It is difficult to describe what I felt after my morning at the Wychwood Barns farmer market. It was not only an interesting learning experience, but it truly opened my eyes to how one can have a relationship with what they put on their plate.
I found the market to be an absolutely beautiful thing. Surrounded by beautiful colours in each direction, with people from your community all gathering to admire and take part in what we all love best: eating and cooking. I cannot imagine anything nicer than a warm autumn Saturday morning with freshly ground coffee, walking through a huge market of Ontario’s goods, not being able to pick what you want because there’s so many new and exciting fruits and vegetables to pick from. Never have I been excited when walking into a grocery store. Honestly, they almost make me sad now. But after the market, I was absolutely ecstatic, and so pumped to make the trip a part of my life.
With the convenience of grocery stores we tend to forget where our food comes from. Farmer’s markets allows you to speak to farmers, understand where their food comes from, how they farm it, how the season is going, what difficulties they are experiencing… Its a way of understanding how your food makes it to you. I see it as becoming closer to your country and the land we live on.
It is additionally a way of getting extremely fresh ingredients. Your eggs have not sat on the shelf for weeks on end. Your beautiful produce has not been sprayed, dyed, and forced to grow on a plane or ship on its way to the grocery store. At the market, your eggs were laid last week. Your produce was grown naturally and picked by farmers who live to deliver freshness. The bread was just baked. The meat and fish is of a higher quality. The benefits of buying from Ontario farmers are endless.
I’ve been inspired to think past going to the store and buying packaged or frozen goods to come home and eat. I now aspire to put more effort into where I buy my food, how its made and what I’m going to make. It starts at the farm in the hands of our Ontario farmers, and then makes it way onto my plate. That journey should be a magical experience.
Wychwood Barns hosts one of the many farmers markets across the province and in the city. I’d like to emphasize that buying fresh foods and not necessarily entering into a routine of going to the grocery store is something that everyone has access to. Even if you do not do all your shopping there, just to check it out and maybe speak to some farmers, its worth it. There are markets now in the GTA that go all year round so you don’t have to fear the winter.
For more information and links to all the markets in the city go to: