Renfrew remains one of three strong Taste of the Valley hosts, but a fourth community is entering the marketplace.
The program kicked off in 2007 to promote the sale of locally grown or made products.
Following a successful, every-second-weekend farmers market in the summer and fall of 2012, Deep River is joining hosts Renfrew, Barry’s Bay and Cobden.
The dates of the 2013 Taste of the Valley events are Barry’s Bay, Aug. 16; Renfrew, Sept. 21; Deep River, Oct. 5; and Cobden, Oct. 19.
Cobden has been by far the most successful host of the program that markets local products, whether they’re sweaters, recreational offerings, fruit, produce, dairy products, meat, honey or a wide variety of other items.
Deep River was added as the fourth host following the evaluation of submissions for Taste of the Valley events in 2013.
The committee also received strong submissions from Killaloe and Eganville, said Renfrew County business development officer Craig Kelley.
The program is also undergoing some changes, as the county trades co-ordinating role for a supportive role, as the hosts are asked to become the chief operators.
The cost per exhibitor’s booth is also rising, after no fee changes since the program’s inception. Indoor booth rentals will jump from $50 to $75; outdoor booths from $25 to $50.
Renfrew will be participating for the third consecutive year. Past participants no longer involved with Taste of the Valley are Petawawa and Arnprior.
“Taste of the Valley has been one of our biggest successes,” said Kelley. “We’re doing what it was meant to do, by encouraging local markets.
“Now I would say there are local markets in almost every community (in the county). The local-food movement has taken hold.”
Deep River has a chance to do that after its successful farmers market attracted growers from across the county, said Kelley.
Taste of the Valley will continue to be sponsored by the county and Pro Tyre of Renfrew, while the hosts, in Kelley’s words, will become the “foot soldiers” for parking, registration and other logistics.
Meanwhile, the agricultural economic development committee is developing another long-term project to be unveiled at a later date.