by Saman Shaikh, RD., M.Sc., Leeds, Grenville and Lanark District Health Unit
Summer is the best time to explore the Farmer’s Markets in your area. Spring and summer in Ontario are amazing growing seasons for local farmers, and your neighbourhood farmer’s market is a great place to get these lovely local treasures directly from them. When you buy at the farmer’s market, the transaction is directly between you and the producer, so you’re eliminating the grocery store as the middle-man. This way, you can get fresh and tasty food, support your local economy, and help reduce greenhouse emissions. If you’re a producer or vendor, farmer’s markets are a great way to showcase and sell your products directly to your customers for the same benefits.
At farmer’s markets, you can find a wide variety of fresh, in season fruits, vegetables, herbs, as well as local meats, eggs, dairy, fish, and legumes. There are also other products available, such as beverages, preserves, honey, arts and crafts, and prepared food and baked good vendors. There may also be vendors showcasing foods and products from different cultures, giving you the opportunity to try something new.
When you go the farmer’s market, not only do you get the social experience of exploring and being involved in what your local community has to offer, the local vendors at markets are also a wealth of knowledge in the products they sell. For food products, they can give you excellent advice about storing and cooking methods, or to help you grow or produce your own.
For more information, visit our website at healthunit.org, call us at 1-800-660-5853 or connect with us on Facebook and Twitter. To find a farmer’s market in your area, visit farmersmarketsontario.com.