Photos by Hamlin Grange
I’m a sucker for certain things.
Like autumn days, farmers markets, natural products and villages.
So I’m smiling as I write this. A huge smile.
My husband and I recently visited one of Ontario’s best-preserved villages: Unionville, northeast of Toronto. Founded in 1794, Unionville’s charm draws visitors from far and wide.
But for the families who live here, it’s home.
Some of our friends have lived here for decades – so Unionville is a very familiar place.
There are restaurants and specialty shops on the main street.
An art gallery, churches and a square with live music every summer.
One of our favourite spots is the farmers’ market. Held outdoors in the summer, it moves indoors into the old Stiver Mill in the fall.
Here, one can buy a wide variety of products – such as honey, fruit preserves and baked goods….
Trout, sausages and other smoked fish and meat….
Goodies galore and vendors with interesting stories.
That’s one of the reasons I like farmers’ markets: the people selling the products are often the same ones who grew or made them. They’re usually happy to chat.
Hilda Crick-McDermott worked for an international chain of luxury hotels and traveled to many parts of the world.
When her son developed a skincare ailment called Kawasaki disease, she started making natural products for his skin.
“I struggled to find a natural product good enough to help my eczema-ridden kids, yet pure enough to be trusted for their dry and sensitive skin. I even wrote to a skin care manufacturer asking for help, but that resulted in rejection.”
That rejection led to extensive research and eventually, a whole line of products, made by hand. Some ingredients used are: coconut oil, shea butter, peppermint and lavender.
Yes — I tried Hilda’s products. They really are as soothing and fragrant as she says. They’re not cheap, but a little goes a long way.
Facing challenges, some see opportunity. Hilda seems likes such a person.
Her three children have done enormously well in school, she says contentedly.
Somehow, I was not surprised when she quietly added: “They were home-schooled.”
**Dedicated to all resourceful people.**
More about Stiver Mill Farmers’ Market:
More about SpaHket products: