Cobden – There’s plenty to buy at the Cobden Farmers Market, and more than just food.
Yes, there’s the baked goods like scones, tartlets, bread, cookies and pies, but there’s also the homemade creations like woodworking, knitted and crochet things, and then jewellry, such as paper star earrings and semi-precious stone bracelets.
And there are plenty of vendors selling their creations.
Beachburg Lions Club members Jim Labow and Tony Mercier are situated at the first booth as you enter the market area on Astrolabe Road in Cobden.
“We’re selling Lions club raffle tickets,” Mr. Mercier said.
Lois Cybulskie sits in the middle of tables in the shape of a U. She keeps busy working at creating something while crocheting. Sitting on the tables are a mix of hats, headbands, scrubbies, dishcloths and so much more.
Her booth, Lacey’s Creations, is just new this year.
“I’m kind of new at (crocheting),” the vendor from Barry’s Bay said. “I couldn’t use my hands and then I started crocheting and got my hands back.”
Susan Arsenault of Renfrew creates bracelets with semi-precious gemstones while Audrey Arbour sells her baked goods and home preserves. Her husband, Bob sells his woodworking items.
Inside the market building breakfast is served, although there is only take-out, and there’s a myriad of craftspeople including Mike Whitmore selling what he creates at his forge and Ernie Wilson his many varied woodworking items.
There’s only one vegetable stand this day, and that’s manned by Mary Bauman and her daughter Rebecca, both of Maple Ridge Hollows on the Kerr Line near Foresters Falls.
Sitting on tables in front of the women are all sorts of vegetables: carrots, tomatoes, cabbage, squash, preserves, and in a freezer beside them, beef and chicken.
“Everything in the jars of relish and pizza sauce is all grown at home,” Ms. Bauman said, while from their farm they sell only beef, chicken and eggs. In the spring they operate a greenhouse.
Kathryn Curry of Foresters Falls was bored during the pandemic, so she taught herself how to make paper star earrings.
“A long time ago, I started making German paper stars out of wrapping paper and making ornaments for the Christmas tree,” she recalled. “Then, last year, I wondered how I could make them smaller.”
Using curling ribbon, she began experimenting, and is now selling paper star earrings.
Her mother, Joy, sitting nearby and crocheting a plastic mat, said her great-grandmother taught her how to make the German paper stars and a few years ago she did a refresher with Kathryn and the two made them together.
Kathryn added, “Me and mom learned how to make the German paper stars through Youtube videos.”
Down the row, Rebecca Carriere of Cobden is selling her baked goods of scones, sweet loaves, tartlets and bread, while Janice Gougeon of Eganville is selling her organic, hand-crafted crackers. On this day, the final table at the market belongs to sewer Connie Daiken of Pembroke selling her many homemade creations, including wallets, totes, aprons, and facemasks.
Market president Liz Cobb said this year is operating much smoother than last year during the pandemic.
“We’re adjusting,” she said. “2020, the first year, we had a lot to learn each week, but we’ve improved.
“This year, our comfort level is better.”
She said people have learned to give each other space and understand the necessity of continuing to wear a mask, use hand sanitizer and when it’s crowded inside the market building, to stay out.
“Instead of complaining, we’re all working together,” Ms. Cobb said.
While the market’s final regular day is Saturday, October 16, she said the Christmas season is just beginning.
“The Christmas Market Barn will be open each Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.,” she said.
It will begin the weekend of October 23/24 and end when the Christmas Farmers Market event is over, which is the December 3 weekend.
“It was so successful last year,” she said of the Christmas Market Barn. “We want to maximize the number of vendors who can participate during the Christmas season in case something happens with the Christmas Market.”
The Christmas Market Barn will be in the current market building, she said. There will be 43 vendors tables set up that people can check out without vendors, she said. Ms. Cobb said it operates similar to a store. There will be four volunteers inside the building – one at the door, another for security and two at cash, but no vendors at the tables.
“It’s just like a store,” Ms. Cobb said. “You walk around and take what you want to the cashier.”
Each item will have a sticker and the table number on it from where it was picked it up, so the vendor gets recognized for the sale, she explained.
As for health guidelines, Ms. Cobb said whatever they are, that is what will be followed during the Christmas season.
Connie Tabbert, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Eganville Leader