I have a garlic garden. It was inspired the same year that the Aberfoyle Farmers’ Market was launched. The inspiration came from the Market Manager that season – who can forget his orange hat? And coincided with a dinner party we hosted where my absolutely brilliant neighbour kindly brought me some garlic from his garden to plant in mine.
Honestly I was flabbergasted. I may live on Green Acres but I am no green thumb! But with just a bit of interesting enlightenment from Manager Peter and Neighbour Doug I discovered to my delight that I could indeed grow my own garlic.
Back track to the spring of 2008. My husband, who herein shall be named Wayne, “found” himself in our backyard digging a vast hole in a rectangle of mostly stone and a wee bit of actual dirt. Ah, now the quarries make sense. Once we carted in extra dirt to build the “hole” we shuffled off to the nearest nursery and bought every vegetable plant known to man.
Unfortunately there appeared to be more to this vegetable growing thing than I had counted on – it only took me three determined years to figure that out. So by 2011 it was just garlic. Ok, and tomatoes and basil. I figured if could produce enough spaghetti sauce to take us through the winter I could justify all the work to Wayne.
But now I can happily start to expand on my edible empire by visiting the Aberfoyle Farmers’ Market’s Opening Day on May 25. There will be a Container Garden Information Booth focusing on edible plants and vegetables. Not only will I get sage (pun intended) advice on how I can successfully grow vegetables and herbs in my own garden, I will be able to purchase the plants there, including my tasty tomatoes.
And if that isn’t enough to make you hop in the SUV and drive up Brock Road to the Optimist Recreation Center where the Market is conveniently located, then you can add to your must see list a visit to the booth about organic measures to control pests. I don’t know about you but since moving to Puslinch I have discovered pests that I never even dreamed existed. Um, stink bugs? They are on my hit list, if you know what I mean, and if I can whack them organically, then Bada Bing!
And let’s not forget about the flowers that will be available to remind us that summer is a blink away. We can bring them home to admire and enjoy immediately. Last year we took our Granddaughter to the Market and after she finished her lollipop cake she was enthralled by the rows upon rows of gorgeous potted flowers. Her mother and I ended up filling the Honda to the brink with pots to take back to Toronto; she was amazed at how affordable they were compared to city prices. So it was worth the drive to Puslinch after all!
It will be a veritable one stop gardening shop on opening day. All I will need to do then is: Plant. Pray. Love. Add sufficient rain, sun and of course, Wayne, and that will be my recipe for a fruitful vegetable garden this year. Thank you Aberfoyle Farmers’ Market! I can taste it all now, including the jams. (Teaser alert! The July/August issue will contain more about Jammin’ at the Market – a delectable event you won’t want to miss.)
But if gardening isn’t your thing, there will be plenty that day to feast your senses on. Honey. Maple Syrup. Mushrooms. Baked goods. Coffee. And new this year – a full line of meat products. There’s a whole meal right there. YUM!
Remember, this isn’t just my column – it’s yours. Yours to contribute ideas, topics and ask questions. Let me know what you’d like me to cover in the months ahead. Send me your questions and we will do our best to address them all. Through this column and our website www.aberfoylemarket.ca ….follow us on Twitter!@AberfoyleMarket. You can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. We are always looking for volunteers, so why not find out what you can do to join in on the excitement?
Open from the last Saturday in May ‘til the last Saturday in October, in downtown Aberfoyle in the Optimist Rec Centre, from 8am ‘til 1pm. See you at the Market!