Tillsonburg Farmers Market booming despite pandemic

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Every Saturday since early June, the Tillsonburg Farmers Market has been open and has been welcoming customers, and they have responded in large numbers.

“It’s been a good season here,” said Gregory Boyd of Heritage Lane Produce and president of the Tillsonburg Farmers Market committee. “The community’s really been supportive.”

There is new COVID-19 protocol, with one-way traffic on both sides of Bridge Street, but Boyd said not much else has changed.

“Customers are not allowed to touch any product. You touch it, you buy it. Everybody’s been respectful of the requirements. I’d say 85 to 95 per cent of folks do come wearing masks, which is nice, and most people are respectful of other people’s space, too.

“All in all, it was a pretty nervous time back in May when we were debating what setup to go with this year. But it’s actually worked out quite well and we’re confident that it’s a safe environment for folks to come and shop.”

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The number of vendors from year to year and week to week can fluctuate. But right now, the market might be as healthy as it has ever been in Tillsonburg,” said Boyd.

“A few couldn’t come today (Saturday), just a few that couldn’t come,” he noted.

“We have a lot of supply here to choose from, lots of fruit on the market, lots of veggies, lots of baked goods. And of course, our Hilde (Makkink) with fresh-cut flowers and Orange Door Acres with their pasture-raised poultry products. Eggs here as well, and we have cheese here. It’s really a well-stocked market, lots of variety to choose from. It’s a bonafide farmers market. And this is a producer market – the folks that you see here grew it. Some vendors like Bre’s supplement with peaches and plums from Niagara to help the sales. The market needs that product too.”

Boyd attends various farmer markets in the area, and said Tillsonburg area has been very supportive and all ages are coming out Saturdays. The hours are from 8 a.m. to 12 noon.

“So all-in-all, everything has worked out.”

Tillsonburg Farmers Market will be open until the end of October, weather permitting.

“We’re still open after Thanksgiving. Everybody thinks it’s done at Thanksgiving, but there’s still a lot of fall crop available after that.”

cabbott@postmedia.com

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