With over 75 farm, food and craft vendors on our roster so far this year, the 2022 market season is shaping up to be an exciting one! The organizing committee is very pleased with the vendor mix, and I know our visitors will be too. We’re seeing many product gaps filled season, compared to last, and even some new interesting products we’ve never had in the past! I would strongly encourage anyone who may have been discouraged with the selection and availability of produce last year to give us another shot this season. You won’t be disappointed!
We received a great response from local farmers and growers this season, both new and returning. Thames River Melons will be back with their spread of fruit, vegetables and preserves all season long, in addition to other returning veterans like The Burrs and the Bees, Parker Family Farm, and Top Market Meats. It’s extra special for us to have these vendors returning, as they’ve been with the market since the very beginning! This will be their 11th season vending in Aberfoyle. I also need to callout Greentop Organics, another local Puslinch farm joining us for their second season with a great spread of produce all free from pesticides and chemicals. We’re also excited to welcome a handful of new and very local farmers for their very first market seasons as well: The Cabbage Patch Farm will have all sorts of sustainably produced fruit, vegetables, cut flowers, and I encourage visitors to ask them about their CSA program! Forêt Mushrooms will have a selection of farm and forest grown specialty mushrooms like lion’s mane, all different varieties of oyster mushrooms and shiitake. Mast Farms is also on the roster this season selling handcrafted maple syrup, with every drop harvested and bottled right here in Puslinch. And finally, reigning from Rockwood, Life Vine Creations will be attending full time with the most beautiful freshly cut flower arrangements. Visitors will find zinnia, rudbeckia, bells of Ireland, three varieties of sunflowers, snapdragons and many more (all locally grown!), plus a variety of fresh-cut and washed herbs. I don’t want to give away too much just yet, but we’re also working with a couple of different farm vendors to find a suitable arrangement that will make Niagara fruits available at the market once again this year.
We’re entering some new territory this year with new regulations introduced by the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario to allow the sale of craft beer and other locally produced alcoholic beverages at farmers’ markets. Up until last year, only VQA wines and ciders were permitted to be sold at farmers’ markets, but we can now welcome vendors with craft beers and distilled spirits as well! Stonehooker Brewing Company will be bringing their impressive lineup of IPAs, lagers, stouts and sours all the way from the lakeshore area of Mississauga. Dixon’s Distillery of Guelph will have a great spread of expertly crafted distilled spirits for sale as well. Both of these vendors will be popping in throughout the market season, and we expect to lock in some additional dates with other interested breweries – stay tuned!
Turning to our prepared food vendors, the community will be excited to know that on-site food options will once again be available at the market. With covid restrictions lifted, visitors can grab a Lost Aviator coffee and hot breakfast from one of the food trucks. There will be lots of fresh baking available again this year with returning favourites like The Gluten Free Bread Co., Llamas & Lavender, and Linzer Baking. Laza Food & Beverage will of course be back every week with their refreshing selection of locally made juices and ice pops. New this year, visitors will also be able to try ginger beer from TwoWingz, and freeze dried candy from Freeze Frame. We also have a new vendor joining us this year that will have a spread of vegan, protein-rich snacks and energy bites. I did hear that Aberfritters will be making a couple appearances as well!
Looking at our list of crafters, I’m not even sure where to start! There are SO many! Aberfoyle is truly a hotspot for handmade local goods, and market-goers will have access to an exceptional selection each week. You can count on a number of returning favourites like Serenity Soaps, Stitched by Granny, and Kind Yogi (just to name a few), but we’ve had interest from many new artisans as well. It really makes the jurying and selection process so difficult for the organizing committee, because we wish we could make space for all of them every week! Visitors can look forward to finding custom resin farm gate signs, handwoven rugs and other textiles, barn quilts, yoga accessories, baby and children’s clothing, beeswax wraps and other eco-friendly products, some pretty impressive treats for your furry friends and much, much more!
All in all, visitors can look forward to seeing some familiar faces at the market this season, but I can guarantee there will be plenty of opportunities to explore new products, meet new local producers and simply enjoy the community atmosphere the way we were able to before the pandemic.
By Jayme Mast