Farm Market Report Keith Helmuth
The selection of unique craft products at the Woodstock Farm Market continues to increase.
When the modern farm market movement began to take off across the country in the 1970’s, it was boosted by the resurgence of local craft production coming into the markets. Small producers needed a marketing outlet and farm markets were often the perfect opportunity as a way to get started.
Local craft products are now an important part of the mix at all farm markets. This is what makes them such interesting places to visit, especially if you are looking a special gift.
The Woodstock Farm and Craft Market has achieved a remarkable blend of local food and craft products. As first glance you might think the Market is mostly crafts, but a close look will find many food products throughout the Market. The Market is open all week. On Friday Market Day, even more local food is on display. Well over 50% of Market sales are food products.
This means, however, that the sale of crafts is also a big factor in the Market’s success. If you like to shop and like surprises, the Farm and Craft Market fills the bill. Here is rundown of what you will find.
First of all, several new vendors have recently set up in the Market. One has a display of “dichroic glass” jewellery, which is fired in a way that creates a multi-coloured iridescent effect in shifting light. Another new vendor has fine leather craft accessories and another has colourfully painted personal accessories and ornaments made from moulded polymer clay. All of these are nice small gift items. In addition, jewellery handcrafted from various other materials can also be found in the Market.
Knit goods are a Market staple. You will find mittens, socks, slippers, hats, and sweaters and whole sections of knit wear for babies and small children. Hand crafted soaps and body care products can be found in several stalls. Sewing crafts include bibs, aprons, baby blankets, potholders, tops and dresses.
One stall has a display of appealing stuffed animals, many of which look like something Dr. Seuss might have invented. There are small puzzles and humorous novelty items for just a dollar. There is a display of beautiful nature photography and several displays of very high quality bowls made by local wood turners. On the wall next to the freezers you will find an amazingly colourful selection of locally crafted collars and leashes for dogs and cats. Gifts for pets? Why not.
Hand carved wooden spoons, ceramic pottery, hooked rugs, tote bags, and purses made from recycled jeans are available. Numerous other woodcraft products including, bird houses, home décor items, planters, kitchen storage units, stools, oven rack movers, and a golfer’s coat rack that uses the business ends of golf clubs for coat hooks; just the thing for a golf lover. Fusion Mineral Paint and Cottage Paint, which are much favoured by craft-people, is also available at a vendors stall in the Market.
And in the line of locally crafted products, books by local authors must be included. A new edition of George Frederick Clarke’s Jimmy-Why stories has recently been added to the Local Author’s Book Corner. Clarke’s second fishing book, Song of the Reel, will arrive next week. Thinking ahead to the holidays, there is good shopping at the Woodstock Farm and Craft Market.