Food and friendly fun at Ayer’s Cliff Mar­ket

Stanstead Journal - - FROM PAGE ONE - Vic­to­ria Vanier Ayer's Cliff

The Ayer’s Cliff Farmer’s Mar­ket was a busy place on Satur­day with mostly lo­cal ‘lo­ca­vores’ stop­ping by for their weekly pur­chases of lo­cally grown or trans­formed delecta­bles. Our gro­cery bags quickly filled up with sour­dough bread and pas­tries, some ‘Candy smoked sal­mon’, or­ganic lamb, garlic and egg­plant which was later trans­formed into Mous­saka, and sev­eral other hearty good­ies. It all proved to be both de­li­cious and in­ex­pen­sive.

As equally en­joy­able as the good food at the Mar­ket are the so­cial in­ter­ac­tions. Mrs. MacK­in­non’s en­thu­si­asm was in­fec­tious as she in­vited ven­dors and shop­pers alike to come to the United Church ser­vice the next morn­ing, promis­ing the ser­mon to be a good one. “The doors are al­ways open, even for those who come late like (here she men­tioned a cer­tain lo­cal farmer who makes de­li­cious maple syrup) who has to fin­ish his chores first!”

While buy­ing egg­plants from veg­etable farmer Tony Scott, another shop­per, who I sus­pect may be a pro­fes­sional sto­ry­teller, told a quick and com­i­cal tale about a king, his ser­vant and some egg­plants. In case that wasn’t enough of a bonus, I then got a

new recipe and an egg­plant cook­ing tip (steam the veg­gie a lit­tle be­fore bak­ing) from Mr. Scott.

“Thou­sands of vis­i­tors come to the Farmer’s Mar­ket dur­ing the sum­mer,” com­mented Ayer’s Cliff mayor Alec van Zuiden who rode his horse to the Mar­ket, last Satur­day, to chat with res­i­dents. Live mu­sic, al­ways a fea­ture of this mar­ket, was pro­vided by Sonia Pate­naude and her daugh­ter as they sang to raise money for Breast Can­cer re­search.

“We’ve had a good sum­mer. There were a lot of events go­ing on in Ayer’s Cliff a few years ago dur­ing the Cen­ten­nial cel­e­bra­tions, and a lot of new peo­ple got to know us then. And then there’s the whole trend of know­ing where your food comes from, know­ing your farmer. But it’s in­ter­est­ing that the Ayer’s Cliff Mar­ket has been around for a long time, long be­fore the trend of buy­ing lo­cal,” said Sasha Przy­tyk who sells or­ganic, fair trade cof­fee at the mar­ket. “Peo­ple don’t come here just to buy. They like to hang out,” he added.

The Ayer’s Cliff Farmer’s Mar­ket will be hold­ing its last sale of the year, this Satur­day, on the Ayer’s Cliff fair­grounds. As a spe­cial treat, the mu­si­cal farm­ers who sell there, and there are sev­eral of them, usu­ally get to­gether to pro­vide the mu­si­cal en­ter­tain­ment for the closer.

The Mar­ket’s or­ga­niz­ers are hold­ing a pot luck din­ner for the ven­dors, mu­si­cians, and “lovers of the Mar­ket” on Oc­to­ber 25th at the Way’s Mills Com­mu­nity Cen­tre. For more in­for­ma­tion call Dana Lea at 819 838-5289.

Ayer’s Cliff Mayor Alec van Zuiden takes a young cit­i­zen for a lit­tle ride at last Satur­day’s Farmer’s Mar­ket.

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