BRIGHTON, ON, June 3, 2019 /CNW/ - Local Food Week is the annual kick-off to the outdoor farmers' market season, when Ontario growers and their just-picked produce return to communities large and small throughout the province.
Although the wet spring has delayed crops in some areas, others are right on schedule. According to Catherine Clark, Executive Director of Farmers' Markets Ontario, "At the majority of markets, you'll find an abundance of spring crops like fresh asparagus and rhubarb, and some farmers have begun harvesting their strawberries."
Other early-season crops to look for at your local farmers' market are the ones that usher in the season for salads: lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, green onions, spinach, peppers, beets, cabbage, new potatoes, parsnips and (possibly) baby carrots. But farmers' markets aren't just about fresh local produce. They're also about homemade jams and jellies, delectable baked goods, fragrant botanicals, honey, maple syrup, gourmet cheese, farm-fresh eggs, locally raised meats and even VQA wines.
Food isn't the only reason farmers' markets are so popular in Ontario. Clark points out that: "They bring the city and the country together and get everyone talking about food. They're also good for the environment, since locally grown food produces a much smaller carbon footprint than food that is transported long distances to reach our plates."
Farmers' markets are immensely important to the estimated 37,000 families in Ontario that are engaged in local agriculture, providing them with needed income and summer jobs for their children. Many farmers are entitled to identify themselves as MyPick® Verified Local Farmers®. It means that they have been visited and verified by Farmers' Markets Ontario (FMO) as local growers who sell only what they produce on their own farms. The MyPick® designation sets them apart from vendors masquerading as local growers but who are in fact re-sellers of produce from a variety of sources, often imported and/or purchased at food terminals.
You can find locations and operating hours of member markets of Farmers' Markets Ontario, as well as information on MyPick® Verified Local Farmers® at farmersmarketsontario.com.
Farmers' Markets Ontario® is the voice of Ontario's farmers' markets and their traditions, committed to leadership, development, management and promotion.
SOURCE Farmers' Markets Ontario
For further information: Catherine Clark, Executive Director, Farmers' Markets Ontario®, [email protected], 1-800-387-FARM (3276).