Juliet Ray, daughter of columnist Kim Cooper’s nephew Jordan Ray and his wife Holly, is really enjoying sweet corn grown in Chatham-Kent.
Who can resist the taste of fresh vegetables and fruits and other food products right off the field or out of the kitchen? Most of us would agree there’s nothing like eating fresh Chatham-Kent grown vegetables, fruits, and food products.
As you travel the roads of Chatham-Kent, you will have the opportunity of supporting local farmers who supply locally grown vegetables, fruits, meats, and other food products at numerous roadside stands, stores, farm markets, and grocery stores. The Ridgetown Farmers’ Market operates each Saturday from 8 a.m. until 12 noon. This market is located at the 4-H Barn on Main Street East, right beside Tim Hortons. Chatham has the Wednesday Market at 9877 Longwoods Rd. and is open every Wednesday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. all year long.
As well, the Buy Local, Buy Fresh map is available from municipal service centers, tourism outlets, libraries, local agricultural businesses, and many of our producers who offer local foods. You can also download the map from this website: www.
For the many farm stands throughout our region, I know many CK citizens look for these each year to purchase fruits and vegetables from the vendors. These farm stands are scattered throughout our many communities.
For a person or family to grow, supply, and sell products at these stands takes a lot of work, perseverance, long hours, and time away from the family. One such person is Sarah Graham, who runs many stands throughout Chatham under ‘Sarah’s Farm Market’ and other related names. She and her family have a 7.5-acre plot of land where they grow tomatoes, beans, pumpkins, squash, and a host of other vegetables. Sarah contracts with local growers for sweet corn and endeavours to purchase other fruits and vegetables from our local growers that she doesn’t grow herself.
To grow any acreage consisting of a number of vegetables takes a lot of work, as each variety has to be planted separately at different times. These crops are all planted by hand, sprayed by hand, and harvested by hand. That’s a lot of labour.
Sarah has been operating a vegetable and fruit stand since 1988 when she was 12. She started with two barrels and a wood plank to hold her food products. Since then, she has grown and expanded and has become part of our Chatham-Kent community.
Sarah, along with her for sons and her father Peter Koning, take pride in what they grow for their customers and always strive to give their clients the best and freshest produce.
The same can be said for the dozens of other farm market operators we have throughout Chatham-Kent. They all want to grow the freshest, healthiest, and best tasting fruits and vegetables and they are proud of what they grow and what they are able to provide to our citizens.
Here in Chatham-Kent, we are fortunate and blessed to have the capability of growing a vast variety of crops, and also for the many farmers and market operators who provide us with so many food products.
This summer, taste the real flavour of Chatham-Kent. We have lots to be thankful for and lots to be proud of. Let’s get behind our agricultural producers, wherever and whenever they set up market stands throughout our great community.
Agriculture in Chatham-Kent is a $3 Billion plus sector. Let’s keep this growing and growing. We all can be a part of this. Let’s show our support.
Think about this – Begin to weave and God will supply the thread. Just some food for thought.
Remember that here in Chatham-Kent ‘We Grow for the World’. Check out our community’s agricultural website at: www.wegrowfortheworld.com
Kim Cooper has been involved in the agribusiness sector for over 40 years. He can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org
You can also follow him on Twitter at ‘theAGguy’