baking from a local cafe - we had cinnamon rolls and carrot cake - and eyed the wooden items with interest. Unfortunately we had not brought very much money, and so I did not buy one of the attractive, affordable and practical looking little wooden spoons.

Holstein Farmers Market Organic Produce
These vendors were a bit camera-shy, but as friendly as all the rest. We bought some zucchini and carrots, and were invited to help ourselves to as much of the beet greens as we liked, gratis, as a previous customer had discarded them and otherwise they were pig-food.

Holstein Farmers Market Perennial Plants
A nice selection of perennial plants.

Holstein Farmers Market Down by the Old School
I'm not quite sure what was happening that was so fascinating when I took this picture, but a number of vendors were hanging out by another source of baked goods, and chatted with us for at least half an hour. Like I said, a very friendly market.

Holstein Farmers Market Wooden Cutting Boards
The building in the background is an old school, which once housed about 80 students in 4 classrooms. Now it's used as a workshop for the fellow who makes these sturdy wooden cutting boards in a variety of woods. Most of them are one piece, which can be hard to find and expensive when you do. These were well within the expected range, and now that I know about them I plan to go back and request a couple in a custom size.

Holstein Farmers Market Pictures in the Gazebo
Here in the gazebo was a good selection of attractively mounted picture (prints) in a variety of subjects.

Missing were the sock-monkeys (aw!), a soapmaker, a couple of the produce vendors, a honey producer, a maker of adirondack chairs, various other crafts including knitting and crochet, and photos, likewise the musicians and the bicycle repair station. Last market of the season will be on October 25th. I'm definitely planning to get there again - sounds like it should be a great source of Christmas goodies.

Speaking of Christmas, one of the events in Holstein that we definitely plan to return for is their Santa Claus parade, on the second saturday in December, which is completely non-motorized. All the floats are drawn by horses and other draft animals. Apparently they also have a Maplefest in the spring. Later on, in mid July, they have the largest rodeo in Ontario. Wow, I'm kind of sorry we didn't move to Holstein!


Bellini Valli said...

I have been to Mount Forest but am not sure of Holstein. It has been many years since I lived in your area:D

Cynthia said...

I firmly believe that there are always great finds in small towns. Such a treasure.

Colin said...


I wanted mention you have some great stories posted. You may want to add a new website, that just launched as a resource. The site profiles all farmers markets in Greenbelt. There is a lot of good info including recipes and recipe contest, eat local stories and an interview with Chef Jamie Kennedy.

Ferdzy said...

Ha! Finally, I've been someplace Valli hasn't been!

I don't know about always, Cynthia, it's srange. Some small places just don't amount to a hill of beans, and some small places are just little jewels. This is a place I'm definitely going back to.

Thanks for commenting, Colin. I'll check that out.

Howlett Farm said...

Hi there, we're the camera shy venders from that day! I follow your blog but just came across the post..such a small world.

Mary Donald said...

Love your post , was looking for a farmers market, a good one . And from this post i,m off to holstien tomorrow. Thanks!