BY SOUTHGREY.CA STAFF — As government measures to mitigate the COVID-19 pandemic continue to restrict shopping in Ontario, businesses have struggled to adapt. Currently, many retailers are restricted to curbside pickup and/or home delivery. Most local businesses need our help to survive and the health of our local economy hangs in the balance.
Flashback to the summer and many companies enjoyed happier times. During a lull in the spread of the virus, groups like the Flesherton and District Farmers' Market (FDFM) found a way to safely open to the public. Although customer numbers were down, many appreciated the efforts of vendors and organizers to bring their products to the Flesherton Arena parking lot each Saturday.
This Fall, a COVID-19 second wave either halted or severely hampered pre-holiday shopping events, including the FDFM Christmas Market and many others in our area. Santa Claus parades embraced a new drive-thru format and while attendance was high, everybody is desperate for a return to more normal circumstances.
As a way to recover from a downturn in revenue for its vendors, and with the help of the Greenbelt Farmers' Market Network and the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA), the FDFM has kept their products available online with every-other-week Saturday pickup at Leela's Villa Inn.
A dozen vendors have uploaded product to the FDFM online store, many of whom populated the summer market. Merchandise includes handcrafted cleansers, balms and moisturizers from Half Moon Bath and Body, as well as wool blankets, lambskins, yarns, felt insoles, breads, lamb chops, steaks, roasts, racks and shanks, ground, stew, sausage, burger patties and shepherds pie from Spirit Walk Farm.
Sweet Delights Pastries offers a variety of home-baked bars, cakes, cookies, tarts and squares, while Little Acres Farm shows off an impressive assortment of high-quality hand-cut, copper-foiled and individually soldered stained glass decorations for your home.
Oma's Kitchen sells crafted wood bowls, jewel boxes, cheese boards, knives, solar lanterns and wood puzzles, complimented by homemade jams, jellies, pickles as well as home-baking.
Local artisan and summer vendor, Will Daize brings his handcrafted jewellery and other wood creations to the website. Through his business, Timmerwerk, he fabricates beautiful pieces, blending local and exotic woods from around the world.
Down to Earth Ceramics painted and unpainted ceramics bring a whimsical energy to your home decor and make great gifts too.
Some vendors have also been added to the winter website. Locally produced beeswax food wraps, candles and fresh honey are available from Ashleigh Lowe and Angry Beez Apiaries. Naturally-shed elk antler chews from Paw-Gistics Pet Supply Chain are nutritious, long-lasting treats for your dog and Grey County Apparel provides country-inspired hoodies and pullovers to show off your love for the area. These are some of the new names and products found here.
Delicious takeout menu items from the Restaurant at Leela's Villa Inn are also ready for purchase and pickup on the website, making the FDFM online store, truly a great way to support local business. There are two pickup dates each month through to May, beginning this month on Saturday, January 9.
The website can be navigated a few different ways.
The website can be accessed with this link. www.fleshertonfarmersmarket.ca
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