Community members gathered to celebrate the re-opening of the award-winning Innisfil Farmers’ Market on Thursday, June 1.
Set up outside of the Stroud Innisfil Community Centre Arena at 7883 Yonge St., everyone is welcome to frequent the farmers’ market every Thursday from 1 to 6 p.m. until the season ends in early October.
“Well, it was an extremely successful first day! Vendors old and new came together to make the perfect mix of a market and I couldn’t be prouder to be a part of it,” said market manager Jaime Grant.
Named the 2022 Market of the Year by Farmers’ Markets Ontario (FMO), Grant said that it was such a good day that it's hard to pinpoint her favourite moment.
“The reason I do this for a living is the sense of community that markets bring to an area, and that was felt in a large way (on Thursday)," she said.
Returning vendor, beekeeper and Innisfil Farmers’ Market favourite Brian Scott, from Innisfil Creek Honey, said: “Farmers' markets are a great way to build community. You get outside, you meet all the lovely people in your area and you learn where your food comes from.
"Get outside, come for a walk and support local," he added.
Jeanette Bradbury, of Bradbury Small Family Farm, was a first-time vendor at the Innisfil Farmers’ Market and says she had a great experience.
“Bradbury Small Family Farm had a wonderful day. I had the chance to meet many new people, some from right up the street to Newmarket, even Lake Huron," Bradbury said. "I was very happy with our first day's sales.
"I understand that opening day is about meeting the vendors to see how we can fit into our customers' weekly shopping schedule as the season progresses, but our community showed up with great support,” she added.
The Innisfil Farmers' Market’s website explains that it's designated as a "true farmers' market" in that they have more than 51 per cent of their vendors identified as primary producers who are personally growing or raising at least 70 per cent of the products they sell.
This local market is managed by the Innisfil Farmers' Market Committee, comprised of participating vendor volunteers. The committee comes together as required to make decisions and approve applications for the season, while the market manager co-ordinates these meetings and oversees the market each week.
They also work in partnership with the Town of Innisfil and are sponsored in part by the Innisfil Community Foundation.
“(Thursday) was very well attended despite the extreme heat, and one of my very favourite parts was watching the adults and kids use the bubble machines to spray bubbles at each other,” Grant said.
“One of the greatest moments was watching our police chief (John Van Dyke) and a young child at a stand-off with the bubble sprayers while people laughed and there (was) live music in the background, meanwhile the smell of barbecue was wafting through the marketplace. Perfect memories made (the day),” she added.