2021 marks the 120th year of operation of the Algoma Farmers’ Market, and the market doesn’t plan on closing down any time soon.
The local farmers’ market runs every Saturday from 8 a.m. until 1 p.m. at The Roberta Bondar Park.
“We are totally local to Algoma District. We don’t allow any reselling. So when you do come to the market, all the products, whether it’s baking, jams, honey, or smoked fish, you’re looking at the person or the family that made the product,” said Susan Wilding, president of Algoma Farmers’ Market.
“It’s been a little bit more difficult this year because we’ve had to have empty table spaces between vendors due to COVID, so we haven’t been able to have a full complement of vendors,” Wilding said. “But we’ve got several vendors with produce, we’ve got honey, smoked fish, pies, banana bread, homemade cookies, jams, pickles, and more. We also have a few crafts available.”
“Part of our philosophy at Algoma’s Farmers’ Market is to educate the public about what is ready and what is in season. You can find veggies in the grocery store in the middle of winter and you know that nobody is growing them here,” she said.
Wilding says that each growing season is different and that Algoma Farmers' Market wants to teach the community about what is available in each season.
“In June, you’re looking at leafy veggies, like lettuce, spinach, swiss chard, green onions. As you go along, you’ll see peas and beets. In August you’ll start to get a lot more. You’ll get potatoes, cucumbers, tomatoes and peppers. In September you’ll get squash, corn and some more fall veggies. We pride ourselves on our customers buying produce that is fresh and tastes good,” she said. “Our produce is always picked a day or two before, and you can talk to the person that grew the product if you have questions.”
Wilding, who has been working with Algoma Farmers’ Market for over 25 years, says she still enjoys running the market. “It’s always a bit hectic this time of year, but we try to keep it as simple as we can,” she said.
As far as COVID-19 restrictions are concerned, the centre aisle is roped off for social distancing, and hand sanitizer is available at the entrance.
“We might be small, but we’re big in quality,” Wilding said.
The Algoma Farmers’ Market website has a gallery featuring all available products. The outdoor market will run until Thanksgiving weekend.
There are plenty of other local farmers’ markets, local retailers and online food stores in our area, and this list may help you in your search for fresh, locally grown food: