Little White Church

Amherstburg Farmers Market to relocate downtown

 

 

By Christian Bouchard

 

After nine years, the Amherstburg Farmers Market will have a new location to call home.

The market has been held at the Malden Community and Cultural Centre – a.k.a. “The Little White Church” – at the end of Howard Avenue and County Road 20 and opened in 2010. It has hosted local vendors every Saturday to sell a wide variety of local produce to baked goods and handmade crafts.

“Mr. D” of Mr. D’s Produce takes cover from the downpour of rain on the last day of the Amherstburg Farmers Market. The final day of the 2018 season was last Saturday.

The 2.5 acre lot, deemed a historical building is currently for sale with an asking price of $184,900, forcing the market and its vendors to find a new home.

“I’ll miss it and people will miss it,” said Hope Bailey, a first-year market vendor. “They’ll drive by and talk about the memories.”

According to market manager Rita Casagrande, the vendors enjoyed the “Little White Church” location as it was a central location attracting people from Windsor off Howard Ave. and the local cottagers as well as people from Kingsville and Leamington. Despite being sad to see the market go, Casagrande is looking forward to the markets new home in downtown Amherstburg.

“Our permanent spot will be where Duffy’s used to be,” said Casagrande.

Due to construction at the new downtown location, the market will likely have to relocate to Toddy Jones Park before making a permanent move to the downtown location at Duffy’s.

Hope Bailey was one of the vendors last Saturday at the Amherstburg Farmers  Market (left) while Amanda Haggert, Chanel Bouchard and Christina Bouchard from Bouchard Gardens were also selling goods during the market’s final day of the season.

The market has had several trial attempts at Toddy Jones Park throughout the years, however it has struggled to attract customers.

Casagrande stated the location at Toddy Jones Park was great but being a Tuesday afternoon with people at work made it difficult to entice customers.

“We just want to thank our customers who did come and supported us. We enjoyed having them and hope they will follow us to our new location,” said Casagrande.

Amherstburg Farmers Market opens for 2018 season

By Jonathan Martin

 

Bouts with rain, wind and cool temperatures didn’t keep shoppers away from the Amherstburg Farmers’ Market’s opening day.

Saturday’s 2018 season opener “satisfied” Rita Casagrande, one of the organization’s market managers.

Despite often rainy conditions at the opening day of the Amherstburg Farmers Market, people were still in good spirits. (RTT Photo by Jonathan Martin)

“It’s rained every opening day (for the past five years),” she said.  “So, we’re right on schedule there.  I wish it wasn’t raining, but we’re here till October, so we have a lot of sunny days ahead of us.”

Casagrande is also a vendor at the marker.  She sells homemade cookies and cakes.  She said her items were selling despite the increment weather, so she was “happy.”

Steeve Bouchard is another vendor and one of the founding members of the market.  His family business, Bouchard Gardens, deals in both horticulture and agriculture.  He sits on the board, a three-person team, with Casagrande and his wife, Cynthia.  He said at its peak the board boasted a five-person directorship.  The organization is small, but Bouchard said that’s all they need.

“This event pretty much runs itself,” he said.  “Our loyal customers keep us going.  They always have.  We’re grateful to them.”

Christopher Chevalier pets
a rabbit at the Amherstburg Farmers’ Market’s opening day
last Saturday. (RTT Photo by Jonathan Martin)

The market hosts a variety of vendors, ranging from locally-caught fish to hand-crafted jewelry.

The Amherstburg Fort Malden Horticultural Society was also on-site, selling its flowers.  There were pony rides, live music, drinks, foodstuffs, artisanal crafts, produce, baked goods and even a little bunny who liked to be pet.

The Amherstburg Farmers’ Market will run every Saturday from now until Oct. 6, from 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the Malden Community and Cultural Centre, located on County Road 20 at the foot of Howard Ave.

Amherstburg Farmers Market open for 2016 season

 

By Ron Giofu

 

Even a light drizzle and cool temperatures for the first part of the day didn’t keep patrons from the Amherstburg Farmers Market on its opening day.

The first day of the 2016 season was last Saturday on the grounds of the Malden Community and Cultural Centre and while weather improved throughout the day, the crowds were decent throughout.

Emma Pillon and Rob Bouchard from Bouchard Gardens were on hand for the opening day of the Amherstburg Farmers Market. The market runs every Saturday through Oct. 8 at the Malden Community and Cultural Centre.

Emma Pillon and Rob Bouchard from Bouchard Gardens were on hand for the opening day of the Amherstburg Farmers Market. The market runs every Saturday through Oct. 8 at the Malden Community and Cultural Centre.

“It’s been surprisingly busy,” said market coordinator Rebecca Mickle.

There are ten vendors thus far, she added, with some new vendors and some returnees from previous years. Some of the vendors have been with the market for many years and Mickle said it was “super exciting” to have them back.

Ten vendors is a “good number,” she added.

“We have a nice variety, which is important.”

There will be additional activities throughout the spring, summer and fall with Mickle stating that local musicians will play at the Saturday markets with children’s activities also being proposed when the weather permits. The market’s Facebook page will be updated with events and happenings throughout the season, Mickle stated.

People were excited to return to the market with Mickle saying she received messages from customers anxious to return. Those who came out also had a chance to tour the Shaanti International Doll Museum inside the Malden Community Centre building.

“It’s really exciting to see how many people keep coming back,” she said. “The regulars like to buy local and know where their food is coming from. It’s nice to see the community supporting the community.”

The Tuesday markets that were held in Toddy Jones Park have been discontinued, she added.

“Unfortunately, we didn’t get enough traffic to do that again,” said Mickle.

Downtown markets will be held during special events, she added, listing the Sunday Market Wellness Stroll, the Canada Day celebrations and the Harvest Festival as opportunities for people to shop in the market in the downtown area of Amherstburg.

Shelley Bolton and her business B’s Goods were at the market for the first time as a vendor last Saturday. She said it was a way to show their product and the turnout was “probably better than we thought.”

“We’ve been getting a lot of positive feedback so that’s good to hear,” said Bolton.

Rita Casagrande and her baked goods returned to the Amherstburg Farmers Market again this year.

Rita Casagrande and her baked goods returned to the Amherstburg Farmers Market again this year.

Rita Casagrande and her baked goods were back for a fourth year. She said she likes the whole idea of an outdoor farmers market so that is why she returns. Bouchard Gardens was back for another year with Rob Bouchard stating the local farm has been affiliated with the Amherstburg Farmers Market from the beginning.

“It’s local,” said Bouchard. “A lot of the same people come week after week.”

Bouchard believed the market to be in a good location.

“It’s at the end of Howard Ave. and easy to get to,” he said.

Bouchard added the atmosphere is nice at the Malden location.

“It’s a nice sense of community,” he said.

The Amherstburg Farmers Market runs every Saturday from 8:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. through Oct. 8. For more information or to become a vendor, visit www.amherstburgfarmersmarket.com.