If you’re a big fan of the farmer’s market, here’s some good news — the local market will continue even though the cold weather is now here.
The opening day for the Winter Market is this Saturday, Oct. 31 at the Southridge Mall.
The Winter Market will operate 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturdays in the hallway and one of the units near the former Treasure Hunt store until at least Dec. 19 (2021 dates have yet to be announced).
Because the opening day falls on Halloween, the market is planning a Trick-or-Treat at the Market event — many vendors will have candy, so don’t forget to dress up and bring a bag. There will also be a draw for market patrons.
Thomas Merritt, board chair of the Greater Sudbury Market Association, said this is the Winter Market’s third year of operation.
“The biggest change between last year and this year is the vendors have to be twice as far apart to maintain that social distancing than we were last year,” he said.
“To do that, and to accommodate the number of vendors we have showing interest in being there, we had to expand into the walkway. I don’t know how many applications we received, but we had over 30 vendors that expressed an interest in being there.”
While patrons were encouraged to wear face masks even at the outdoor farmer’s market this past summer, masks are mandatory within the mall.
As with the summer and fall version of the market, there will be a mix of vendors, everything from local produce to food products to art to crafts.
Merritt said the pandemic has driven home the importance of locally grown food, given what could happen to our food supply through border closures.
“If you can buy your sprouts from a local hydroponic gardener, you should probably be buying your sprouts from that local farm,” Merritt said. “It’s more reliable.”
The farmer’s market has been very popular this year, with numbers actually up a bit this summer, he said.
Physical distancing was promoted by having both the Thursday and Saturday markets at the York Street parking location this summer and fall, although Merritt said the market is still committed to operating in downtown Sudbury in the long term.