Shop Local and Support Farmers Markets

It is officially Farmer market season all across Canada. Depending on where you live, there most likely is a market within 30 minutes of you. If not, maybe there is a farmers stand or your local grocery store may feature local products. Either way, find out and check them out.

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From April to October farmers across Canada are harvesting all of their tasty fresh produce. They often bring it to the market and offer it to the locals for a fraction of the price you would pay in store. This is a great way to save on your family food budget, shop locally and get to know the people behind your food. You will not get it any fresher than this!

Even when traveling, I insist on visiting local markets. I love to taste what is grown locally and meet the people who work hard to do it. Many markets also carry fish and meat that is regional to the area. The markets always give me a sense of community and an opportunity to know more about the area.

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If you like to haggle and negotiate, markets are a great place to practice your skills. Shoppers love markets because they can buy top-quality farm-fresh products directly from the person who produced them—and can often find products they won’t find anywhere else.

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When at the market, if you see something you are not sure about. Ask if you can sample it. The farmers love to share their knowledge and often will educate you on the product while you have a taste. They will tell you how it is grown, how to store it and how to cook it at home.

If you are able to wait until end of day, you may find a deal on some of the foods. You are taking a chance, as they often sell out quick. But instead of loading up anything leftover, vendors will reduce prices and get rid of all that is leftover. Just be sure to bring cash! Many markets are a cash only facility as they are outside and can not accept electronic payments. This also helps keep prices down.

Another great tips, bring your own bags. Yes, many will have bags for you. However I find the bags to be thin and cheap. You will want a heavy duty canvas bag for your purchases.

Locally we have two markets close to us. A weekday farmers market that carries my favourite cider all season long. As well as a market that has more variety and carries pepperonis, produce and swap meet items. Both are a great way to spend the day and help support the local economy.

My final tip for market goers, have an open mind. You will most likely always find what is local and in season. However produce volume often changes and what they bring in may vary depending on weather and demand. So take your list, but be willing to be flexible in case what you went for is not available.

I am heading out to the market to stock up on what is in season. I will be freezing anything we can not use right away. I like to know where my food comes from and supporting my local economy is important to me. Plus it saves me so much money!

Do you have a favourite local market? When did you last shop there?

Comments

  1. I love supporting our local farmers. Plus, you can get some delicious produce at the farmers’ markets.

  2. I’m pretty sure that the farmers market in the city actually has a building it does this in now. Used to do it on saturdays in front of city hall but i’m almost 100% positive its on 11street now

  3. I love Farmers Markets! Better price on produce and other items than the actual store. Plus it is nice to just get out with the kids and enjoy the warm weather. Planning on going to one tomorrow!

  4. We easy lots of fresh fruits and vegetables and have a Farmer’s Market less than a mile from our house twice a week! Is awesome!

  5. I agree that Farmer’s markets are great. We live within blocks of multiple produce farmers. They sell their own products plus some from other local farmers. Love to buy the fresh local produce as it comes available!

  6. Elizabeth O says

    What you described, and your superb photos, are spot on about local produce found at farmer’s markets in the summer time. I buy from them and sample everything. The produce is fresh and the prices can’t be beat. Yum!

  7. Being right in Toronto there are lots of little markets and such on corners but I tend to like the bigger ones downtown! I love shopping local and supporting those in my community!

  8. I spent my formative years in East Africa and different places in Europe; up until recently, it was rare for people to purchase fresh fruits and vegetables in a grocery store, these items were all acquired at local outdoor markets. It’s a different world from that of North America, until recently… I have seen a real resurgence of excitement related to farmers markets and supporting local growers, but also a spin with healthy eating… I love my local markets; everything is always fresh, it always tastes better!

  9. I visited a farmer’s market on my recent trip, and that wasn’t something I’d done before while traveling. I LOVED it!

  10. I love, love, love farmers markets. You not only support the locals, but you get some amazing deals. It is the day of the week I look forward to most.

  11. Terri Baker says

    I love farmer’s markets and supporting local farmers. One of my favourite farmer’s markets is at Montgomery’s Inn in Etobicoke on Wednesdays.

  12. Elva Roberts says

    I love Farmers’ Markets. I don’t go as often as I like. We have had a Farmer’s Market in our small city for a few years now and I intend to visit more often this summer. I know the vegetables will be fresh and probably cheaper than the store.

  13. I’m a huge fan of farmer’s markets! We have several good ones close to us and whenever possible, I try to shop there instead of supermarkets. I really like that farmer’s markets have products your local grocery store might not have.

  14. I love farmers markets!! And I also love that our local grocery store has started to feature local produce as well 🙂

  15. Oh, yes, we appreciate all the fresh produce available at Farmers’ Markets and farm stands. There is one farm stand right on the way to our grocery store, so it’s quite convenient to stop there and get fresh veggies and fruit. Our local Hannaford market also features local growers with in-store displays, so we have a good selection of fresh produce either way!

  16. I’m a huge fan of farmers markets! My favorite one is only available May through October on Wednesdays and Saturdays, but there’s a decent one that is available year round. Also, don’t forget to bring cash. Some vendors will only take cash! 🙂

  17. Wendy Gage says

    I think it is very important to shop local and support our farmers

  18. Debbie S. says

    I love going to the Farmer’s Market for fresh veggies, fruit and baking. I have bought homemade pickles and jam and these lovely bath bombs.

  19. I try to shop local farmer markets but at times the selection is very limited.

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