The outdoor Innisfil Farmers’ Market has faced some wild weather over the years that has occasionly forced an early closing.
It wasn’t that bad on Thursday. The market managed to avoid the thundershowers that swept through Innisfil earlier in the day, but did end up being buffeted by gusty winds.
Even 30-pound weights weren’t enough to hold down the tents. Vendors had to hang on, helping each other retrieve displays after every gust.
But no one packed up early. It was just another sign of the camaraderie and market culture that has built up over the years at the Innisfil Farmers’ Market.
Vendors help each other, buy from each other, and share ideas - like the concept of Market Money.
Market Manager Jaime Grant, of The Summer Oven Bakery, mobilized a small army of volunteers to cut “coins” out of wood.
“We made 1,200 of them,” Grant said. “Three months of home crafting.”
Shoppers receive one of the smaller wooden coins for spending a minimum amount at the market. Collect four of the small tokens and receive a larger coin worth $2 off the next purchase from any vendor.
“It’s a way of giving back,” Grant explained.
She also pointed to the new planters, seating, tables and umbrellas that are part of the market landscape – all sponsored by vendors like Lakeview Gardens and other local businesses, and the Town of Innisfil.
The planters are filled with flowers and vegetables, not only beautifying the market area in the south parking lot of the Innisfil Recreational Complex, but providing fresh vegetables for the Innisfil Food Bank at harvest time.
It all helps create a market identity and atmosphere.
“We’re trying to create a culture!” Grant said.
The market is held every Thursday from 1-6 p.m. outside the Innisfil Recreational Complex, at Innisfil Beach Road and Yonge Street. The next big event will be Community Services Day on Aug. 1, when police, firefighters and paramedics will be on hand to share information and compete in pie-eating and pie-throwing competitions.
For more information see innisfilfarmersmarket.ca.