Aug 05, 2020

In this summer of cancellations and virtual events, at least the smell of the stinky rose will be live and in person.

The Verona Garlic Festival, which has been rebranded as the Verona Lion’s Annual Garlic Farmer’s Market will take place, rain or shine, on Saturday, September 5 from 9am until 3pm.

It will not be exactly like other years, however.

“The set up will be like an outdoor grocery store,” said Doreen Morey, festival organiser for the Verona Lions Club, “vendors and people attending the garlic farmer’s market will need to wear masks, and it will be a one way shopping experience with a capacity of 100 shoppers at a time.”

One way of keeping the numbers down is a limit of one person per family to the market, and there will be no sampling either.

“It will be different than a normal year, that’s for sure,” said Morey, “and we could have canceled entirely, but we thought we could make it happen, and after talking numerous times with KFL&A Public Health and working through all of the guidelines for Farmer’s Markets, we decided to go ahead with it,” she said.

The number of vendors will be lower this year, at just over 20, and there will be no artisans or crafters at all, just food producers. Although it is mainly garlic growers, there will be other produce, jams and jelly’s, and Barb’s Perogies as well, but only to take home, not to eat on site.

“We will have water and pop available to drink on site, but not food. There will be no hot dog truck, no ice cream and we will not be using the hall,” she said.

What there will be, is garlic, which is what people who love to eat garlic are looking, and what local gardeners wanting to try growing different varieties are looking for as well.

“Almost all of the garlic growers, except for a couple from down towards Windsor, will be here,” she said.

The Eastern Ontario Garlic Awards, which were organised by the late Paul Pospisil, will not happen this year either, but they will be back next year, Morey assures.

Look to these pages in late August for more details about the Verona Garlic Farmer’s Market.

And mark September 5 on your calendar. The popular garlic festivals in Perth and Carp are not happening this year, so Verona offers one of the only opportunities, aside from farm gate sales, to get a good supply of garlic and garlic products for the long winter to come.

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