If you are a regular reader of this blog, you know I am a huge fan of farmers’ markets. It just feels great on so many levels to support local growers and producers and to eat foods that come from Nova Scotia.
Here are a few reasons why I love supporting local so much:
1. The food is fresher and organic. In my experience, it usually tastes better.
2. Products can cost less than those imported from far away places.
3. Local organic food has less impact on the environment.
4. You can talk directly to the people who grow and farm the food.
5. There is a huge variety and you can eat according to the seasons.
6. You support the local economy and families.
Right now, our farmers’ markets are at their peak. The summer harvest has so much goodness to offer. Strawberries are out and there’s an abundance of dark leafy greens like swiss chard, kale, spinach, asian greens and a variety of lettuces.
This is definitely the time of year for fresh salads. Top those greens with tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, onions and fresh herbs.
We’re starting to see peas – shell, snap and snow peas are my favourites. Zucchini, broccoli, beans, carrots, beets, eggplant and the summer squashes are here or coming soon.
We have corn, cherries, peaches and blueberries to look forward to later in the summer.
When I travel around and tell people about the abundance of local food grown in Nova Scotia, they are amazed. We are so fortunate to have so many dedicated and innovative farmers and producers who grow a wide variety of fruit and vegetables.
There is no shortage of farmers’ markets around the province to choose from.
An email I received last week from the Farmer’s Markets of Nova Scotia said Nova Scotia has the most farmers’ markets per capita in Canada. There are more than 1,500 vendors selling their products and produce at more than 40 farmers’ markets across the province. Lucky we are, indeed.
Here’s a list of other year round farmers’ markets:
• Cape Breton Farmers’ Market, Sydney River
• Greenwood Mall Farmers’ Market, Greenwood
• Hammonds Plains Farmers’ Market, Hammonds Plains
• Lunenburg Farmers’ Market, Lunenburg
• Musquodoboit Harbour Farmers’ Market, Musquodoboit Harbour
• Partners for Care Farmers’ Market, VG Hospital, Halifax
• Wolfville Farmers’ Market, Wolfville
• Yarmouth Farmers’ Community Market, Yarmouth
I know many others are popping up one to two days a week now that the summer harvest is here. So what are you waiting for? Get on out to a farmers market today. It’s food, as real as it gets.
Over to you. What’s your favourite farmers’ market? What summer local produce do you look forward to the most?
This post originally appeared here in the Halifax Citizen on July 11, 2016.