Thursday, July 7, 2011

10 Reasons to Shop at Your Local Farmers' Market

Yesterday I finally made it down to Kenora's Farmers' Market. I can't believe it was the third week of the market and I just got to it this week. Going down to the Harbourfront on Wednesdays is one of my favourite things to do in the summer. During the winter the fruit and veggies that are available in Northwestern Ontario have come from far away and are not very fresh by the time they get here. But come summer, the local farmer's bring their goods down to the tent so we can have fresh vegetables just as if we had grown them ourselves. For me, there's nothing as good as biting into a freshly picked carrot. Since my failed attempt at gardening a few years back, I really look forward to biting into the fresh locally grown veggies and fruit.

Jewelery is always a hit.

The Farmer's Market has grown over the last few years to include much more than the fruit and vegetables that I so desire. There are food vendors, Aboriginal Arts & Crafts, Meats, Preserves, Honey, Baked Goods, Arts & Crafts, Sewing, Spices. My dog Reuben loves me every Wednesday as I bring him home a beef bone from one of the vendors. Each and every Wednesday I say to my co-worker, I am not buying any baking this time. But, wouldn't you know it, I get down there and the smell of freshly baked goods gets to me every time. Yesterday a delicious pecan brownie from a new company called the Kenora Brownie Company kept calling my name. It definitely hit the spot.  The Kenora's Farmers' Market is on the Harbourfront every Wednesday from 9am-2pm. 

Many other communities in Sunset Country have Farmers Markets as well. There's the Northwest Farmer's Market in Sioux Lookout. The next one is on July 15th and then runs bi-weekly until the end of September. The market is from 10am-2pm at Centennial Park.

Cloverbelt Country Farmers' Market strives to have only local produce represented, giving you a taste and experience unique to Dryden and its surrounding area. There is also farm fresh produce and meats, home made preserves and baking, and handmade arts and crafts. The Oxdrift Market began June 18 and is located in the Oxdrift Hall. It is open Saturdays 9am-12pm. They also have a second location starting July 7th in Dryden. You can find the Dryden Market in the Dryden Arena parking lot every second Thursday from 3-6pm.

The Clover Valley Farmers’ Market (CVFM) has operated a successful Farmers’ Market for over 22 years. From May to October it's open from 9am-1pm. November and December the Clover Valley Farmers’ Market becomes a local foods and craft store running multiple days a week. The market is housed in a distinctive red building located at 411 McIrvine Road (right behind Canadian Tire) in Fort Frances.

Red Lake Farmers' Market is held once a month from 10am-2pm in the Legion parking lot. Look for products from local farms on July 23, August 20 and September 24. In Sioux Narrows there is a Fresh Vegetable Stand next to the Boutique Soleil on Highway 71 near the Travel Information Centre. It is set up every Wednesday from about 8am until 11am. Rainy River Farmer's Market is held Wednesdays from 4pm-6:30pm at the Heritage Square on Atwood Ave.

Pick up some plants for your garden or homemade preserves.

Why should you visit these Farmers Market?
Here are the top 10 reasons.

  1. Taste real flavours of fruits and vegetables. There is no doubt that locally-grown foods just simply taste better.
  2. Meet the farmers who grow your food. You can ask for advice when it was picked, how it was grown or ways to prepare it.
  3. Protect the environment. The closeness of the farms does not require us to waste energy and gas to ship the food half-way around the world.
  4. Support local economy by supporting the farmers, artists, bakers and other vendors.
  5. Eat seasonally. By shopping at local farmer's markets you are eating produce at it's peak. They are fresh and ripe and loaded with nutrients.
  6. Home-made baking. Do I need to say more?
  7. Connect with your Community.
  8. Meet up with friends, old and new. Chat with seasonal visitors.
  9. Pick up some perogies and you don't have to cook supper tonight.
  10. It's just plain fun!

For more information on these towns and cities listed above, please visit our website focusing on the communities in Sunset Country

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