Food and friendly fun at Ayer’s Cliff Market
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.