The best thing of all is that in Ontario, the Farmers Markets are now coming to us! Markets are popping up in school and mall parking lots and city parks to name a few. This is creating a win win for consumers and farmers alike. Buying local fresh products has never been easier and the farmers are better connected with their consumers who love what they sell and appreciate their hard work.
Most Farmers markets are in our communities weekly from May to October. Check your local listings for one close to you.
Another related trend that I noticed is that more and more of my customers are interested in planting a veggie garden or at least incorporating some veggie or herbs plants in their gardens and back yards.
Garden-store retailers have reported increased sales in vegetable seeds over the past two years. “Our sales have skyrocketed,” said George Ball, chief executive of Burpee, one of the largest vegetable-seed retailers. For the first time in history seed sales for vegetables has surpassed seed sales for flowers.
If you are like me and find the idea of seed starting daunting, then buying your own veggie plants is a great alternative. Most nurseries stock a great variety. And you don’t have to commit to a large vegetable garden space either. They can be easily planted in a sunny part of your existing garden between existing plants or in containers. I have 2 containers in my backyard that I grow cherry tomatoes and chives and dill around the base.
My next goal in going local is garlic! We all love it and we all cook with it but did you know that most fresh garlic sold in grocery stores comes from China? Keep an eye out for locally grown garlic when you visit a farmers market near you. Or better yet plant some in your garden. It is easy to grow and nothing beats cooking with something you have grown yourself!
So whether your goal is to become a full fledged locavore or whether you are interested in making some small changes in your food planning to get some of your food closer to home, I hope this article gave you some ideas.