Horton Farmers Market Newsletter July 14th 2012

Well…the cat’s outta the bag…

Last Saturday at the Market was HOT. The HOTTEST market day in my two seasons thus far. All of our vendors were grateful for those who braved the heat to support our local producers. One thing I wasn’t prepared for was all the “What? You’re leaving the Market!?” ‘s . It was heartening to see how many of you read the newsletter – ha! Last week at the bottom of the newsletter (like this week), was the posting of my current position with Horton Farmers Market. It was also humbling and overwhelming to hear so many “can you, will you, please stay”?
There are many aspects to the position of Market Manager, it’s not just what you see on Market morning. It is a deep commitment to local producers, and more than just “a job”. I have been blessed to hold this position for the 2011 & 2012 season. I’ve been inspired by the markets growth, and I’ve been inspired to make changes in our community and even in my own household. Last year when I applied and accepted the position I threw my entire being into the job. Learning about all of our vendors was just as important to me as learning the day to day running the market stuff. I visited most of our farmers and producers on their own turf and what an amazing experience for me and my children!  We learned a ton about how our food is grown locally. Visiting McSmiths, Cathy inspired me to try growing a little of my own households food – and thanks to her awesome veggie starts our first year was a success (you can see what madness this inspiration has become now here. My Husband is afraid of what my third season of Urban Farming will look like!). Visiting the Westelakens at Empire Valley early last season was really eye opening to see how seeding an entire years crop is such a huge production. Joy also taught me what a “sucker” is on tomato plants, and that I should remove them for better yield. Now, my tomato plants look like Bonzai’s but have never produced better! Chris Dancey (Dancey Family Farm) welcomed me to her farm, and for the first time in my life I ate duck eggs. Kosciks Greenhouse was a shocking view of tomato plants more than a storey tall!  There is no other venture in my life that has allowed me such opportunity to learn! Visits to local producers like Spicers and Farmgate told me that I need to better scrutinize ingredients in our everyday food. A visit to Oegemas gave me some perspective on year round farming….while we enjoy the summer downtime, they are planning for our holiday meals. The appreciation I learned from all our amazing food producers is deep. Everything on Market morning, while it looks beautiful and abundant, there have been many manpower hours and many, many, many hours of planning to get it there that I think many customers (me included!) have taken it for granted. I really truly believe we ought to “Hug A Farmer” if given the opportunity, they deserve more than just our financial support as customers, but our appreciation.  You can see photos of my adventures last season on our facebook page here.
I do not pretend that managing the market is more challenging than bringing fresh local produce to the market week after week. It certainly has it’s challenges, but at least I don’t have to worry much about the weather. However, there is a large time commitment, and of course it falls over the summer months when my kids are out of school and everyone craves a little time away.
While I have no magic crystal ball to see where I will be next season, or the direction the Market will take, I do hope that any future market managers sink their teeth in and suck out every little bit of awesome this market and this position has to offer. If I am not to return, I am happy to leave knowing that I reaped as much as a sowed.
Updates will follow in the coming weeks! See you Saturday!

The Market had an amazing time last night at Business After 5 at the beautiful Quai De Vin! We served up an amazing Elgin Salad (created by our dedicated Board Member Cindy Bircham and topped with an apple from our vendor Great Lakes Farm).  Here’s a photo of our food station, with everyone smiling! (It might have been the abundant wine samples). Thank you to all the volunteers that helped make the evening a success! Would you like to join in on the fun? Become a FRIEND OF THE HORTON FARMERS MARKET here or email here.

Check out some of these highlights from this weekends market:

Elgin Harvest: Thanks to all who kept cool with our Strawberry Lemonade, Iced Coffee & Iced Tea last week. Strawberry season is over, but don’t be sad! This week we’ll have Iced Coffee & CHERRY Lemonade & BLUEBERRY Lemonade! Cherry season was short, so this will be the only week we offer this blend. Don’t fret, peaches and melons are just around the corner!  We’ll also have raspberry pudding in a jar, blueberry crumble tarts, ‘almond joys’ & the ever popular pop tarts

Berry Hill Fruit Farm: Corn, corn corn! Its ready! We’ll have lots at the market on Saturday. Also, raspberries and blueberries and much more. And at a reasonable price too:)  Orders can be made for larger quantities at the market or by calling the farm 519 765-1752.

From The Meadow: Summer Special! Go go go…we run from work to our evening activities and often over look some recovery time for our body. This summer special offers you all our bath soaks for $13.00 each. Check out some of my favorites Sherwood Forest and Venus Milk Bath. Make the time to let your mind and body relax.

Harris Family Farm: Summer bloom beauty is in full swing! New kinds of flowers every week. Decorate your table with beautiful local flowers.
Mark and Cameron are going to dig some of our ‘pretty’ potatoes this week to bring to the market. Vibrant colours and AMAZING flavour! Ask about how to roast them with our great pastured pork sausage!

Green Leaf Gourmet: A big thank-you to all the wonderful customers who came last week and supported the Horton Farmer’s Market despite the absolute relentless heat wave!! As always your friendly faces, support and business is what makes our Market so amazing!!
Looking forward to bringing you more wonderful, fresh gourmet products( including gluten-free and vegan choices) featuring locally sourced and organic ingredients. Kim picks most of the fruits she features in her French Tarts and all other fillings, creams, custards and confitures are handcrafted in small batches for superior quality and taste. Come see what customers line up for and rave about at theGREEN LEAF GOURMET stand!
Creative Kids Make- a- Craft
Join the McCarvell crew inside for some creative art fun. There is always a new cool craft to make each week.You can also purchase a refreshing glass of fresh-squeezed lemonade or their weekly featured “gourmet drink” for only a $1 a cup. Thank-you for supporting these enthusiastic, young entrepreneurs!! See you on Saturday!


Congrats Sarah Cousins! This weeks winner of Market Bucks! Want a chance to win to? Send us your market related photos to manager@hortonfarmersmarket.ca or post directly to our facebook page. Congrats Sarah! Find the manager on market morning to claim your prize. Market bucks can be used same as cash from any of our markets awesome vendors.
Be creative! ANY Market related photos are welcome – your haul, your breakfast/lunch/dinner with market goods, or even a photo of yourself/kids having a good time AT the market. Anything goes!

Become a Friend of HFM

The Horton Farmers Market needs YOU!

Do you LOVE HFM? Are you a local food enthusiast? Do you want to get more involved?

The Market only has one part-time employee, what this means is often HFM misses out on opportunities to sparkle and shine in our community. While we are lucky to be a City supported Farmers Market, our small budget often falls short for little market improvements we’d all like to see happen. The Friends of the Market Fundraising account was created for this purpose.  In order for our beloved market to swell and grow, we need the help of a dedicated market loving volunteers – people like you, vendors, local business owners who like the additional flow of traffic downtown on Saturdays. Everyone has something to contribute.If we have more people, more passion, more presence in the local events/community it would mean more local goodness for the market to grow even more: further job development, community morale, more local dollars staying in our downtown!What would it mean for you?Really, not a lot. The more people we have, the less individually we need to commit to. The minimum would be attending infrequent Friends of the Market meetings.  Meant as an evening to drum up ideas for the market, for fundraising, a general check in and goal setting. However, we do need Friends of HFM members to have a desire to actually DO something at some point – whether it be lending a hand at a fundraiser, attending a networking meeting on behalf of HFM, helping out with simple advertising campaigns, manning a booth at an event etc etc etc.Sound like fun? I think so!

Hope you’ll join us!

For more info message friends@hortonfarmersmarket.ca

Shiitake Angel Hair Pasta


  • 6 ounces angel hair pasta
  • 6 ounces fresh sliced shiitake mushrooms
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 1/4 cup white wine
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/4 cup chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
  • salt to taste
  • ground black pepper to taste
  • 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley


  1. Saute garlic and onion in olive oil over medium heat; add mushrooms as the aroma develops. Add chicken stock and wine, and cook until mixture is reduced to 1/2 volume. Blend in cream, and reduce to desired thickness. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  2. Meanwhile cook pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water until al dente.
  3. Drain pasta, and toss with sauce until coated. Serve on small warmed plates, topped with grated Parmesan cheese and parsley.

Who’s Coming?

Here’s who you can expect to see this weekend! 

Flair Pastries
McSmiths Organic FarmFacebook Website
Debackere Farms: Email
The Knitting Ladies
Berry Hill Fruit FarmFacebookWebsite

Koscik Green Houses: Facebook
Harris Family Farm: Facebook Email 
Natures Perfection Shiitake Mushrooms: 519-773-9672
Empire Valley Farms:Website Facebook
Talbotville Berry Farms: FacebookWebsite
Farmgate Fresh Meats: FacebookWebsite Email
Oegema Turkey FarmFacebookWebsite Email
Frisa Farm Fresh Eggs: Email
Harris Family Farm: Facebook Email 
Palmers Maple Syrup: 519-769-2245
Spicers Bakery: Facebook Website
Krista Miller Cake Artistry & Baker:Facebook Email
Lotus Thai Restuarant: Facebook EmailWebsite 
Wildflowers Tea: Website  FacebookEmail 
Elgin Harvest: Facebook  WebsiteEmail
Grammies Creations: Facebook Email
Desserts and More: Facebook Email
The Dutch Bakery: Phone 519-631-2830
Green Leaf GourmetEmail Website
Uncle Dad’s Pizza: FacebookWebsite Email
Megan Intven Art: Email
Shastadolphin: Facebook Email
JB Weldz Metal ArtEmail Website
From The Meadow: Email  WebsiteFacebook
Spatopia: Facebook Website Email
Scissorkitty: Facebook
Raw For Pets: Facebook Website Email 
Springwell FarmFacebook

We’re located at 2 Manitoba Street in St. Thomas. Open Saturdays May-November from 8-12

Grammies Creations

Pickle season has officially begun, 9 day pickles and gherkins are started, will be ready for July 21st.  This Sat. I will have my green and dill relish again, as well as a diabetic hamburger relish and No Sugar Bread & Butter Pickles..

McSmiths Organic Farm

McSmiths Market Stall will have 4 types of beets, 6 types of Zucchini as well as  varieties of other organic produce grown because of their “taste quality”. The south-west corner of the stall is becoming very popular for the many fresh culinary herbs offered….There will lots of Sweet Basil this week!

Market Manager Position

Love the Market? Why not help run it?!  You can also find this job posting here.



The Horton Farmers’ Market Board of Management invites applications from interested individuals for the position of Seasonal Market Manager. This contract position requires a commitment of up to 24 hours per week including weekend and evening hours.

The position begins Aug. 16, 2012 as a replacement for the current Manager, who will be available to give guidance and training, and continues until Nov. 17 following the annual Christmas Market. The position resumes Monday, April 1, 2013 at the same terms and conditions upon successful completion of a performance review.

Reporting to the Horton Farmers’ Market Board of Management, the Seasonal Market Manager shall oversee the operation and maintenance of the Market on a day-to-day basis.  This position requires the successful candidate to have a valid, unrestricted Ontario Driver’s License (minimum Class “G”) and access to a personal vehicle.

A position description is available upon request by contacting msmale@city.st-thomas.on.ca. Please submit a letter of application along with a resume, stating qualifications and experience, to the undersigned by 4:30 p.m. Friday, July 20, 2011.

Attn: Shelley Holmes
Chair, Horton Farmers’ Market Board of Management
C/O City of St. Thomas Clerk’s Office
545 Talbot Street
P.O. Box 520
St. Thomas, Ontario N5P 3V7
e-mail: msmale@city.st-thomas.on.ca


The Quakers in Sparta support West Nile Disadvantaged Women and Orphans Association (WENDWOA) as their Uganda Project.  We help women and their families and orphans in north-west of Uganda where there was a lot of war and rebel activity from the Seventies to early this century.  Now there is peace, and people who were in exile have returned to their homes to find they have virtually nothing.

The Sparta Quakers, through WENDWOA are trying to help the people live peacefully by providing Alternatives to Violence Project (AVP) in order to encourage reconciliation.  Men are involved in this area.  Peace on an empty stomach is difficult to achieve – so we also give the women income generating skills, including bead and jewellery making, basket making, sewing bags and pouches, quilting kangas, etc.  Organic farming skills are taught, both to improve the diet of the members, and to sell for income.  A vocational school has been established to help the young people – many of whom have had little schooling and for whom there is almost no chance of employment unless they have a skill to establish their own business.

I spend almost half the year with WENDWOA in Uganda assisting where I can – my particular ‘passion’ is non-violence and I am deeply involved with the AVP workshops. Helping to run the organization with mostly illiterate women is a challenging task, but the women are determined to make a success of their efforts and work extremely hard. Many of the handicrafts – mostly baskets of various types – are sold in Uganda.   When I return to Canada I bring back jewellery, quilts, bags etc. for fundraising purposes.  These are what I am selling at the Horton Street Market.  Come and visit!  See how our WENDWOA women are trying to make a living for themselves by hard work.

All the items I am selling I have bought at the ‘local price’ from the people who made them so that the women who did the work receive the amount they expect.  All the money I make from selling the handicrafts when I am here goes back to the organization itself so that the women as a whole can benefit.  These funds go towards buying more materials for handicrafts, medication for sick women or children or for vocational school needs.  None of the money goes towards administration – and I pay all my own expenses.

Mary Edgar


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