Phase II of market upgrades
Regular shoppers at the farmers market in Simcoe are advised that fewer vendors than usual will be on hand this week.
As happened last year, the Norfolk Agricultural Society is taking advantage of the Norfolk County Fair vacancy at the Homecraft building to make needed upgrades.
Once these are finished, indoor vendors will return to their normal locations and regular routine. Due to the repairs, the indoor market is scheduled to re- open Oct. 19.
The farmers market makes way every year for the Norfolk County Fair by taking the week off. During the fair, the Homecraft building is used to show art, quilts, crafts and other exhibits.
Last year, outdoor vendors returned to market activity the week after the fair. Meanwhile, there was no market activity inside while new hand-washing stations and electrical wiring were installed.
This year, the upgrade consists of resurfacing the old concrete floor in the Homecraft building.
“This is a landlord’s upgrading of the building,” says Mark Boerkamp, supervisor of the market on behalf of Norfolk County. “There is no cost to the taxpayer. They are going to do a skim coat of the floor.”
The Homecraft building was constructed in 1953. The agricultural society embarked on a program of improvements after the Haldimand-Norfolk Health Unit cited sanitation concerns two years ago. One of these concerns involves the old floor in the Homecraft building.
When it comes to food preparation and vending, health units like smooth surfaces that can be easily and completely sterilized. A cracked, spalling floor provides potentially-dangerous bacteria with places to hide.
As happened last year, the usual lineup of outdoor vendors will be on hand this Thursday to receive shoppers. The market returns to normal in its entirety Oct. 19.