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Loyal customers enjoy another season at the Tillsonburg Farmers Market

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The Tillsonburg Farmers Market is known for its “very loyal” customers.

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And they proved it again Saturday on the final day of the 2021 season in cold, rainy conditions.

It was another excellent year on Bridge Street, said Greg Boyd of (Langton-area) Heritage Lane Produce, chair of the Tillsonburg Farmers Market committee.

“Once again, the customer base here in Tillsonburg is fantastic,” said Boyd.

“Rain or shine, and we’ve had enough rain this year, they come out regardless and we just want to say thank you to all those that support us. We had a good turnout, both in terms of vendors and customers – even today, the last day, with this weather. This year – especially this year – it’s been very well supported.

“We have noticed new people moving into the area and attending the market, and they tell us so and give us positive feedback on how nice it is here.”

Crop-wise, the growing season was affected by stretches of cool, damp, overcast weather.
“Just like any year, it has its challenges. Certainly enough rain which this fall has put a bit of a damper, personally, on my crops.”

Broccoli rotted in the field, he said.

There were issues in the greenhouses in the fall – not enough sunlight, too much humidity.

“But all in all, we got through another season.”

Many of the vendors now transition into their ‘off-seasons.’

“We move on from one season and start planning for the next. It’s a good time of the year in that sense – you need that time to re-energize. At the same time, it’s sad to go because of that customer base that we have. They are very supportive of us.”

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The Farmers Market has tried staying open later into November in past years, but Boyd said the combination of poor weather and less product made that unsustainable.

“We just can’t grow it year round – we run out of product. So unfortunately you can’t have everything all of the time.”

From the farmer’s perspective, the work is never done. It just changes.

“We get lots of comments about ‘what are we doing now? Do you put your feet up?’” Boyd smiled. “No, not that at all. We push a lot of things aside when it comes to bookwork and maintenance and building repair and all that good stuff that has to get done, too. For farmers, one season closes and we’re opening another. But it is nice to have a break from the go-go-go mentality.”

The Tillsonburg Farmers Market will reopen in 2022 for its 42 nd season on Mother’s Day weekend. New vendors are always welcome.

“That’s the longstanding tradition,” said Boyd. “And that will continue.”

cabbott@postmedia.com

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