Weekly cooking demos, expanded seating coming to downtown farmer's market

Produce vendors, food stands, artisans and vendors. They'll soon come together when the Downtown Windsor Farmer's Market opens for the season.

The market, which is operated by the Downtown Windsor Community Collaborative and the Downtown Windsor BIA, will feature some new additions coming this year.

"It's a whole, different environment now," said market co-chair Sarah Cipkar.

What's new this year?

According to Cipkar, organizers behind last year's farmer's market noticed people were staying for a "really, long time" — not just to buy local produce, but to walk around and try food at all of the different vendors.

"This year, we realized we really need to lean into that a little bit more and enhance the seating area to encourage people to stay longer."

The result will be an expansion of the seating area — 45 chairs and 15 tables.

Downtown Windsor Farmers Market/Facebook

"That's really going to change the dynamic this year of the market because it'll encourage people to stay. We're calling it our little piazza," said Cipkar.

New to the farmer's market this year will be the Chef's Table series, which will feature different cooking lessons and demos from local chefs.

"Some of the bigger names in some of the hot restaurants are going to come and do an hour cooking demonstration using seasonal produce," said Cipkar, adding people will be exposed to new vendors while learning how to cook with their products.

There's also going to be more vendors than ever, according to Cipkar, including staple farmers from Essex County — but also new additions like Plant Joy and Ground Culture.

What the farmer's market brings to Windsor

For Cipkar, the market is a staple of Windsor's downtown core.

"We are a bit of a food desert, in the sense that there's nothing really north of Wyandotte right in the core where people can buy fresh produce."

That's why many residents turn to the farmer's market to get their hands on fresh produce at "reasonable prices," she said, adding it's also brings the community together.

"It's a mini-festival every week ... It can be exhausting, but it can be worth it because it brings so much joy to the downtown."

The Downtown Windsor Farmer's Market opens at 8 a.m. tomorrow on Pelissier Street and Maiden Lane. It will operate every Saturday until the end of October.