Niagara-on-the-Lake’s popular “Market at The Village” farmers market is back for the season and vendors were out Saturday selling some fresh goodies.
Bill McMillan of Bee Inspired Farms was selling his popular microgreens, fresh lettuce and young vegetable plants. The first market of the year was pretty busy, he said.
“It’s been awesome. Lots of people have been out, the weather is finally coming out to be nice and everything. It’s been terrific,” he said.
So far people were mainly picking up microgreens and lettuce – his specialty.
“We’re known for our microgreens. We’ve been here five years for microgreens and then our lettuce mix as well,” he said.
He said it’s good to be back to a post-COVID environment for the market.
“It’s so nice to actually smile at people and know that people are smiling back at us.”
Sharon Brinsmead-Taylor, founder and organizer of the market, was glad to be back.
Rain slowed traffic a bit in the morning, but things were looking sunny by early afternoon.
She expects the turnout to grow as the season progresses.
“We started off about the same size as we did last year, maybe a couple of vendors more and over the next few weeks we’ve got lots more vendors coming and a few more farmers joining the lineup,” she said.
She echoed the feeling of relief to not have COVID restrictions.
“People can wander, they don’t have to do the one-way traffic thing. We can have food on-site again. So we’ll have picnic tables set up every week and people can enjoy. It’s nice just to be able to sit and have a coffee and visit.”
She said she’s got “really good talent” lined up for the live entertainment, and as usual the market will also be collecting donations of non-perishable food items for Newark Neighbours weekly.
Also returning this year is the cookbook library – people can leave a book and take a book to share recipes.
She reminds people that the market is open until 1 p.m. and all vendors stay until then.
“I always make sure that my vendors stay open until one because we do get people rushing in a quarter to one and there’s nothing worse than ‘Oh, half the vendors are packed up.’ That’s one thing that I’m really strict about.”
She also notes there’s an ATM on-site if they need cash.