Open for Business

By Joel Charron

The Amherstburg Farmers market kicked off its 2011 season this past Saturday with beautiful weather and lots of happy customers.

Roughly ten vendors participated in Saturday’s opening, however more vendors will be join the Amherstburg’s Farmers Market as the year progresses.

According to Farmers Market committee member Darrell Gieger, the high amounts of rain that has plagued Essex County has hindered the farmer’s ability from growing produce.

“All this rain has really caused a problem for the farmers,” said Gieger. “Some of the vendors aren’t here but we expect that to change as the year moves on.”

For those who did turn out for the opening of the Farmers Market were treated to a wide selection of goodies and treasures. Along with produce, vendors displayed homemade food and sauces, cakes, crafts and even fish. The Amherstburg Rotary Club was selling rain barrels to help raise money for their projects. The Farmers Market also featured horseback riding for children.

“We’re aiming at making this a positive family experience,” said Gieger.

The goal of the Farmers Market to the stress to residents to “Buy Local.” Ever item that is sold by the vendor is either grown or made in this area.

“When you buy local is gives the small businesses to showcase their product and shows people that you don’t always have to go to the big name store to get quality produce,” said Gieger.

With a year under their belt, Gieger mentioned that the Farmers Market committee has an understanding of what to expect. He added that they are able to answer more question for the vendors, which has made them feel more at ease.

Through the course of the season, the Farmers Market will feature 15-20 vendors on a weekly basis. There will also be themes throughout the summer and into fall. June will feature a strawberry theme, while July will have a blueberry theme.

Cynthia Bouchard, from Bouchard Farms, joined the Farmers Market for the second straight year said she is excited for the upcoming season.

Bouchard said the Amherstburg Farmers Market gives them an opportunity to build their name with the community.

“Our location is a little bit out of the way so we thought it would be good to get our name out there,” said Bouchard. “We can show everyone that we have good local stuff.”

Bouchard added that markets like this one are good for customers because people are able to meet the growers.

“If there are any questions that people may have about any items that are on display can be answered right there because for the most part the growers are the ones selling everything,” said Bouchard.

Amherstburg resident Sophie Reaume and her husband Tom said they were able to find some good deal on some hanging flower baskets.

“There are some really good deals here,” said Reaume.

The Amherstburg Farmers Market runs every Saturday at the Malden Community and Cultural Centre from 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. through Oct. 8.

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