Uxbridge Farmers’ Market named best in the province
by Nancy Melcher
The Uxbridge Farmers’ Market has had its share of growing pains, but they all paid of recently when it was awarded the Farmers’ Markets of Ontario (FMO) 2019 “Farmers’ Market of the Year” award.
The Uxbridge Farmers’ Market began in 2001 with the intent to connect residents and visitors with local farmers and artisans, as well as friends and family. It struggled in the middle of the last decade, but a change in location to the south parking lot at the Second Wedge Brewing Co. seemed to provide a new energy and opportunity for new partnerships.
“Our vendors must make it, bake it or grow it,” says the UFM’s policy statement. “The market has a strong mandate to support local business, the historical railway, entrepreneurs, artists, musicians, community interest groups and farmers. It’s not just a place to shop but also a community gathering place where neighbours and can meet and families enjoy an outing together. It supports a healthy, sustainable food system where one may purchase the freshest foods possible, picked or baked in the previous 24 hours. Customers taste the fresh difference!”
“I love the way the market operates!” says regular customer Jonathan Gladstone. “Not only are we getting to know and support our local farmers, we’re also learning what grows well here, and when. It’s been a lot of fun learning to use local produce as it comes to market. We’re happy about the reduction in our carbon footprint, about the benefit to the local economy, and about the special events. We’re happy to see the market busy and thriving. This year the crowds have been solid, even when the weather was a little rough.”
In 2019, there were several different special events, including a pet festival, fermenting for digestive health, a garlic lovers festival, a health and healing festival, “Pumpkins Galore,” and a vendor-sponsored customer appreciation day, which raised $340 for the Loaves and Fishes Food Bank.
The UFM also provides a spot weekly for non-profit organizations to set up, at no cost to that group. Fourteen groups took advantage of this opportunity last year, including the Uxbridge Community Concert Band, Cam’s Kids Foundation, Defeat Depression, the Lucy Maud Montgomery Society Garden Tour, and the Uxbridge Cottage Hospital Auxiliary.
Darryl Timms of Montgomeryshire Orchard and Nursery says, “The UFM is what a farmers’ market should be. A community hub where showcasing our local growers, makers and producers is the committee’s guiding principle. Vendors are treated with respect and listened to by the governing committee, all of whom are market vendors. They are encouraged to get involved and contribute to events, monthly raffles and customer appreciation day. All this makes for a happy, friendly atmosphere. This ensures our customers receive the best quality, freshest and healthiest produce and products. Just what you expect a market to be.”
Wendel Messer has been a market vendor (selling belts and leather goods) in several different locations since 2002. He’s happy to now be at the UFM.
“The Uxbridge market uniquely represents the values that FMO promotes and aspires to. What makes Uxbridge different is genuine engagement between vendors and visitors. The present arrangement makes us a unit, a village. People come to buy and to learn. Some vendors are actively engaged in promoting the use of reusables. Coffee is half price if you bring your own cup.”
This year, the Uxbridge Farmers’ Market opens on Sunday, May 17, and is open every Sunday to the end of October, rain or shine, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. It can be found by the Second Wedge Brewing Company, 14 Victoria St. A reminder to bring your own coffee cup and reusable shopping bags.
For more information, contact Lisa Cooper at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.uxbridgefarmersmarket.ca It can also be found on Facebook and Instagram.
Broadband access survey looking for local input
The Region of Durham has recently launched a survey designed to collect information from across the region that will help determine “next steps’ in bringing the region “up to speed with some of the best-connected communities in the world” with broadband service.
According to an announcement from the Region, the broadband strategy, entitled the “Durham Region Strategy – Connecting our Communities,” has been put in place because “the Region of Durham recognizes the importance of broadband access as a necessity for every household and business.”
Separate broadband surveys targeted to Durham residents (with additional questions for farms) and businesses will gather feedback and improve broadband access across the region.
Residents are invited to complete the survey online by visiting durham.ca/broadband. Hard copies are also available from the municipal offices. The survey will be available to complete until April 30, 2020.
Thrilling Winter Activities for Adventure Seekers
The following are a few suggestions from Central Counties Tourism on how to beat those winter blues!
Break free of your comfort zone – and work up a sweat too!
Winter in York Durham Headwaters (YDH) lasts a long time. Our local outdoor adventurers love skiing at our fab resorts and skating on idyllic frozen ponds. But it’s fun to shake a little variety into these cool winter months.
Lucky for us, YDH is full of epic winter activities that’ll really get your heart pumping!
Explore snow-covered trails by horseback at Pathways on Pleasure Valley. Be sure to book in advance and remember to dress for the weather. Most of all, prepare yourself for some seriously breathtaking scenery!
Go Downhill Fast
Tobogganing at the ROC in Georgina always hits the spot. Bring your own sled and a thermos of hot chocolate, and you can keep the fun going all day!
For something a little more intense, check out snow tubing at Lakeridge Ski Resort! You get all the thrill of the hill – without needing lessons or fancy gear!
Go for a Zip
Here are three secrets about winter zip-lining – the lines are shorter, it costs less than in summer, and it’s not as cold as you think it’s going be! Visit Treetop Eco-Adventure Park and swoop over the snow-covered trees like the majestic hawk you are.
Ride Your “B-icicle”
Discover a whole new angle to biking! Fat bikes have wide tires that are perfect for riding on snow. Headwaters has wonderful trails for all levels. Who says riding a bike has to be a summer activity?!
Get a Kick Out of Kick-Sledding
If you combined dog-sledding with cross-country skiing, you’d get kick-sledding! It’s a great way to explore the outdoors and it provides more stability than skiing. Rent a sled and give the sport a try at Island Lake Conservation Area.