May marks the beginning of the farmers’ market season. Your weekly market starts up, familiar faces reappear, and your neighbourhood is reenergized after the long winter months.
It may be worth visiting a new Greenbelt destination each Saturday of this month.
Start with the Milton Farmers’ Market which opened this Saturday, May 12th. Next weekend you’re over the Creemore Farmers’ Market, followed by Aberfoyle Farmers’ Market or East Gwillimbury Farmers’ Market opening on May 26th.
Don’t worry - the action doesn’t stop in June. Consider dropping in on theDowntown Georgetown Farmers’ Market on June 9th for their Biscuits and Berries Festival. They’ll be selling locally made biscuits and strawberries with whipped cream, with all the proceeds donated to their local food bank.
If you’re in Toronto, there’s lots happening on the farmers’ market front. After a successful pilot season last year, the Toronto Botanical Gardens Organic Farmers’ Market is launching a bigger and better market this year, which opens May 24th. What a great way to spend a Thursday evening - eating fresh food and going for a walk in Toronto’s Botanical Gardens, located at 777 Lawrence Avenue East.
A few new Toronto markets to add to your rotation this year:
- Farmer’s Market 707 is opening May 23 at Scadding Court (Dundas & Bathurst)
- Junction Farmers’ Market, is opening Saturday, June 2nd, and is located in the Green P Lot at Pacific Avenue
- AppleTree in the Village is opening on Tuesday, June 5th at Rowlands Park (northeast corner of Mount Pleasant and Davisville)
Let's not forget some of Toronto’s more established farmers’ markets, including Trinity-Bellwoods Farmers’ Market opening Tuesday, May 15th and Montgomery’s Inn Farmer’s Market opening Wednesday, May 23rd.
If those don’t satisfy your farmers’ markets cravings, I don’t know what will.
All of these markets are part of the Greenbelt Farmers’ Market Network. The Network is now in its third year of operation, and continues to make sure all of its markets hit the ground running come May and June by providing support to over eighty farmer’s market and market managers in and around the Greenbelt.
Recently the Network held their annual Market Manager Day, where they brought in a special guest Darlene Wolnik – and independent consultant for public markets – to give the keynote address on innovative ways farmers’ markets can grow and thrive. Wolnik, a New Orleans' resident and market organizer, also shared a moving story of how the farmers' market helped to bring together community and local food after the devestation of Hurricane Katrina.The Market Managers Day was a huge success, with many managers attending and sharing their experiences with each other. The Network will also be supporting Farmers’ Markets in holding special events, so keep your eyes peeled at your local market.
By the time you finish reading this a new farmers market will have opened in the Greenbelt.
- Bronwyn Whyte, Programs Officer