I had lots of fun putting together the 2017 Headwaters Farm Fresh Map this year. The last time a map was produced was in 2013 and then it was just Dufferin County farmers. Enough years had passed and there were new farmers in our region and some old farms were no longer in business. It was time to update.

With the collaboration of In the Hills Magazine, we produced a beautiful new booklet that was distributed through the magazine to 45,000 households in Headwaters—including Dufferin,

Caledon and Erin. We finally have a comprehensive listing of farm gate, farmers’ markets and food producers in our region. These listings are also available online right here on our HFFA site.

I had a chance to speak to most of the farmers — on the telephone—what an old fashioned thing to do! Just to hear their voices and how happy many were to have an updated map, helped me realize the importance of this tool — to connect farmer/producers to their consumers.

It was also an opportunity to tell folks about the Headwaters Food Charter & Action Plan.

The day after the magazine arrived in the mail in June, I was at the Mulmur market doing some shopping. Suddenly, one of the farmers, Connie, came running up to me and said she had already received a phone call from a potential customer who had the map in her hands and wanted to buy some tomatoes. She was so excited! The problem was, her tomatoes won’t be ripe for another month.

But never mind, Connie had plenty of other things —including baked goods, preserves and early greens—to offer the new customer.

At the next booth the vendor stopped me to thank me for the map. She said she read it “cover to cover” and learned so much.

The following week at the market, several of the vendors asked for more maps. They were flying off their tables—even at the Collingwood and Stayner markets. Once again, Connie told me about another woman and her daughter that found her using the map. They had travelled from Palgrave and Loretto in search of Connie’s offerings.

 

If you know of more stories about how people find farmers through our map, we would love to hear from you! Just email us at info@hffa.ca, or get in touch via Twitter and Facebook.

 

-Marci Lipman

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