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What a fantastic season it has been at Withrow Park Farmers Market! After a long year of being stuck indoors and isolated from the community, our farmers market was able to operate this season with some form of normality. Connecting the community to those who grow their food, providing opportunities for education and generating greater social capital within the Withrow Park community – it is our volunteers who bring these visions to life and what makes our farmers market great! We have been extremely fortunate to have a group of dedicated, thoughtful and hard-working volunteers who make up this year’s volunteer team. Let’s meet some of our wonderful volunteers!

Meet Mae!

Mae is our trusty seed librarian. Running the seed library, Mae helps facilitate the trading of a variety of plant species and promotes urban agriculture, pollinator-friendly habitats and biodiversity in our community. She comes to the market each week with new and exciting activities for our patrons to participate in to learn more about local plant life. Notably, she held various seed fermentation demonstrations throughout the season to educate community members on how to properly save certain seeds! Enthusiastic, creative and knowledgeable, Mae has been an exceptional addition to our team!

What drove you to want to volunteer at Withrow Park Farmers’ Market?

I really enjoyed coming to the market as a customer last summer when I moved in this neighbourhood. I loved positive vibes around the market and the idea of supporting local farmers and small businesses, so this year, I decided to get involved more and support the market in a different way!

What is your favourite thing about volunteering with us?

My favourite thing about volunteering at the market is a positive interaction with the community members and other volunteers. Especially at the Seed Library where I mostly engage with visitors, I always learn new things about gardening and seed saving from them. It makes me happy to know that we consider sustainable lifestyle and local biodiversity by growing flowers and vegetables at home in this community. I also love to see different kinds of dogs enjoying the Saturday mood. Sun, happy dogs and smiley human faces are my favourite combination at the market!

Tell us a little bit about yourself! What are your hobbies and interests?

I am a fourth-year International Studies student at Glendon College, York University. When I am not catching up on assignments for school, you can find me baking, gardening, biking and cross-stitching. I also love trees, so you will see me walking around the neighbourhood and identifying trees. My favourite tree is Tulip-Tree which you can also find in Withrow Park. If you are also a tree person, I would love to know about your favourite tree!

Meet Katherine!

Katherine is joining us as a volunteer for the first time this year! Taking on the role of managing our merchandise table, Katherine has excelled at promoting our market merch to our patrons with enthusiasm and precision. When Katherine is not at the market, you can find her watching football (or should I say ‘soccer’) and cheering for her team back in England. An avid cook and baker, Katherine loves to try new things, making the market a perfect place to spark culinary creativity. Thank you for all your hard work and enthusiasm this season!

What drove you to want to volunteer at Withrow Park Farmers’ Market?

I had been looking for a volunteer opportunity within my local community, and having been familiar with Withrow Market as a visitor, was excited to have the chance to support a resource in my own neighbourhood. I had also been looking to get out of the house during the pandemic – volunteering is an excellent way to do that!

What is your favourite thing about volunteering with us?

Couldn’t possibly pick just one! I love working with small growers/producers – in particular the opportunity to interact directly with the people making the products available at Withrow. Some products are entirely new to me, so it’s great to try all the different things our vendors offer! As a relatively new (ish) immigrant, it can be hard to meet new people (particularly under current circumstances), so I love the chance to meet other volunteers and work with them to not only support Withrow Market but also to contribute my own ideas for improvement. Also, momos. Momos are amazing.

Tell us a little bit about yourself! What are your hobbies and interests?

I’ve been living in Canada for about five years and have two cats. Interests – soccer (playing/watching), baking, and cooking. I’ve learned to make ramen and gyoza from scratch during lockdown!

Meet Mary!

Mary has been a regular at the market for the past three years! Wearing many different hats, Mary has done it all – from creating the newsletter each week, setting up the market, to greeting customers at the front entrance with a huge smile. She always arrives eager and willing to help out with whatever tasks need attention. Working in communications outside of the market, Mary has a way with words, always including quirky food puns in our weekly newsletter. An authentic and genuine woman, Mary has become like family at the market and we are beyond grateful for her dedication. 

What drove you to want to volunteer at Withrow Park Farmers’ Market?

I started volunteering in the summer of 2019, and I was looking for a way to meet new people and to give back. I immediately felt very at home at Withrow — and I just love markets! I worked at markets during my school years (a total of 9 seasons) and there’s really nothing else like it — nothing really connects people like food.

What is your favourite thing about volunteering with us?

Withrow Market is a really inventive, creative place. I feel inspired all the time by volunteers, vendors, community partners and staff coming up little innovations — whether it’s a better way to set up tents, a way of reducing waste, a beautiful sign, or an addictive recipe for peach jam. I just love watching (and tasting!) what people come up with, learning and getting to be a part of it. 

Tell us a little bit about yourself! What are your hobbies and interests?

I like to learn and try new things! These days in my spare time I’m learning French and playing my first ever season of softball. I also really love stories, language, performance and art.


Withrow Park Farmers’ Market would like to thank all of the wonderful volunteers for their hard work this season and are beyond grateful for your support! Interested in getting involved? Learn more about volunteer opportunities here.