History of the Almonte Farmers’ Market
Almonte has a rich tradition of community involvement, and fellowship.
In the late 1800’s and early 1900’s, a thriving traditional Market was located in downtown Almonte, just off Brea St. Vendors would arrive with their horse drawn carriages full of hand-made items, livestock, locally grown foods, and other wares. People would arrive from miles around, and spend the morning, stocking their own carriages with the items they needed, and enjoy fellowship with their neighbours. It was an event not to be missed, and for some, their only trip into town every week.
The current Almonte Farmers’ Market was conceived around the kitchen table of Helen Halpenny in the fall of 1989. Being a Master gardener, Helen knew a few things about growing! A few local farmers met over coffee to discuss bringing together their extra produce and offering it for sale. Their vision of rejuvenating the old Almonte Farmers’ Market as a producer based market lives on, and they laid the ground work for our market today. Soon after, they were approached by Bob Chorney of Farmers’ Markets Ontario, which was just starting up at the time. Bob was amazed at how far along in the planning stages the group was. Farmers’ Markets Ontario shared the same producer based ideas and the rest is history. FMO and Agriculture Canada have given our market unfailing support and provided us with signs and other marketing tools, canopies, ideas and help throughout. The Almonte Farmers’ Market has had to adapt and grow to survive in a very competitive market. Large chain grocery stores offering local produce, and an increase in large farm, road side stalls have created challenges for the lazy Saturday morning market. The atmosphere, fellowship, unequaled fresh products and core group of vendors keep this market alive.
The first market was held in the Mississippi Mills Public Library parking lot in 1990, and remains there to this day. It operates from May to October, Saturday mornings from 8:30-12:30. Items available include in season fruits and veggies, perennials, and other locally grown items, flowers, baked good, woodworking and other hand crafted items like knitting and sewing, preserves, berries, organic meat, honey, etc.