If spring has you itching for local food, youre in luck - May spells the beginning of the farmers market season.
If you’re itching to ditch the cardboard-tasting strawberries and tomatoes of conventional supermarkets, you’re in luck—May spells the beginning of the farmers’ market season.
The many benefits of shopping at farmers’ markets include
- supporting the local economy, your community, and small-scale farmers
- chatting with growers directly, to learn more about where your food comes from
- enjoying the freshest and most nutritious food you can buy (as most of it is picked the day of or the day before, and never had to be shipped long distances)
- knowing that the food, being local, has a much smaller environmental footprint being adventurous and trying new, heirloom, or local varieties
- participating in the slow food movement
Make sure to bring
- baskets or reusable bags, including those for produce
- cash (including small change), as some smaller stands don’t accept cards
- your family and friends—make it a fun outing!
Other tips for a great shopping experience
- Don’t limit yourself—although produce may be star of the show, farmers’ markets boast other products, including preserves, baked goods, natural pet treats, handmade toys and clothes, candles, herbs, body care products, honey, and much more.
- Come early! The early bird gets the worm, so to speak; a lot of produce gets picked over early on.
- Chat with vendors, ask questions, and make connections; you may be surprised at what you learn. And don’t be afraid to ask about how to cook strange-looking vegetables you’re unfamiliar with.
- Dress for the weather. As many farmers’ markets are open rain or shine, bring an umbrella, sweater, and comfy shoes.
- Certain vendors appreciate being given extra containers (such as egg cartons or small plastic baskets for berries). If you have any lying around that you don’t know what to do with, ask if they accept them.
Find a farmers’ market near you
There are farmers’ markets all across Canada! Check out Farmers Markets Canada to find one near you.