It dawned on me today that the farmer market stands scattered all around the County will probably be closing up this weekend. Set up road side and usually at the end of a long farm driveway these home-made fruit and vegetable stalls provide a lot of charm and colour to the landscape. It has been a brutal summer for farmers. In our area we had a severe draught and most days the heat was unforgiving. Growing these fruits and vegetables from seed is quite a risky venture and never an easy job. For the road side attendant, who is usually a family member, I imagine it is also a lonely job.
Today I headed out to visit my four favourite farm markets before they close for the season. Hagerman’s, Everdean Farms, Van Grootheest and Kleinsteuber are all within 5 km of my house. I always pass them anytime I go out.
These are pictures from Hagerman Farms. 13644 Loyalist Parkway. They have been selling fruits and vegetables for 105 years!! Imagine that. Today I bought a beef steak tomato, some heritage carrots and a bunch of beets.
Almost across the street is Everdean Farms at 13791 Loyalist Parkway. I picked up a dozen brown eggs today. Inside the carton was a little straw. (proof of freshness)
I love Van Grootheest Farm at 48 Stanley Street, just outside of Bloomfield. I love their friendly staff. I love the horse and pony who are always hanging their heads over the fence, watching the customers.
Van Grootheest market stand has been providing me with beautiful gladioli for the last seven weeks and we are absolutely addicted to their delicious almond tarts. (best if left in the freezer and eaten cold). Today I said goodbye to the tart lady. She gave me a few leftover glads, that would be thrown out anyway. Thank you for a wonderful summer and say hello to Mary Fox (the other lady on alternate days)
Last on my list is the Kleinsteuber farm market at 1102 County Road 12. They are within walking distance to my house. Like most market farmers around here they also take their produce to the big Belleville market. I love their brightly coloured stall with crazy signs and flags. Today I picked up some grape jelly in a mason jar. Like the other three markets, this is another family business. It is run by Sharon, with help from her brothers David and Robert. Their mom serves customers in the stand.
Good bye everyone. Thank you for all of your hard work. Thank you for your delicious farm grown products. I will miss you and look forward to seeing you again in the spring.