Hundreds attend the first fall market at the beautiful Fermanagh Farms on the outskirts of Bradford on Sunday for a day of shopping, arts and crafts, seasonal treats, and even wagon rides around the property.
Located at 4023 3rd Line in Schomberg, the market was held in a historic revitalized barn and featured local vendors and community artisans selling everything from jewellery and glassware to cotton candy and butter tarts.
The barn was built in 1893 and has been in the possession of the Mills family for two generations. The Mills are the descendants of immigrants who settled on the 3rd Line of Bradford West Gwillimbury from County Fermanagh, Ireland.
Thom Mills, owner of the farm, says, “It’s a property that lends itself well to the community, whether it’s for personal or public events.”
Mills’ daughter, Josie, also explained that many farms similar to Fermanagh are forced to sell to corporations because they are no longer economical, but the dedication and care their family has put into the property will allow them to hang into it and put it to good use.
Organizers also encouraged attendees to bring non-perishable food items and monetary donations for the Bradford Helping Hand Food Bank.
Jana Shingler, lead event organizer, adds, “We wanted to put on something locally for vendors so that we could bring out the community and showcase the barn as well.”
Having the barn operating as an event venue since 2019 and missing out on multiple business opportunities due to the pandemic, Shingler and Mills agree that the market was the perfect way to help local entrepreneurs and showcase the barn.
Vendors and customers came in from surrounding areas, including Vaughan, Newmarket, Bradford, and Schomberg. Mills credits Shingler for bringing the whole market together.
“Well, our vendors have unique products to sell,” Shingler says, “so what better way to sell them than in a unique venue.”
Amanda Maia, another event planner that helped bring it all together, is new to the industry but loved the idea of a close-knit community event and was adamant to be a part of it.
“I know people have felt very separated these last few years,” Maia explains, “But it’s events like this that make it so nice to bring people together, and this is a great event to do that.”
With Thanksgiving just one week away, the Fall Market at Fermanagh Farms was a picture-perfect setting to get into the holiday spirit.
The Mills family has their sights set on a possible Christmas market, but the details are yet to be finalized.