In the heart of Ontario's idyllic landscapes lies a network of farmers' markets that showcase the region's agricultural abundance and play a pivotal role in fostering economic growth in small communities with rural surroundings. These markets, like our Horton Farmers' Market, serve as vibrant community hubs, connecting local farmers with consumers and contributing significantly to the economic vitality of these charming locales.
Supporting Local Agriculture:
Farmers' markets provide a platform for local growers to showcase and sell their fresh produce directly to consumers. By cutting out the middleman, farmers receive a fair price for their goods, enabling them to reinvest in their farms and stimulate agricultural production. This support for local agriculture preserves the region's farming traditions. It ensures a steady supply of fresh, high-quality produce for the community.
In a society conditioned to price points and the out-of-season availability of large-scale commercial farming, slowing down and tasting the difference that a small operation offering heritage varieties and fresher access to food offers is a whole new experience of food enjoyment.
Boosting Small Business:
These markets also serve as incubators for small businesses, allowing local artisans, craftspeople, and food entrepreneurs to showcase their products. From handmade crafts to artisanal cheeses and preserves, the diversity of offerings at farmers' markets attracts a wide range of consumers. On any given Saturday morning, Horton hosts 20-50 local small producer-based businesses! As these small businesses thrive, they contribute to job creation and bolster the community's entrepreneurial spirit. Some businesses that launched through Horton have gone on to open brick-and-mortar locations, too!
Community Engagement and Social Cohesion:
Farmers' markets are more than just places to buy and sell goods—they are community hubs. Residents support local vendors, share stories, and forge connections. This sense of community fosters social cohesion and a shared identity, creating a resilient and closely-knit society. Strong community bonds often increase civic participation and pride in local products and culture.
Tourism and Cultural Enrichment:
The allure of farmers' markets extends beyond the local population. Visitors from nearby towns and cities are drawn to these markets' unique charm and authenticity. Tourists who explore the stalls contribute to the local economy through purchases and gain a deeper understanding of the community. Farmers' Markets are often a draw that leads to deeper exploration. This cultural exchange fosters a sense of appreciation for the region. It encourages repeat visits and broader word-of-mouth awareness, providing an ongoing economic boost.
Farmers' markets promote sustainable practices by reducing the carbon footprint associated with long-distance transportation and packaging. With a focus on locally sourced and seasonal products, these markets encourage environmentally conscious consumer choices. Supporting local agriculture helps preserve green spaces, biodiversity, and the rural landscape, contributing to the overall health and sustainability of the community.
As we navigate the bustling stalls of Ontario's farmers' markets, we witness more than just the exchange of goods. These vibrant marketplaces are essential pillars supporting the economic well-being of small communities with rural surroundings. Farmers' markets play a crucial role in creating a resilient and prosperous future for Ontario's charming rural enclaves by championing local agriculture, nurturing small businesses, and fostering community connections.
If you haven't visited us in a while, put Horton on your to-do list and discover the magic of supporting a genuine local farmers' market - where the majority of our vendors are primary producers of agricultural products and the remainder of our vendors are producers in their own right making, baking, and creating the overwhelming majority of what they offer at the market on Saturdays.
Winter at Horton is in season until April 20, with only the indoor area open on Saturday mornings from 9 am to 1 pm.
Step into the delightful world of Brandywine Garden Market! It all began as a pumpkin-patch venture in Dutton, where Ryan and Jessica, with their love for veggie gardening, discovered the magic of 'Pink Brandywine' heirloom tomatoes. But their hunger for agriculture knew no bounds, and soon, they set their sights on a new horizon—lamb!
With hearts as big as their dreams, they moved to their farm, transforming 7 acres of field into lush pastures. The family and their flock of sheep grew, with 30 ewes and two rams paving the way for the glorious journey ahead.
Prepare yourselves for a mouthwatering revelation—Brandywine Garden Market is one of the finest direct-to-consumer grass-fed lamb producers! But their passion doesn't end there! They are true lamb connoisseurs, eager to chat (sometimes at length!) about the best cuts and how to prepare them to absolute perfection.
Let's talk about the lamb, shall we? This grass-fed wonder never travels farther than 50km from the farm, ensuring the tenderest, mildest, and most delectable lamb you'll ever lay your taste buds on. If you have yet to try it, what are you waiting for? Trust us, your taste buds will thank you!
But that's not all; Brandywine Farms is a treasure trove of deliciousness. Beyond lamb, they offer free-range chicken and a delightful array of prepared foods using farm-grown or locally sourced ingredients. A feast for the senses awaits!
Let's remember their love affair with the Horton Farmers' Market! It was here that they made their debut, winning hearts and taste buds with their grass-fed lamb. Conversations flow freely, lamb lovers and skeptics alike are enchanted to try something new, and the market becomes a vibrant hub of foodie joy!
Now, let's talk lamb recipes! There's nothing like sizzling chops on the BBQ—just some salt and pepper, a few minutes on each side, and you've got a flavour extravaganza! As the fall and winter breeze sets in, curries with stew pieces or roasts smothered in garlic and herbs will keep you warm and smiling.
So, food adventurers, BBQ champs, and curious foodies, Brandywine Garden Market welcomes you with open arms and a feast fit for kings. Step into the world of succulent lamb and culinary delights, where flavours dance and stories unfold. It's time to savour the magic- your taste buds will be forever grateful!
The Whole Grain Hearth weaves a tale of passion and sourdough mastery in the heart of a quaint little town. It all started when the talented Richard, owner and head bread baker, stumbled upon a mysterious book on sourdough during his culinary school days. Intrigued and daring, he embarked on a journey of delicious failures until he crafted loaves that earned the love of family and friends.
Soon, the demand for his bread grew. Richard had a growing email list of bread enthusiasts eager to savour his creations. It was a no-brainer; he had to take the plunge and share his passion with the world. Thus, The Whole Grain Hearth was born, transforming his love for sourdough into a full-blown bakery.
But this is no ordinary bakery; it's a unique haven of flavours and dedication. Three elements set them apart in the world of bread-making magic:
As for their most cherished creation, cherry turnovers take center stage. Beautiful sweet cherries from Rock Glen Farms mingle with local honey and lemon juice, resulting in a heavenly filling wrapped in spelt pie dough. It's the taste of summer wrapped in a scrumptious delight.
However, if you're seeking a unique explosion of flavours, look no further than their pain au chocolate. This croissant, enriched with dark chocolate, showcases the true essence of whole wheat and spelt. Lightness might be sacrificed, but the mouthwatering experience is worth the trade-off.
Embrace the ultimate morning ritual! Warm your pain au chocolate in a preheated oven at 350°F (175°C) for 5 minutes. Savour each bite as the flaky layers blend with luscious chocolate. Pair it with your favourite coffee for a delicious breakfast combo.
So, if you find yourself enchanted by the aroma of freshly baked bread and crave an extraordinary twist to your indulgences, The Whole Grain Hearth is the place to be. Richard and his team are here to take you on a magical journey through the world of sourdough, where every bite celebrates passion, flavours, and tradition.
Once again, fall has returned to the Railway City in full swing. The air is a bit cooler, the leaves have begun to turn, and pumpkin spice reigns supreme. All this can only mean one thing: it's almost Thanksgiving! Here in Canada, we celebrate this holiday in October while the Horton Farmers' Market is still up and running! Preparing the best Thanksgiving meal your loved ones have ever seen will be much easier! Take your time with long checkout lines in the grocery store at the last minute- the market has everything you need right from the source, grown locally to be enjoyed locally.
First stop- vegetables! With the cold weather approaching, you'll need something to warm you up, like potatoes! Mashed, baked, scalloped or fried, however you enjoy them. For those with a sweet tooth, try their close relative, the sweet potato! Unlike regular potatoes, these are much more nutrient-rich, not to mention delicious! They can even be enjoyed in desserts!
Sticking to tradition is essential for many, which leads many families to include bread with their feast. This core food is often used as an appetizer to tie over guests before dinner. La Houlette de Vie is known for its incredible bread, naturally fermented with organic ingredients. Your guests will adore an appetizer of rye or perhaps a baguette!
Next, the most important and well-known part of Thanksgiving is the turkey. The Turkey Shoppe, like its namesake, has roasts ready for you! Those who aren't looking to prepare a whole turkey have plenty of other options for smaller gatherings, such as roasts, meat loafs, fillets, sausage, bacon, and even burgers! On top of that, The Turkey Shoppe carries premade gravy and mix, stuffing, turkey broth and even cranberry sauce to make Thanksgiving go even more smoothly! For apparent reasons, Thanksgiving weekend is jam-packed for The Turkey Shoppe. They need all hands on deck at their farm store on Thanksgiving weekend, so unless you picked something up last weekend - you'll have to make an extra stop or opt for a less traditional Thanksgiving option like lamb from Brandywine Farms, a beef roast from B&C Farms, or sausage from Quaker Springs Farm!
Finally, what's Thanksgiving without some pumpkin pie? This traditional treat is a must-have for most, so why not make it local? Howe Family Farms is ready to deliver its best pumpkins from the patch, perfect for making a pie from scratch! For those more impartial to avoiding the baking process, have no fear! Spicer's has your dessert dilemma covered. You'll surely appease your loved ones' sweet tooths with Pumpkin, Pecan and Apple pies.
With so many delicious options available at the market, you'll be serving an incredible feast to friends and family, all while supporting local farms and their families! We wish all of our marketgoers a safe and happy Thanksgiving!
Our journey takes us to the picturesque Bluegroves Farms, nestled in the heart of Eagle, Ontario. Rewind to 1983, when the Hatch family laid the first seeds of their dreams on a 62-acre canvas of land. With a vision to cultivate the finest local blueberries, they sowed the initial seeds of an enchanting saga.
Starting small, they planted just a few acres with three varieties of blueberry bushes. But oh, how those acres blossomed! Over the years, Bluegroves Farms flourished, expanding to thirteen acres adorned with seven distinct types of blueberries. And as the sun set on 2013, a new chapter began with the Pierinelli family, Gio and Mariangela, taking the reins. With unwavering enthusiasm, they committed to enhancing every facet of the farm's logistics, ensuring its prosperity for generations.
Fast forward to 2018, and the Innes family stepped onto the scene, continuing the organic traditions that had become synonymous with Bluegroves Farms. As time meandered, 2021 ushered in a new era as local residents Victoria and Mike from St. Thomas, ON, embraced the world of organic blueberry farming. They assumed the mantle with open hearts and steadfast determination, carrying forward the cherished traditions.
At Bluegroves Farms, it's more than blueberries that captivate the senses; the bountiful offerings make this place a haven for food lovers. Explore their shelves brimming with jams that taste like summer sunshine, juices that burst with nature's goodness, and syrups that redefine sweetness. And if that's not enough, their in-house bakery conjures baked goods that can whisk you into a delightful reverie.
ut Bluegroves Farms isn't just about their own harvest. It's a haven for local and organic treasures, offering a fresh market celebrating the region's finest produce. Their commitment to the community shines through as they gather as many local organic products as possible, creating a cornucopia of goodness that supports local farmers and food enthusiasts.
Ah, the Horton Farmers' Market—a place where connections flourish. Bluegroves Farms finds a cherished spot here, sharing its story, harvest, and passion. The market isn't just a place to sell; it's a place to engage, share, and connect with old and new customers.
As the seasons roll by, Bluegroves Farms opens its arms wider still. In September and October, weekends are the time to pick up blueberry products and frozen blueberries.
Speaking of favourites, have you met their blueberry syrup? It's more than just a sweet condiment; it's a taste of summer in a bottle. Drizzle it over ice cream for a summer treat that dances on your taste buds, a reminder that simple pleasures are the sweetest.
As we begin the season of fall, another celebration starts. Oktoberfest is widely considered the biggest folk festival in the world, first originating in Munich, Germany, with celebrations held internationally. While first beginning as a royal wedding celebration, the tradition continues annually, held for 16 days of food and drink, which is the main attraction.
While the main festival is in Germany, individuals celebrate across Canada, putting their unique twists on the tradition. It's a perfect opportunity to add a Horton Farmers' Market twist this year to your festivities.
The market is the perfect place to prepare for an Oktoberfest party! One of the most traditional foods served at Oktoberfest is sausage! This brings us to our first stop at Quaker Springs Farm in the indoor pavilion. Quaker Springs carries a delicious variety of sausages, including tomato and pesto, spinach and cheese, chorizo, mild Italian, hot Italian, Hungarian, jalapeno and cheese, and garlic. With so many link options, you'll impress everyone's taste buds. Quaker Springs also makes sausage rolls using their unique sausage mix, perfectly wrapped in dough and baked to perfection.
With sausage, sauerkraut, traditional pretzels and the best local brews, you'll surely host the best Oktoberfest your friends and family have ever seen. Remember to drink responsibly, and have a good time!
And suppose hosting isn't your jam, and you'd prefer to join the party. In that case, The St. Thomas Downtown Development Board is hosting Downtown Oktoberfest to celebrate the completion of construction on Talbot St. On Saturday, October 14th from 1pm-8pm in Downtown St. Thomas, there will be Oktoberfest fun for the whole family, including FREE train rides, pumpkin decorating, live Oktoberfest entertainment and more! Shop the shops and then enjoy a beverage in the beer garden with sausage and sauerkraut by the St. Thomas Optimist's Food Truck, Opa's Pretzels and Yashka's Pierogies!
Step right up, cheese lovers and dairy enthusiasts, for a goat-tastic adventure at Great Lakes Goat Dairy! It all began 11 years ago when the cheese world was just not the same—firm goat cheeses were a rare find. But fear not, for a brilliant idea hatched in the minds of our daring cheese pioneers!
Great Lakes Goat Dairy sprang to life, offering a unique twist to cheese aficionados everywhere. Their secret superpower? Creating a variety of cheeses that could be savoured by even those with dairy intolerances. Yes, you heard that right! Lactose lamentors, rejoice, for a cheese wonderland awaits.
Picture this: firm goat cheese galore, from classic cheddar to creamy Havarti, delectable asiago to ooey-gooey mozzarella. Some with flavours that will dance on your taste buds and some crisp and clean for the purists among us. There's a cheese for every palate and occasion at Great Lakes Goat Dairy.
Along the way, they've learned a thing or two, and boy, have they got a fun-filled lesson to share! Turns out, many folks fall head over heels for their cheese once they get a taste of the magic. So, their secret to world cheese domination? Simple—get people to try it, and they'll be taking it home faster than a goat sprinting through a meadow.
Their love affair with the Horton Farmers' Market is no secret. Amidst the vibrant crowd, they find joy in connecting with customers, sharing cheesy stories, and watching smiles light up like stars in the sky.
Attention, shoppers! Great Lakes Goat Dairy has a sumptuous treat in store for you this year! On those sweltering summer days when cooking feels like a marathon, or when you're entertaining for the holiday seasons ahead, they've got a delightful solution—cheese platters! Picture a spread of their heavenly cheeses, a tantalizing array of delicious options just waiting to dazzle your taste buds.
Among their tantalizing lineup, one cheese shines —the Caramelized Onion Cheddar. Oh, sweet caramelized goodness meets the smoothness of cheddar in a match made in cheese heaven.
And hold onto your aprons, for here's a magical recipe tip from the cheese wizards themselves—the Tomato Feta bake! Pair it with their feta, and you'll be transported to a flavour paradise you never knew existed.
So, cheese enthusiasts, dairy-free warriors, and culinary adventurers make your way to Great Lakes Goat Dairy at the Horton Farmers' Market. Embrace the goat cheese magic, dance with flavours, and savour every bite like it's a cheese carnival in your mouth. The Great Lakes Goat Dairy welcomes you with open hooves, ready to show you a world of cheese that's oh-so-goat-tastic!
Once upon a sunny day in Belmont, a dairy dream came to life on June 18, 2022, when Mistyglen Creamery, an extension of the legendary Mistyglen Farms, flung open its barn doors to the world. Little did the world know that this charming creamery had a history dating back 70 years, filled with milky tales of success and a delightful twist to the dairy tale.
Mistyglen Farms, with its rich tradition of dairy operations, had wanted to diversify its offerings. They dreamt of processing and retailing on the farm itself, which meant Kris, the passionate nurse turned farmer, could finally return to the family fold full-time. With the vision of on-farm processing planted 9 years ago, it had weathered through seasons of waiting, but in early 2020, it was time to milk that idea into reality.
And so, the creamery nestled just 100 feet in front of the milking barn, where the magic of minimal processing and vat pasteurization unfolded. Unlike the shelf-dwellers of the dairy aisle, Mistyglen Creamery chose a low-temperature pasteurization method, preserving their high-quality raw milk with a nostalgic nod to the past. There are no unnecessary steps here, just pure, unhomogenized milk with a separation of cream atop the fluid milk, creating a picturesque canvas of dairy perfection.
But the real showstoppers were the squeaky and scrumptious cheese curds! Every Friday, the creamery showcased the authentic Quebec way and the flavours! Loaded potato and dill pickle curds tantalized taste buds like a barn dance for the tongue.
As the creamery flourished, Kris and the team were not content with being just another pit stop. Mistyglen Creamery was transforming into an agri-tourism haven. The farm beckoned the community with open arms, offering a sweet escape into the vibrant farm life (with a few chuckles from the unique farm smell). They envisioned a future where the farm hosted community services with a positive impact, like a dementia day program inspired by Care Farming—a nurturing embrace where farming and nursing danced in harmony.
In the heart of the creamery, a retail wonderland unfolded. Shoppers delighted in Mistyglen's products and local gems, all while glimpsing into the mystical production area. The milking ladies showed off their hard work on the barn's live stream, captivating customers like a prime-time dairy drama.
The Horton Market was the icing on Mistyglen Creamery's cake—a family of vendors and consumers knitted together with warm threads of community spirit. Collaborating with fellow vendors was a highlight, as was meeting customers face-to-face and treating them like cherished members of an extended family. To them, the Horton market was the essence of togetherness and love.
There were whispers of future expansions to the yogurt line. New equipment and operations were afoot as the creamery strived to make creamy dreams come true. The yogurt was a heartthrob, vying for the top spot with the beloved white non-homogenized milk—a dairy dream that made hearts flutter.
The Horton Farmers' Market is a unique and diverse gathering place, bringing something new each Saturday of its summer season. One of the market's most colourful, creative and eye-catching parts would be the array of amazing artisans!
While Horton may be a Farmers' Market, our great artisans are essential to the recipe of Horton's impeccable vibe. Though they may be outnumbered by food and produce vendors, these artisans should be recognized for their contributions! Let's look at some great artisans who have been with us throughout our 2023 season so far.
Looking for adorable decor and designs? Jancat Art has you covered! With an array of keychains, pins, notebooks, shirts, hats, and so much more, Jancat Art has adorable merchandise for anyone fond of cats, flowers, cute foods and more. After first growing her small business on Instagram, she expanded her content into the Horton Farmers' Market, bringing her latest creations all season.
It's always a fun surprise when Poured Art by Lori visits the market! Lori brings her beautiful designs from Port Stanley, each unique with bright colours of acrylic paint against beautifully cut wood. Some of her most well-known pieces consist of cutting boards, bowls and jewellery, the patterns of colour truly making the piece pop.
Another fun creator to see is Elora Joy Crochet. Since starting her business in 2020, Elora has made adorable crochet plushies made of chenille yarn, ensuring the products are even softer! Love is placed into each stitch of her works of art, bringing joy and cuddles to her customers. Elora joined us this summer as part of the Small Business Enterprise Centre Summer Company program.
Anyone searching for a perfect accessory to compliment an outfit need not look further than Wayward Creations. Each handmade piece, from stunning stud earrings to elegant necklaces, is unique and original, ensuring you'll find the perfect fit for you and your style.
With so many incredible artisans available each Saturday, our local community always gives the Horton Farmers' Market a pop of colour and creativity! These vendors often participate in other local events, such as the Wildflowers' Friday Night Markets, The Little Market Collective's Makers in the Park events, and so much more! Be sure to support and stay in touch with your favourite artisans' social media to see all their latest creations come to life.
The first weekend of September can be bittersweet. While some are looking forward to a return to routine and sweater weather, others may still need more time to be ready to indulge in the pumpkin spice of Autumn. The beginning of the new school year is only days away! For many students, this time of year seems like the end of summer fun and freedom. However, school is more than just the same boring routine- it's a chance to start fresh, almost like a second New Year's! There is something special about "new planner" season; shopping at Horton can help if eating well is on your to-do list.
With so many vendors delivering delicious, nutritious and fresh local produce every Saturday, your pantry will seem like something other than a variety store and your children's lunches like a vending machine! Let's look at some great produce and how it will benefit your kids!
With these three healthy choices and plenty more to discover at the market, you'll be sure to help your kids enjoy nutritious lunches into the new school year and encourage healthy habits for life. Enjoy!