Rita Casagrande

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 opens for 2017 season

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

The Amherstburg Farmers Market is open for another season.

The market, located at the Malden Community and Cultural Centre, opened with eight vendors though the small committee now running the market are always open to more. The committee is made up of Steeve and Cynthia Bouchard and Rita Casagrande, with Cynthia stating they are hopeful for the inclusion of some wineries.

Paul and Brenda Jones - a.k.a. “Keeping Up With the Joneses” - perform during the opening day of the Amherstburg Farmers’ Market.

Paul and Brenda Jones – a.k.a. “Keeping Up With the Joneses” – perform during the opening day of the Amherstburg Farmers’ Market.

Steeve said they stepped up to help run the market, noting their farm Bouchard Gardens has been there since the market first started.

“We want to see it do well,” said Steeve.

The Bouchards say they travel to a number of markets in the area to sell their fruits, vegetables and other products.

“This is obviously our favourite,” said Steeve. “It’s right around the corner from us.”

The crowds are “pretty steady,” he said.

“We get our regulars who come out every Saturday,” he said.

Cynthia and Steeve Bouchard are two thirds of the committee running the market this year along with Rita Casagrande.

Cynthia and Steeve Bouchard are two thirds of the committee running the market this year along with Rita Casagrande.

The Amherstburg Farmers Market features fruits, vegetables, baked goods, fish, and even snacks like popcorn. The Amherstburg Fort Malden Horticultural Society held a plant sale there last Saturday with live entertainment on site as well.

“It’s a little bit of everything,” said Steeve. “It’s a good variety of stuff.”

Those interested in becoming a vendor can visit www.amherstburgfarmersmarket.com or call call 519-972-1340 or 519-736-3550. The market runs every Saturday until September from 8:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. with the Shaanti International Museum of Costume and Dolls also open during those hours inside the Malden Community and Cultural Centre.