We'd had this date on our calendar for some time, and headed out to the Flesherton Farmers' Christmas Market in good time - things sell out fast. At 9.30 we were already too late to pick up a cherry pie! But we got all our Christmas baking done in half an hour (as we do every year), at a remarkably reasonable cost and very little effort apart from fending off the other customers!
My favourite stop is the pie ladies, though I've learned to my regret that I can't eat one of these every week, much as I'd like to. I missed my cherry pie, but I treated myself to a delicious triple berry (blueberry/blackberry/raspberry) pie. About the same flavours as my favourite jam, if you also add lots of black currants!
At the same table, my wife discovered that all her Christmas baking had been done for her! We picked up several of these too. This is a market where I make multiple trips back to the car with our goodies!
There is quite a variety of things available, and I liked this display of wooden spoons. The core of this group are the vendors who are at the Flesherton Farmers' Market all summer, so we know many of them, and frequently stopped to chat.
Jam is something we don't buy, because my wife is such an enthusiastic jam maker herself - I get my special custom-made jams to order right here at home. Our grandson gets his favourites too. But you could certainly get your choice here!
There's one local artist who comes to the market all summer, and I like his art, usually local subjects, rural landscapes, barns, waterfalls, lighthouses and such. Very similar to my favourite blog topics when I think about it. We have one of his paintings of the valley we purchased several years ago, and today I bought a series of small postcard-size prints of lighthouses - all lighthouses up the Bruce Peninsula that we visited last summer.
There's a fair bit of sewing and knitting and craft work. There are some additional vendors who only come to the Christmas Market, and a few of the fresh produce vendors from the summer don't attend, having nothing to sell at this time of year.
We often buy a couple of these cookies for our grandson (our grand-daughter isn't old enough yet), and he loves them. This vendor asked if could link to the Market's Facebook page, so here it is: Flesherton Farmers' Market on Facebook
. You'll see one of this vendor's cookies in the header photo, lower left corner. I'll also post a link in reverse if I can figure out how to do that!
There are a lot of apiaries in this region, and we always buy our honey from local beekeepers. Once we toured a beekeeping operation, which was fascinating. Honey and maple syrup which we can buy right from the producers are always popular gifts in our family.
This market and a few others we attend largely cover our required Christmas shopping. We rarely actually go to stores, though sometimes to small local ones, certainly not any of the big ones. So we've gone home with quite a few Christmas gifts covered - a far more reasonable way to shop than 'Black Friday'!!
Which reminds me, I saw a great idea on Linda's blog The View from Squirrel Ridge
(her post of Nov. 28th) - give up 'Black Friday' for 'Green Friday'
, and get your kids outside, or 'optoutside', a program sponsored by the Virginia State Parks. The future of the world will be much more enhanced by doing that than by spending another day shopping, especially fighting crowds in order to go shopping!
This post and this photography was a bit different for me, but I think the photos turned out well. Just turned the ISO up high and didn't have to worry about flash, and the colour is more realistic too. I hope I captured the flavour of the market without flaunting anyone's picture on the internet, something I don't do much of on this blog.
Although our main reason for going is the baking, I admit, the Farmers' Market is also a great social outing, at any time of year. Today I think we met and chatted with at least 7 or 8 couples we know well, and we chatted for awhile with at least 8 vendors too. We ended up going out for coffee in the local coffee shop, Highland Grounds
, with 4 of those friends. And we ended up visiting two more Christmas sales later in the day, getting more Christmas gifts, (but no more baking - you have to be there early to get that!). The most relaxing and sociable way to do your Christmas shopping that I know of!