By Darren Lum
Whatever the province decides regarding the stay-at-home order, the Haliburton County Farmers’ Market is looking to move forward with opening its season because it’s an essential service, said its new manager.
Returning to the Minden Fairgrounds, the market will operate from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. every Saturday, starting on May 22.
New manager Rob McConnell said with its 27 vendors this season, the farmers’ market has something for everyone, whether its cooked, brewed, aged or picked fresh.
The lineup includes an entire range of vendors such as farmers, bakers, artisans, cheese makers, wine makers, jam makers, and maple product makers.
McConnell said he welcomes and thanks the participants for making the market successful.
He adds there will be the returning vendors like Edilicious, known for their cheese appetizers, but visitors can also expect new ones such as a new coffee vendor, and salad maker.
“It just adds to the diversity of what we already have,” he said.
Like last year, the seasonal event will have COVID-19 safety protocols in place such as mask wearing, social distancing, one-way traffic, and attendance limits.
McConnell said he started volunteering close to a month earlier than he was scheduled to work because of what was required for preparations to start the season. He didn’t do it alone he said, adding there are a lot of people behind the scenes with the farmers’ market who made this season possible.
The market is also held at two other locations in the Highlands.
The market season kicks off in Haliburton at Head Lake Park on May 18. Hours are noon to 4 p.m. Beginning June 18, Stanhope will host shoppers every Friday at the area behind the Stanhope Community Centre. Hours are noon to 4 p.m.
McConnell welcomes volunteers to provide assistance with general duties, including implementing COVID-19 measures, and setting up and taking down. See their website (betahcfma.wordpress.com) for more information.
Last year’s market was delayed with a start on June 13, but with the support of shoppers it was considered a success for the strong sales, and, in particular, how it was held at all when many markets didn’t host a season.
This year the market is expecting to start later this month and organizers hope to catch the wave of popularity for locally produced and grown food.
Farmers’ market president and local farmer Andrew Graham said he is looking forward to the upcoming season.
“There is a great buzz about local food,” he said. “So we’re just rolling with it.”