Recently my friend and I spent a day at the Keady Farmers’ Market. This is one of the true, old-time Farmers’ Markets started in 1950 to give farmers a way to sell their livestock locally. As with most of the farmers markets, it has expanded to include the sale of other farm products – fruits, vegetables, baked goods and other foods processed right on the farm. This particular market still sells cattle, sheep, pigs and goats by auction and if you’ve never been to a farm auction, this alone would make it worth a visit.
We have bought and sold cattle at this Market and I once came home with four young Jersey calves in the trunk of my car. When our boys were little, they purchased rabbits, ducks and a huge variety of chickens on our visits there. Our most interesting – and unfortunately wasteful – purchase had to be the guinea hens. The day we brought those birds home, they immediately flew up high into one of the maple trees, schreeching the whole time and stayed there for a couple of days, still schreeching, then disappeared, never to return. By that time, other then the fact we were out the money, we really didn’t mind them leaving as they were the noisiest things ever. This experience often made me think about the guy who sold the same homing pigeons over and over again, knowing each time he sold them they would return and he could sell them again. Is there such a thing as homing guinea hens???
Back to the market. In a field across the road from the auction barn, are the stands selling fruits, berries,and vegetables in season. The stand above belonged to Joe’s Market Farms from Bradford. This was the first stand we saw when we entered the market and the looks of the produce plus the attractive way they had it displayed really appealed to me, so that’s why I chose to include their picture.
After that there were more stands with meat and cheese products and further along Mennonite ladies were selling fresh produce and home-baked goods of all kinds – pies, squares, bread and rolls, meat pies – plus homemade summer sausage, maple syrup, more pickles, jams and jellies, and so on. It didn’t matter what anyone was selling – everything looked wonderful.
A section was set aside for plants and these included all kinds of shrubs, potted plants, perennials, herbs, vegetables and flat after flat of annuals. As much as the colour and fragrance of this area appealed to us, we didn’t spend a lot of time here since neither of us needed any plants, but it you were buying, there would have been a good chance of finding exactly what you were looking for.
As we were heading back, I saw this sign and just had to take this picture. I have long been a supporter of the 100-mile rule so I was tickled to find a vendor at the market that had incorporated this slogan right into their name.
- If you’re looking for a specific product, go early for the best choice;
- If you just want a really good deal, go just before closing. The produce vendors prefer not to take things home, especially berries, tomatoes, greens, and other stuff that doesn’t keep, so they really knock down the price of anything they have left at the end of the day. I’ve gotten some amazing deals this way, including whole flats of blueberries and strawberries for only $5.00 a flat.