Never mind the unpredictable weather of late, the return of Wildflowers Farm’s Friday Night Market on June 3, 2022 is a sure sign of summer.
“We just have to trust Mother Nature does what she needs to,” Jane Magri said in a recent interview. Jane and her husband Chuck Magri are co-owners of Wildflowers Farm.
“Running events for 10 years and relying on weather is not the easiest,” she added, “but one thing we are forever in awe of are the silver linings – like dancing in the rain, witnessing rainbows, gratitude for when the sun does come out – and the commitment our community has to show up regardless of what the weather is doing.”
The Magris are gearing up now for the crowds expected when about two dozen vendors – many providing ready-to-eat meals – take over their acreage at 42338 Fruit Ridge Line, St. Thomas.
“We’re getting people now from across southwestern Ontario,” added Jane. She said nearly 70 per cent of people each week are Market newcomers. “They’re coming for day trips.
“They stop, grab some dinner, sit on one of our patios, relax and have one of our botanical cocktails,” she said. “The kids chase chickens while their parents listen to live music. It’s a lot of fun for everyone.”
Adults have come to appreciate Wildflowers’ botanical cocktails, with flavors from the farm. “They’re very unique to us,” said Magri, a registered herbalist. Bourbon peach smashes are “one of our favorites,” and there are also beverages called the solstice rose, bees’ knees, and secret garden. “We’ve very much created a draw.”
Wildflowers Farm’s Friday Night Market got its start during the pandemic, when the Horton Farmers’ Market was unable to open due to health care restrictions. Wildflowers had been a regular vendor at Horton’s, and the Magris thought, “hey, we have a space, let’s try it out, except let’s try it on a Friday night and make it more of an evening thing.”
The Friday Night Market will continue on Fridays, from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m., June 3, 2022 to October 7, 2022.
Starting Friday, June 24, 2022, the monthly Market After Dark will launch for the season, running from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. The first After Dark theme is Vintage Vinyl. DJ Zahra Habib will spin some tunes for dancers. Admission is free.
The Market After Dark summer lineup includes: Blooms and Brews, with craft beers, on July 22, 2022; Island Vibes, with Caribbean music and vendors, on August 26, 2022; Taco Fest on September 23, 2022; and the County Fair on October 7, 2022.
“We’re trying to add interest in the market and make it an experience,” said Magri.
The 11th Annual Summer Solstice Festival will be held on June 18, 2022, from 3 p.m. to 9 p.m. It’s a full day of live bands, art installations and experiences, herb walks and botanical cocktails.
The festival started in a casual way 12 years ago, when her musical husband performed with and for some friends. The last two festivals were cancelled due to the pandemic. Advanced tickets cost $30. It’s $35 at the door. Children 12 years old and under are free.
Jane and Chuck opened the nine-acre farm to the community eight years ago. She’s a registered herbalist and Ayurvedic yoga teacher, with a passion for blending both eastern and western healing modalities. He is a beekeeper, with a passion for gardening. The Magris erected a barn in 2018 to host weddings and special events.