Notes from The Farmer’s Daughter – Festivities at Furnace Falls Farm have Heart
Wendy Banks and her dedicated staff welcomed close to 1300 visitors to Furnace Falls Farm this past Sunday to celebrate the holidays with a festive European Style Christmas Market.
The event was the first public event held at the farm since the beginning of the pandemic, and in true community spirit, Wendy went out of her way to provide a day about giving back and supporting others.
Admission was free and included a complimentary hot cider and fresh popcorn. A courtyard bonfire and sweet sounds of live music performed by local singers and songwriters Tao Lynn Hipwell, Pat Johnson, and Billy MacInnis helped set the tone for the day as people took in the festivities.
A select list of vendors was invited to set up their hand-made wares indoors and out, with vendor fees by donation. Wendy also organized a fundraising opportunity for four area schools including Sweet’s Corners Elementary School, Pineview, South Crosby and Linklater involving ornaments created by the students, featured on their respective trees.
The tree raffle hosted by Furnace Falls Farm raised $600 with a matching $600 contribution by Maggie Ashton of Ashton Tax in Lyndhurst, resulting in $1200 to be split between the schools. Generosity, kindness, and community spirit could very easily have been the theme of the day at the farm.
Susie Mensen of Mensen Farm in Delta was set up outdoors with her farm’s fresh-cut Christmas Trees and lush evergreen wreaths. However, it was the donation draw on her table that Susie focused on promoting, raising funds for Brockville’s Homeless. The Mensen family is rallying to raise much-needed funds for those less fortunate this year.
A creative Elgin couple also took the opportunity to raise funds for a cause near and dear to their hearts, Homes for Heroes Foundation, while selling their unique creations. Keith Smith, a veteran, and his wife Lacie committed to donating 10% of their sales on Sunday to the foundation, helping to support military veterans who are facing crisis as they return to civilian life. Check out www.H4HF.ca for more info.
These gestures of kindness found throughout the event reflected the overall atmosphere of the celebrations that day. Though the temperature may have been freezing, everyone’s hearts radiated a warmth that enveloped the farm. They reminded us that the spirit of Christmas is in giving, and at the root of Furnace Falls Farm is family, food, fun and most of all, heart.