The first occurrence of the Tantallon Village Farmers Market was well attended by both visitors and vendors resulting is a successful kickoff following months of meetings, planning and preparation. Organizers were pleased to see eleven vendors and hundreds of visitors enjoying what turned out to be a warm and rain-free afternoon, ideal for the start of a new market.
The atmosphere was convivial with live-music wafting through the air, people greeting friends they happened to meet at the market, vendors doing a brisk business and - at one point - an urgent call for more lemons as the warm day was creating a run on the fresh-squeezed lemonade.
Just out of sight in the first photo are the tables and chairs of the seating area, and the canopy tent over the musicians.
The market will run every Tuesday afternoon through the end of October. Next week, August 14, organizers expect three additional vendors. The roster of vendors is expected to vary and expand as the market matures. The organizers wish to thank the many people who stopped by the Information Booth with words of support and encouragement.
The organizers are working toward having more produce available at the market as the intention is for it to be a genuine farmers market with some crafters, not primarily a craft market. The market is in the very early stages and the modest quantity of produce available today was a combination of still signing up produce vendors, the July drought reducing available produce, vendors bringing modest amounts to a new and thus unknown market and some vendors selling out of the produce they did bring. The market is a work in progress which will develop and improve over time.
The Tantallon Village Farmers Market is a project entirely of volunteers. There are a great many things that go on behind the scenes in order for a market to happen and one of them is signage. While we could have had professional signs made up, that would have run up quite a bill and the market is being run on a shoestring budget. Instead, volunteers made up signs for the market using whatever materials we could find. Not necessarily elegant but it gets the job done. Perhaps years from now the market will be in a position to spring for professional signs but for now these get the job done just fine.
If you are interested in helping your local market by becoming a volunteer then please get in touch per the "Contact" link above.
Week two of the Tantallon Village Farmers Market was another roaring success. There was enough cloud cover to prevent sun burn while the few sprinkles of rain weren't enough to dampen either clothing or spirits.
No shortage of produce this week! Per the photos below there were vegetables of all shapes and colors available. Of course there was also excellent prepared food and items from local crafters, but the focus of this blog entry is the produce.
It is a joy to watch the empty gravelled area, over a period of about an hour, sprout into a bustling, active market where people chat with friends, enjoy tasty prepared food, purchase fresh produce and generally soak up the ambiance and sense of community. The Information Booth, staffed by market volunteers, did a steady business answering questions, directing people to their destination, chatting with potential vendors and helping to solve any issues that came up. For a while there was a plate of "free while they last" home made butter tarts at the Information Booth; they didn't last long.
Last week's market was so well attended that we maxed out the parking in the Redmond's Plaza, making it difficult for customers of the plaza's businesses to find a place to park. This week, with the aid of a large sign and parking monitors, we encouraged market customers to use the ample parking along Sonny's Lane (behind the plaza) and the convenient walkways from there to the market. This worked well and kept parking open for business customers while allowing our customers to park but a short walk from the market.
Week three of the Tantallon Village Farmers Market was once again well attended with a mixture of both new and familiar faces in the crowd. There was again lots of produce on display, but this weeks focus is on crafters and their products, all of which are hand crafted locally and which present a wide variety of materials, styles and purposes. We could go on at considerable length about any one of these vendors but the best options is to attend the market in person to check out their work. The number of vendors at the market has been growing every week with a total of 15 on hand today.
The day was fully sunny and quite warm which may explain why numbers were down slightly from last week but then again we are in the heart of vacation season which may also have something to do with it. Still, there was a steady stream of people entering the market right up to minutes before closing time.
Steve Mustain, one of two musicians providing delightful live music at today's market.
One of the new vendors at today's market featuring cake pops and other baked goods.
The very first Transition Bay Mealshare event (not sure what Mealshare is? Click the Mealshare link above) went off today without a hitch. A slow food meal was prepared, hosts and guests had a great meal and delightful conversation, there was lots of discussion of solar energy and off grid living.
We didn't actually use all that zucchini, it was just the smallest one we could find in the garden. The menu consisted of:
- Home made lasagna
- Carrots from the garden, steamed, with dill
- Dinner rolls
- Home made carrot cake
- Home made chocolate ice cream
Given that Mealshare is a new project we had no real idea how well things would go but in fact it went well and a group of people who might not have met otherwise shared a good meal and enjoyable conversation which is what Mealshare is all about. It is also a way to build connections within the community that might not otherwise happen.
Hosting a Mealshare meal is an excellent use for some of those great veggies available at the Tantallon Village Farmers Market! We encourage people to join Mealshare and host or attend a meal.
But the market went on anyway. And the good news: although it rained before the market, during the market and after the market, the weather was kind enough not to rain during setup or teardown which was a great help to the market vendors. While most people held back during the heaviest rain, over the course of the rest of the afternoon a remarkable 200 or so people were enthusiastic enough to join us at the market, rain or no rain.
Today's focus is on prepared food. There is plenty of produce at the market and a good selection of crafters with locally made items but it is always fun to try some of the ready-to-eat foods. Our rainy-day market featured everything from coffee, to deserts to full meals. The photos below highlight some of the prepared-food vendors and their customers at today's market.