This year, Canada turns 156, and the City of St Thomas has events planned in 1Password Park for the afternoon, but how should you spend the morning? At the market of course!
Maybe you intend on hosting a celebration at home with your family and friends. What better place to get fresh ingredients, snacks and more for your event than the Horton Farmers’ Market?
With an array of delicious, ripe and ready produce, you’ll be sure to impress your guests with a fantastic festive feast. If you’re planning to bring out the barbecue, you’re in luck! Our meat vendors always bring delectable meats, fresh and ready for your grill. And with fresh vegetables, you could fashion some mouthwatering kebabs, rich with flavour. Don’t forget to include some of Big Dog’s delicious hot sauces like Iron Horse, a beer based sauce using Railway City Brewing Co.’s Iron Spike Copper Ale with smoked habaneros, sweet onion, minced garlic, sea salt and yellow sugar. Or, stick with the classic original sauce, with smoked habaneros, red bell peppers and roma tomatoes, sure to bring out the flavour and heat of a tender slab of meat.
If you’re an individual who enjoys cooking from scratch and looking for a way to keep cool, why not try your hand at some freshly homemade strawberry ice cream? Using delicious sweet strawberries from local farming vendors like Howe’s, and milk from Mistyglen Creamery, you’ll be sure to steal the Saturday with this treat.
If you’re more interested in a crunch, our locally grown cucumbers, radishes, lettuce and spinach will upgrade your festive meal. Toss together a fresh, crisp salad to beat the heat. If you’re craving a zest, upgrade your salad with a homemade dressing, put together with some of Gully Ridge Farms’ garlic powder.
What better way to celebrate Canada Day than to finish the night with our national colours with Red and White wine from everyone’s favourite local winery, Quai du Vin! Their sophisticated and smooth wines are a great way to wind down with friends. Suppose you want to keep the party going. In that case, Railway City Brewing Co. has some great craft beers for sale, such as the zesty and fruit-filled juice caboose or the refreshing flavour of the Crew Lager. One of their most popular brews, Orange Creamsic Ale, will leave your taste buds bursting!
Welcome to the delightful world of Wildflowers Honey, where the golden nectar flows with enchanting flavours, and the bees reign supreme! The team at Wildflowers Honey, led by Chuck Magri, has been buzzing with excitement since 2012. Seeking a way to generate income from their property, they embarked on a journey to sustainably keep bees using all-natural practices. Their objective? To work in harmony with the natural cycle of the bees throughout the year. With the utmost care and respect, they ensure that only excess honey is harvested in mid-August, leaving ample amounts for the bees to sustain themselves over the winter.
What sets Wildflowers Honey apart is their unwavering commitment to producing honey in its purest form. Each frame, colony, and yard yields honey with distinct flavours, creating a unique tasting experience. Foraging on the abundance of native flowers in Southwest Ontario, they offer locally sourced, unpasteurized honey that captures the essence of the vibrant region, just the way it should "bee."
The team at Wildflowers Honey takes great pride in offering an abundant selection of delightful products to satisfy all your honey needs. Their star, of course, is the golden elixir itself—pure, raw, and bursting with nature's goodness. But that's not all! Their pollen is brimming with vitamins, minerals, antibiotics, and antioxidants. It's a true powerhouse that boosts liver function, reduces inflammation, strengthens immunity, promotes wound healing, and safeguards against infections. For those seeking to dive deeper into the fascinating world of bees, they provide new colonies for aspiring beekeepers and offer informative bee classes. And for those seeking a touch of ambience, their handcrafted beeswax candles will illuminate your world with a warm and inviting glow.
Along their buzzing adventure, the team at Wildflowers Honey has uncovered a profound truth: "Bees are truly the best organisms on Earth." and stand in awe of the perfect harmony and intricate workings of these marvellous creatures. The bees have taught them invaluable lessons about nature's wisdom and the importance of working harmoniously with the natural world.
Horton Farmers' Market holds a special place in Chuck's heart—" I call it my Saturday morning social." He cherishes the familiar faces and warm connections he has forged with their community of fellow market-goers. It's a vibrant hub where laughter, stories, and the tantalizing aroma of fresh produce and local delights fill the air.
This year, the team at Wildflowers Honey is thrilled to highlight two unique offerings: pollen and honeycomb. Bee pollen is a superfood packed with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. It enhances liver function, reduces inflammation, bolsters immunity, accelerates wound healing, and protects against infections. Bee pollen is the key to a healthier and more vibrant you! And for those seeking a delightful twist, explore the enchanting world of honeycomb—bite into its delicate, waxy goodness and let the flavours burst on your tongue. It's a natural marvel transporting you to a world of pure bliss.
Amidst their bountiful offerings, honey is their favourite ingredient and product. Its versatility knows no bounds, and its unparalleled ability to enhance any dish. Drizzle it over a steaming bowl of oatmeal, spread it on warm toast, or mix it into your favourite marinades and dressings, offering endless possibilities. Honey is nature's gift, and they invite you to explore its myriad of flavours, one jar at a time.
The team at Wildflowers Honey believes that honey shines brightest when it graces any dish with its sweet touch. Whether you're drizzling it over fresh fruit, adding a dollop to your tea, or incorporating it into your favourite recipes, honey brings a touch of magic to every bite. The luscious flavour and natural sweetness will elevate your culinary creations. So, let your imagination run wild and let honey be the star of your gastronomic adventures!
Try something new, like baklava to highlight the enchanting sweetness of Wildflowers Honey as it adds a magical touch to this delectable pastry creation.
Come and immerse yourself in the captivating world of Wildflowers Honey. Taste the difference, indulge in nature's bounty, and let the sweetness of their honey whisk you away on a whimsical journey. Bee-lieve in the power of pure, raw honey, and experience the magic for yourself!
On June 21st, the Northern Hemisphere welcomed the Summer Solstice, officially marking the beginning of summer! With origins dating as far back as ancient Egypt and the correspondence of the rising of the Nile, and significance seen in Neolithic times with the illuminating of bonfires, and even monuments corresponding to the alignment of the sun, most famously England's Stonehenge. Here in St. Thomas, one of our favourite ways to welcome the summer is with the Horton Farmers' Market.
Some summer market favourites include summer squash, cucumber, peppers, tomatoes, watermelon, strawberries and more! The spacious outdoor pavilions with beautifully painted picnic benches will be fantastic for upcoming sunny weather, with cold freezers in the indoor pavilion keeping the dairy and meat goods nice and fresh! Get some fresh air and soak in some rays while you shop for the sweetest, freshest, crunchiest and most delicious produce Elgin has to offer! And remember to stay hydrated!
June 21st also marks Indigenous Peoples Day, where the Indigenous Peoples of Canada are recognized, remembered and celebrated for their diverse culture, history and heritage. It's a distinct opportunity to celebrate Indigenous persons and their ancestors' unique connections and relationships with this place for thousands of years. This comes from the vital understanding that we are all related and connected, including our connections to animate and inanimate beings, who sustain us by providing all that we need for life.
After enjoying the abundance available each week at Horton, it's essential to recognize the Food Systems that include all of the land, air, water, soil and culturally significant plant, animal and fungi species that have sustained Indigenous peoples over thousands of years, in contrast to the industrial, linear food systems we have today, traditional Indigenous food systems cultivated, harvested, prepared and preserved foods within boundaries that respect the planet. Today, we honour the Indigenous community and the work they have done and continue doing for food, earth and health.
We acknowledge that the land in which the Horton Farmers' Market resides is the traditional lands and territory of the Haudenosaunee, Anishinabek, Attiwonderonk and Mississauga Peoples, which was settled in the McKee Purchase Treaty of 1790. Members of these peoples and other nations continue to live in our St. Thomas and surrounding community, continuing their traditions and ways of life.
It's the start of a busy time of year. June 21st is also World Music Day, an opportunity to celebrate all genres, styles and forms of music worldwide. Each Saturday, the Horton Farmers' Market hosts a local artist for a morning of music to brighten everyone's day. So far this year, we have had the honour of hosting Nick Ewanick, Connie Furtney, Griffin Noriega, Muon Bluze and Adam Blair, with more great musicians to come all summer long!
Suppose you want to celebrate the Summer Solstice and World Music Day. There are a few opportunities this weekend to add to your agenda! This Friday, June 23rd, in honour of the Summer Solstice, Wildflowers Farm is hosting an after-dark summer solstice event! Featuring delicious food vendors from French cuisine to pulled pork, over 20 vendors and live music, this event running from 4pm to 10pm, is sure to impress! You can purchase tickets on the Wildflowers Farm website, with proceeds going towards a new MRI machine for the St. Thomas Elgin General Hospital.
The Columbus Club of St. Thomas is hosting SummerFest 2023 on the evenings of Friday, June 23rd and Saturday, June 24th; come out and see some great local musicians play live at The Back Alley Bar and Grill, with a vendors market and free acoustic performances Saturday afternoon! The event supports Hospice of Elgin, with tickets available at The Back Alley Bar and Grill, Columbus Club, Elford Automotive, or online! Come on out and support your favourite local artists and vendors for a good cause!
With many significant events and occasions to celebrate summer's start in the St. Thomas area, you will surely have a great summer kick-off with your friends and family!
Step into the extraordinary world of Marx Mushrooms, where a passion for fungi and a desire to promote healthier and more flavorful lives collide. Inspired by the insightful teachings of Paul Stamets, Mark Buote embarked on a journey to provide top-quality mushrooms and unlock their remarkable benefits.
What sets Marx Mushrooms apart? Picture a convenient gourmet mushroom mix box brimming with up to seven varieties, each boasting unique texture and flavour. These mushrooms are picked within 24 hours of when you receive them - fresh and local. Just the way we love it at Horton. Marx Mushrooms moved inside the market this year, enabling refrigeration of the mushrooms at the market, ensuring long-lasting freshness for its valued customers.
Marx Mushrooms offers a delightful assortment of nearly a dozen gourmet mushrooms. From timeless classics like white, crimini, and portobello to an array of functional mushroom teas, coffees, and capsules, they cater to all your mushroom desires. "We strive to source as many seasonal wild mushrooms as possible," adding a touch of nature's bounty to our offerings.
Along this whimsical journey, the team at Marx Mushrooms has learned a fascinating lesson: "Fungus came to this planet which was just rock, water, and anaerobic bacteria, and created everything that makes this planet the oasis that it can be."
Discover Marx Mushrooms at the Horton Farmers' Market and experience the magic for yourself. Now, what does their team think about life at the Horton Market? "I love the excitement and wonder I see on our customers' faces when seeing our beautiful mushrooms. I love that we have a gathering place where all these wonderful healthy food options are at your fingertips. My fellow farmers, artists, musicians, and passionate people are there with a smile and a greeting like old friends".
What's in store for shoppers this year? Get ready for a surprise! Marx Mushrooms plans to introduce gourmet ramen and paninis, expanding its range of tasty mushroom offerings to satisfy your cravings.
Among their repertoire of delights, what do they recommend? "My favourite product we offer is our lion's mane chai tea; its warm spicy flavour pairs well with honey and a bit of foamed milk or ice cream to make a tasty chai latte that's also good for your brain."
Remember one fundamental rule: "Treat them all the same" to best savour the exquisite flavours of Marx Mushrooms mushrooms. Pan-fry them in your preferred fat (though it's suggested that butter is a divine choice), taking care not to overcook, much like preparing seafood. For a culinary adventure, "My personal favourite is to sauté in gochujang, a fermented red chilli paste, for a juicy spicy Korean barbecue-style meal paired with noodles or rice, and a bit of green onion," and prepare for a feast that will transport your taste buds.
Come join Marx Mushrooms at the Horton Market every Saturday morning, where the world of fungi unfolds in all its splendour, enriching your palate and nurturing your well-being.
Every year, the third week of June is recognized as National Pollinator Week, a time to reflect on how essential pollinators are in our ecosystem and agriculture. Don't BEE fooled by their small size; pollinators pack a punch in their field. But did you know pollinators aren't just bees? Moths, butterflies, hoverflies and even wasps are all pollinators with an important role! While making honey might seem like the only method that comes to mind, these pollinators do so much more. According to the United States Department of Agriculture, 3 ⁄ 4's of the world's flowering plants and over 35% of the world's food crops depend on pollination to survive.
However, pollinators are in danger. You've likely heard of the diminishing numbers of native pollinators and honeybees or that the Monarch Butterfly is endangered, causing worry for other pollinators and the world's crops and flora. But not all hope is lost. While humanity plays a significant role in the disappearance of pollinator populations, we can also help restore these powerful pollinators.
Let's take a look at how pollinators impact our wonderful Horton Farmers' Market. The most recognizable form of pollination in food is seen, of course, with honey! Both benefit when humans and honeybees work together in a symbiotic relationship! One of our vendors, Wildflowers Honey, is an excellent example of this relationship! The beekeeper, Chuck Magri, understands and treats these incredible insects with care. He always ensures to leave enough honey for the bees to feed themselves over the winter, too, only taking what is needed. Sometimes, Chuck even brings bees to the market with him so you can see them at work!
Pollinators also mean a great deal to farmers of crops! Ontario favourites like apples, strawberries, and peaches from local vendors like Howe's are only possible with pollinators. But it's not just fruits! Many vegetables like asparagus, carrots and cucumber from vendors like Our Fields (who also keep bees and have honey!) rely on pollinators for successful growth. Not to mention farms specific to growing flowers, such as Harris Flower Farm, one of the primary plants pollinators target.
Those of you with a sweet tooth can thank the chocolate midge fly for pollinating cacao trees, which are responsible for becoming chocolate! According to the United States National Park Service, these flies are the only species that pollinate cacao trees and flowers. Without this pollinator, we wouldn't have chocolate in Abby Mae's Gluten Free sweet treats.
Now that we know the importance of pollinators, how can we help protect them and help their cause? One of the best ways to help pollinators is to provide them with something to pollinate! One of the leading causes of pollination decline is due to loss of habitat through human construction and invasion, reducing native species that local pollinators love.
In 2022, The London Environmental Network partnered with the Horton Farmers' Market with its Depave Paradise project. It removed 70 square meters of under-utilized pavement, replacing it with a garden with over 75 native plants! By planting this native flora, pollinators in our region can thrive and continue their mission, even in the most unlikely places.
You can help at home by planting native species like Common Milkweed, Asters, and Rudbeckia. Avoid using harmful pesticides that can kill these hard-working critters. And finally, one way that, like in a symbiotic relationship, benefits both you and local businesses is to support bee farms! You'll receive fresh, local honey and beeswax products, allowing these businesses to continue thriving and helping their colonies.
Once upon a time, a pair of passionate farmers embarked on a flavorful adventure in a land not so far away. They wanted to bring the joy of exceptional meat to their community, and thus, Quaker Springs Farm was born! Today, you are invited on a whimsical journey through Quaker Springs Farm, where the animals roam happily, the flavours burst with delight, and every bite tells a unique story.
Quaker Springs Farm sets out on a mission to ensure that every meat-loving soul experiences the flavours of their carefully raised animals. Founders Wade and Vera Davey took matters into their own hands. They started raising their own herds of pigs, chickens, turkeys, ducks, and even the occasional lamb. The result? Farm fresh meat you'll taste and see the difference from the very first bite!
At Quaker Springs Farm, they believe in preserving the old-world charm and exceptional quality of heritage breeds. Wade and Vera's small herds of pigs exclusively consist of Berkshire, Tamworth, and the latest addition to their family, Mangalista. They finish meat chickens while also hatching chickens, ducks, and turkeys. "All of our animals are raised with lots of access to sunshine and fresh air, just like our grandparents did."
Quaker Springs Farm takes immense pride in offering a wide range of products, from succulent pork products, including sausages and chops, to ready-made meals crafted with love, such as sausage rolls. Poultry is available whole or as a main ingredient in the hearty family favourite recipes they create. And let's remember Quaker Springs Farm's limited quantity of lamb, perfect for enjoying fresh or transformed into dishes like Caribbean curry lamb.
"We proudly sell Water Buffalo sourced from our neighbour in West Lorne. And in a delightful new addition this year, we've partnered with the esteemed Gunns Hill and Millbank Cheese Artisans to bring you an assortment of irresistible cheeses".
Throughout their journey, Vera and Wade have learned valuable lessons. "Grow what you can handle; we only do so many pigs a year, as well as poultry. No matter what you farm, it is always a lot of work". Focusing on a limited number of pigs and poultry each year ensures that every animal receives the care and attention they deserve. Farming is undeniably hard work, regardless of what you choose to raise. Still, with dedication and passion, Quaker Springs Farm continues to thrive.
One of the greatest joys for Vera and Wade is the opportunity to interact with their amazing customers. Whether they're lifelong fans or newcomers to Quaker Springs Farm, the Horton Market is where the magic truly happens. "There are always a bunch of great vendors, and we get much of our fresh products from [Horton Market vendors] for our prepared foods/meals."
The team at Quaker Springs Farm love to surprise and delight their patrons with an array of prepared foods that entice even the most adventurous taste buds. Their single-serve wonders are designed to encourage everyone to try new flavours and fall in love with unexpected dishes. Some examples of their offerings include Greek Patitisio with options of pork or lamb, Caribbean curry lamb served with rice and peas, Shepherd's Pork Pie enveloped in puff pastry, Serbian Cevap, and cabbage rolls, among others. "Comfort foods are also a delightful part of our menu, with our chicken pot pie being the crowd favourite!" We also offer bacon cheeseburger pie, quiche, and fresh sausage rolls, all prepared from scratch, including our homemade pie crusts. Every week is a surprise!
"Our smoked Berkshire pork chops are a favourite with anyone who tries them. As they are cooking, you notice the aromatic smell of smoked cured pork, full of flavour and moist". To create a delicious glazed pork chop, start with Quaker Springs Farm's fresh Berkshire chop!
Many locals enjoy Saturday mornings at the Horton Farmer’s Market, but four hours always feels too short! Luckily, the Market is right in the heart of downtown Talbot Street, making for a perfect starting point on a Saturday of exploring locally!
Through the three different centuries the Market has seen, many aspects have changed, except for one; Food. A constant necessity, food has become a bond for not only families but also communities and cities. The Market offers a great selection of the best in the county, uniting farms, businesses and local growers with their customers. With great restaurant locations on Talbot only a short walk away from the Market, you can spend your Saturday sampling everything sweet, salty and savoury that screams St. Thomas!
It's a beautiful Saturday morning, and the sky isn't the only thing sunny-side up! Bonjour & Yum always offers a delicious way to start the day with their breakfast menu, featuring their signature OMG sausage breakfast sandwich, made in front of you using locally sourced mouthwatering sausage patties from Harris Flower Farm & Pastured Pork. What better pair with your sandwich than a nice cup of Streamliners locally roasted coffee? Perhaps you have more of a sweet tooth? The Fritter Shop has the freshest fritters in town, with various delicious flavours and fillings!
Are you looking to cool yourself down throughout the afternoon? Caps Off Brewing Company has mastered its brewing craft with a selection of ales, beers and brews perfect for the summer months. In the mood for something more sophisticated? Not into beer? Don't fear! Right next door From the Vines wine tasting can be found! With an array of wines from Austria, Germany, France and Italy and delicious charcuterie to sample, you'll feel as if you're on a European vacation.
After some time spent downtown shopping and exploring, what better way to end the evening with a filling meal? If you're seeking something sophisticated, look no further than The Bistro. From delicious sirloin and salmon to seafood and salads, The Bistro has a menu sure to satisfy, a perfect ending to a food-filled Saturday.
The Market is more than just a venue of local vendors, but a gateway to a day of downtown exploration! With so many unmentioned local restaurants and cafes, anyone passionate about all things food will surely have an extraordinary culinary experience.
Picture it: Horton Market 2023 - a tiny explosion of flavour, a burst of colour, and a whole lot of nutrition, all packed into these adorable little greens. It's like a party for your taste buds and a treat for your body! So, let's take a joyful journey into the wonderful world of Lil' Greens Microgreens. They are not your typical business; the people behind Lil' Greens are all about supporting our fantastic community and delivering freshly harvested, nutrient-dense microgreens straight to your plate all year round!
Randy Cassidy and Roxanne Sylvestre at Lil' Greens Microgreens are on a mission to spread joy and health, one tiny leaf at a time. They lovingly nurture these little greens from seed to harvest, ensuring every tiny plant bursts with flavour and vitality. It's like they're cultivating happiness in their greenhouse!
First, let's talk about the incredible variety of these pocket-sized powerhouses. From peppery arugula to zesty radishes, earthy beets to refreshing kale, there's a microgreen for every palate and every culinary creation you can dream up! These tiny plants might be small, but they are mighty in flavour. Who knew something so little could pack such a punch?
At Lil' Greens, Randy and Roxanne are not just here to supply microgreens; they are here to cultivate a family. The pair supports the growing Lil' Greens family by providing customers high-quality organic seeds and grow kits to nurture their greens at home. The people at Lil' Greens are available to lend a helping hand and guide their community through any growing challenges that may be encountered.
Speaking of growth, Randy and Roxanne learned some valuable lessons along the way. Growing microgreens year-round can be unpredictable, especially during the winter months. But fear not! In their four years of experience, they have overcome countless obstacles and acquired a wealth of knowledge to support our growing community.
Let's highlight Lil' Greens Microgreens' love for the Horton Farmers' Market. Randy and Roxanne are head over heels for the vibrant community that the Horton family, staff, vendors, and volunteers have created. It's a place where everyone works together, supporting each other and ensuring the customers' experience is filled with information and the highest quality products. They look forward to connecting with their amazing regular customers and fellow vendors every week, building our little market family.
As we dive into this exciting year, the Lil' Greens Microgreens team wants to highlight something special for all you shoppers: "This year we would like to highlight our professional quality grow kits. We educate & inspire you to grow your own microgreens at home. Great gift idea for any age, teach your children valuable knowledge for a lifetime…."
Now, let's talk about Roxanne's favourite ingredient: Arugula! Prepare for a peppery zest that will tantalize your taste buds. Arugula is one of the microgreens in their Spicy Mix. It's packed with Vitamins A, B, C & E. That's not all—it's also high in fibre, contains 25% protein, and boasts calcium, iron, magnesium, niacin, phosphorus, potassium, and essential amino acids. This tiny green packs a powerful punch of flavour that will elevate any dish to new heights!
When life hands you microgreens, make a big, happy salad. So, grab your forks and dance with the flavours of Lil' Greens Microgreens. It's time to make every meal a vibrant celebration. Happy munching, green-loving friends!
Microgreens can be consumed as you would any lettuce - on burgers, sandwiches, wraps, in smoothies, soups, stews or as a garnish on any dish. One of our favorite ways to consume our microgreens is as a side salad mix.
Photo by Jenn Eggleston Photography
Step into a floral wonderland where nature's beauty intertwines with Harris Flower Farm's enchanting artistry. Founded in 2008 by Janis and Mark, this family-owned business has blossomed into a blooming sensation, with their three kids growing up amidst the vibrant petals and fragrant scents of their market stalls. Now, let's take a delightful stroll through their captivating story and see what makes Harris Flower Farm genuinely extraordinary.
With her successful optical career, Janis yearned for something more—a chance to embrace her country roots and showcase her love for the land. Inspired by her mother's suggestion, Janis began cultivating gladiolus, placing them alongside their family's spot at the Horton Market. The response was overwhelming! Encouraged by the market's enthusiastic reception, Janis expanded her offerings, and Harris Flower Farm soon flourished into over 5 acres of exquisite blooms.
At Harris Flower Farm, they proudly defy conventions, offering a stunning array of flower varieties and types that even mainstream florists dare not use. With every bouquet they create, they capture the essence of each season, allowing their customers to experience the enchanting journey of nature's kaleidoscope. Their bouquets are a magical snapshot of seasonal beauty, from vibrant spring blossoms to cozy autumnal hues.
Harris Flower Farm extends its exquisite offerings to delight the senses of floral enthusiasts everywhere. Their blooms are in high demand and can be found at markets across Elgin County and their on-farm flower cart. But that's not all! Their online shop and flower delivery service ensure that friends and family can share the joy, making every occasion more memorable.
The farm also provides flower bouquet subscriptions, adds a touch of charm to unforgettable special events, and creates breathtaking floral masterpieces for weddings that will forever be etched in memories.
Amidst the hustle and bustle of the market, the Harris Flower Farm team has witnessed a delightful spectacle: people choosing their weekly bouquets. Sometimes the decision is swift and definitive; other times, it's a captivating dance of contemplation and deliberation. The sheer joy of observing these moments has taught them the beauty of choice, individuality, and the simple pleasures derived from embracing the ephemeral nature of flowers.
What makes the Horton Farmers' Market genuinely exceptional? For Janis and Mark, it's the sense of belonging and the joy of watching their children grow alongside the market's vibrant tapestry. Their oldest, Cameron, is now learning the art of floral magic at their table. The warm embrace of the market's community, vendors and customers alike, has created a bond that transcends the transactions—a sense of family and shared passion that continues nourishing their spirits.
This year, Harris Flower Farm invites you to discover the convenience and splendour of its online shop. A thoughtful gesture of sending flowers to your loved ones in the area has never been more effortless. But that's not all—they specialize in crafting exceptional arrangements for every occasion, infusing a touch of floral magic into weddings, and offering solace with flowers.
Dear flower enthusiasts and market lovers, we extend an irresistible invitation to come down to the vibrant Horton Market, where the magic of Harris Flower Farm comes alive!
You can also get a taste of their pasture raised pork with a breakfast visit to Bonjour Breakfast - order the OMG sausage breakfast sandwich!
For over 140 seasons, The Horton Farmers’ Market has been a central aspect of St. Thomas and Elgin County’s history and growth, offering visitors an array of produce, services, crafts and more. Time and time again, the market has proven to be a success through the ages, bringing in crowds every Saturday of the season, eager to find a sweet treat, fresh vegetables, a gift, and more. While the market concept has remained similar through the years, its importance and meaning have since evolved.
When first established in 1878, named for Ed Horton, a former mayor of St. Thomas who donated land for the market site, the market played a pivotal role in community life. It was a hub for regional bounty – both from land and lake and the market became a bustling community hub for all in the area. Farming opportunities had brought families of farmers to the region, with plenty more visitors stopping in the small town by train. Being the middle stop between Detroit and Buffalo, St. Thomas began to grow as a city, with the market attracting tourists and residents alike.
Back then, grocery stores and supermarkets still needed to be developed into what we know now, leaving families to purchase foods, goods and services from different farmers and businesses within their town. While today you can pick up shoes, fruits and gifts at a single stop, back then, you would have to go to specialized businesses, each focused on one primary purpose or service. The market brought together the opportunity for customers to get all their goods in one central place. For many merchants of the early days, the market was their primary selling point for their products, making it vital to their business and income.
Modern grocery stores soon emerged as the city began to develop into the 20th century, yet the market remained essential to the community. The market would bring many families success, encouraging agriculture during an era of modern development and downtown infrastructure. Even with the expansion of grocery stores and supermarkets, the market still brought in the same crowd of customers, eager to receive products of a quality and freshness chain grocers could never compete with, all the while knowing exactly where the revenue would go.
The market declined in the 1980s. Resellers (vendors who source products from terminals, not fields) moved in and crowded out the farmers and producers. Many producers left, and the market dwindled- this is one of the primary reasons we strive to ensure the integrity of our producer-based market mandate.
When the discussion of closing the market to save money sprung up in 1995, community members quickly assembled the Horton Market Association. Together, they succeeded in keeping the market running, with any plans of halting the weekly event cancelled in 1996. Since then, the market has continued to thrive, briefly closing in 2006 for pavilion renovations before triumphantly returning later that season with a reinforced mandate as a producer-based market, and in 2020 amid the pandemic, before reopening under the direction of the St. Thomas Economic Development Corporation in 2021.
From its first debut in a small town to becoming a weekly event in a city of over 42,000 residents, the Horton Farmers’ Market has proven a vital component of St. Thomas and the surrounding area, acting as a platform of opportunity, with a ticket towards success.