It’s the time of year when farmers’ markets ramp up. While their peak season is likely the traditional harvest time of August through September, it’s fun to get out for a stroll in the open air and check out what’s on offer early in the year. Seedlings and potted herbs and flowers are available, as is maple syrup from the spring harvest, fresh baked goods, rhubarb, and green, but not white, asparagus. Mike even bought some early and expensive strawberries from the Niagara Region. But they were big, sweet and ripe, not the hard, sour half-white berries you might find in big grocery stores. Local products often have superior flavour.
Another pleasure of farmers’ markets is the socialization. While we barely nod at acquaintances in supermarkets, we stop and chat even with strangers at outdoor markets, especially if there’s a dog involved. There’s definitely something special about markets.
Three markets we’ve attended recently are Ottawa Street Farmers’ Market, open year-round in Hamilton, Downtown Georgetown Farmer’s Market, which opened just this past weekend, and Milton Farmer’s Market which opened on May 16.
There was a busy Milton Street Festival on June 6. Downtown Georgetown will hold Festival on Main this Sat. June 20. We hope to be there as well.
There is a lot going on in our communities in the warm seasons. Which farmers’ markets do you enjoy, and why?
You’ve reminded me of how much I enjoy visiting farmer’s markets. And it’s not just the food; it’s the experience.
As a child I went on a regular basis with my parents. I have fond memories of visiting the Hamilton Farmer’s Market – my dad leap-frogging over parking posts, aisles of produce and hanging chickens with clawed feet,the big, stripped umbrellas and all the people!
As a newly wed I kept up the tradition. But in the past few years, the local market has been replaced by the convenience of the local supermarket.
Of late, I’m getting back to the things that matter and that I love. Eating well and taking the time to choose and enjoy healthy, local produce is a priority again.
Oakville’s Organic Farmer’s Market is setting up this weekend beside the library. I’m looking forward to a visit … and maybe, like Mike, I’ll snag some delicious strawberries.
Didn’t know Ontario strawberries are already available. They always taste like strawberries. These from USA are big, beautiful, like glossy picture in hi-end magazine. And they taste like chewing a picture.
We have entered our second year of Market on the Green, St. John’s Anglican Church, Rockwood, whereby we hope to keep growing our local food movement and artisans’ creations. Last year’s Market was once a month and in 2009 the Market runs every two weeks, coordinated with St. Alban’s Anglican, Acton, running on our off weeks. Acton’s first market is June 20, 8am-12noon, Rockwood’s next is June 27, 8am-12noon.
No strawberries yet… but plenty of greens, asparagus, honey, maple syrup, meats and more!
There are a number of good farmers’ markets near where I live in the Beaver Valley–Collingwood, Meaford and Owen Sound are all great, and they are getting better every year, but the one I really enjoy is the Keady Market, 16 kms southwest of Owen Sound. The outdoor market is open every Tuesday, May-September, from 7a.m. to 2p.m.. It is a good family outing, especially in the summer when there are up to 250 vendors present selling anything from fresh produce to sausages, home baking to garden plants. There are also three livestock auctions beginning at 9 a.m., so if you were ever thinking of raising backyard chickens or Muscovy ducks…. Check out their web site at http://www.keadylivestock.com.
Hope to check out St. Alban’s in Acton this weekend. Thanks for the info.