Another sure sign of summer is just around the corner.
Most farmer’s markets, those small collections of local vendors and their delicious locally-grown products, are kicking off their season in just a matter of days.
And there is a new market being added to the mix - the Lancaster Farmers' Market is already being held every Friday afternoon from 3 to 6 p.m. in the parking lot of Glengarry Cheesemaking and Dairy Supply & Glengarry Fine cheese, on Highway 34.
“We are enthusiastic to hold the farmers' market in such a prime location with great visibility and ample parking space. The Glengarry Fine Cheese shop is a nice complement to the market,” said manager Gerard Rault.
The Lancaster market is in addition to the two operations that sell locally-grown produce in Cornwall.
The Cornwall Farmer’s Market (located on George Assaly Lane just off of Pitt Street) and the Seaway Valley Growers Farmers' Market (located in The Brick parking lot on Pitt Street) will both kick off their seasons June 2.
Tony Lacroix, manager of the farmer’s market on Pitt Street, said the plan this year is to focus more on food items than was done last year. In the past other local vendors who have products for sale or to market have been included at the Pitt Street locale. While that will still be the case this year, Lacroix said the hope is to put the focus on food.
“The other thing about a farmer’s market is…it’s a social event,” said Lacroix. “People will go to two stalls, and then they’ll bump into someone and chat for 20 minutes.
“It’s the gathering of the week for some people.”
The Cornwall Farmer’s Market (cornwallfarmersmarket.com) has another small change this year. It will open at the same time, but close at noon as opposed to last year’s 2 p.m.
“It was very quiet after noon last year,” said Lacroix. “And the vendors found it long.”
Lacroix said the market has partnered again this year with Farm Boy in an effort to offer some Ontario-grown produce to patrons now, so that they won’t have to wait for other locally-grown items to be harvested.
“Of course people will know it’s the beginning of June,” he said. “And you are not going to get apples or carrots.”
But Lacroix said asparagus and radishes should be available in time for the kick off to the market season.
Marc Brunet, the organizer of the Seaway Valley market in The Brick parking lot, said gluten-free products are being offered this year.
He said the Seaway Valley market is promoting its vendors’ wares through a Facebook page which will have updates of what is available week to week.
“Then (patrons) will know more about what is happening,” he said.
Both the Cornwall markets run until October.