Neighbours selling to neighbours

In 2009, Keene was ranked "prettiest town in Canada" by Harrowsmith Country Life magazine due to its distinct blend of rustic shops, skilled artisans, beautiful gardens, and rich history.  All these unique features will be highlighted tomorrow, May 15th, when the Keene Farmers' Market re-opens for the 2015 season.{C}{C}{C}{C}

Located in the Otonabee South-Monaghan Township, Keene and its surrounding areas are known for their deep agricultural roots.  The region boasts award-wining farms such as Cross Wind Farm and Yorkshire Valley Farms and offers a fertile ground for infusing its farmers' market with original characteristics. While markets have sprouted up in several communities nearby, the Keene Farmers' Market is notable for its desire to showcase its own producers.  All the farmers present at the market are from within the boundaries of the Township.

local vendor Chick-a-biddy Acres Booth

This year, however, the market is carving a new identity.  While supporting its local economy, the market is now deliberately seeking to cultivate a vibrant family atmosphere.  This new design grew out of the passion and ideas brought forward by a group of local producers, Eleanor Rath, the Township's CAO, and three Fleming students involved in creating a new marketing plan.  One of the students on board was Mallory Arthur who, once the project was over, was hired as the new Community Development staff for the Township.  As Mallory mentioned to me over the phone, when reflecting upon the kind of market that would best resonate with the community at large, the group felt it was "important to create not only a commercial space where neighbours can sell to neighbours, but also a community space where everyone, young and old, can connect."  So this year, each market day is going to focus on a special theme.

Postcard back 2 list of vendors and events for the upcoming season


Tomorrow, the market will showcase activities from Lang Pioneer Village and celebrate the release of a new book.  Co-written by Marie Adamcryck and Val Crowley, Silos, Sketches and Stories of Otonabee-South Monaghan brings to life the stories of the silos that used to guard the agricultural landscape of the region.  Combining the talents of a writer with those of an artist, the book offers beautiful sketches of the silos that dotted the region and the stories that bounced off their tall structures.

Sannox Farm Booth Sannox Farm Booth


So why not start your long weekend by visiting the Keene Farmers' Market?  You will find it on the grounds of library parking lot, as it was last year.  Once there, you will be able to feed your body by purchasing locally grown food and boost your community spirit by listening to some tall farming tales of the Otonabee-South Monaghan region.