It’s my Saturday morning ritual to head down to my Local Farmers’ Market to get my Produce for the week. I love the early morning, not a lot of people are at the Market early, so your pickings are premium. Here are a few reasons why I believe you should Support your Local Farmers Market:
Enjoying Each Season at the Market:
As I write this, it’s Fall or Autumn here in Toronto, and with the Weather turning more Crisp, it’s kind of nice to bundle up and head down to my Local Farmers’ Market, and check out the Farmers’ tables that are stacked with Colourful Fresh, Organic and Wild-Crafted Produce and other interesting Edibles. When you get close, the Farmers are busily rubbing their hands to keep warm, but once they see you, their smiles warmly greet you.
As with Seasons, Farmers Markets’ Produce are Seasonal. Knowing what’s in Season can help when you are planning Meals and wanting to maximize the Season for those particular foods. It’s also a great way to connect with the Cycles of Nature in your Region. Each Season, I’m excited knowing what’s going to be available and look forward to working with the ‘In-Season’ Fruits, Vegetables and Wild-Crafted Foods. Fall is one of my favorite Seasons because I’m a huge lover of Radishes!!! Here’s a little Ontario Produce Guide for October:
Knowing Where your Food comes from:
I love to talk to Farmers and Food Artisans and ask them many questions about when they picked their crop for the day’s Market, or how they make their Fermented Sauerkraut, or how far they have to drive to get to the Market, or why they started Farming Organically, or their growing methods, or how long they have been Certified Organic. There is no question they won’t eagerly answer, and asking these Hard-working People questions, not only informs you of where your Food comes from, but also connects you even more to how and where your Food is produced.
Support Family Farmers:
I’m always amazed that these dedicated Farmers are up at the crack of dawn to pack up their trucks and get down to the Market (mine is the Evergreen Brick Works in Toronto), set up and be ready by 8:00am when the Market opens. These Family Farmers need your Support, especially since Large Agribusiness GMO dominates Conventional Food production. Buying directly from the Farmer, gives them a better return for their Produce and gives them a fighting chance against Mainstream Food sold in Conventional Grocery Stores. They Work Hard; Toil the Soil; Improve the Environment; Keep us Healthy, are Passionate about their Food, and, Love what they do. I have supported my Local Farmers’ Markets for years, and remember when it seemed that only I and a handful of other people, were the only ones buying the produce! I still support them and will continue to buy from a Farmer anyday, over buying from a Grocery Store. It’s also a lot safer to buy directly from a Farmer than often from a Grocery Store. I’ve seen a difference in the Farmers’ Market at the Brickworks over the years. Now Many Families, People, Kids and their Dogs, are making going to the Market, an Event.
Fresh is Best:
At a Farmers’ Market, the Produce is Grown Locally, and usually picked and/or prepared, either the day before or the day of, so you know everything is Fresh and Ripe. You just can’t get any Fresher than from a Farmers’ Market (unless you grow it yourself), especially since these Farmers bring their produce into the Market themselves with no days wasted in transit and therefore, very few wasted Nutrients. Most Grocery Stores buy in Bulk and by the time the Produce is transported to the Store, a few days have lapsed.
Waking up your Taste Buds:
There is no doubt that Locally-Grown Foods just taste better. Organically or Low-Spray Produce tastes like Food used to taste. The Odd Shapes, and Imperfections add to their Character. It’s great to have the Farmer slice off a piece of Peach that was picked from the tree the day before, and offer it to you from his knife. It tastes Fresh and Sweet, and it just Dances with your Taste Buds. I will tell you this for sure, once you buy a Carrot from the Market with the Greens still on them (Use the Stems for Juicing), Clean the Carrot and bite into it, you will never be able to buy a Conventional Carrot from a Grocery Store again! It just simply does not taste the same.
I’d rather be shivering a bit, walking around the Market and connecting with Like-Minded people that are excited about Locally-Grown Produce, then standing in line in a Grocery Store with Unnatural Lighting, Perfectly shaped Food all lined up and wondering which Food isn’t going to kill me slowly with the Chemicals it has laced in it.
Get up Early (the Early Bird gets the Best Pickings), Get out with your Family, Friends and Dogs, and head down to your Local Farmers’ Market. If for nothing else, an Organic Hot Chocolate or Coffee! Your Mind, Body, Spirit and Taste Buds will thank you.