Farmers Market, as per Google:
noun. a food market at which local farmers sell fruit and vegetables and often meat, cheese, and bakery products directly to consumers.
Walking in St.Jacobs, Waterloo, Ontario – not only do you see local pastries and food, you tend to see deals such as $5 for 5 boxes of strawberries. You look closer and you see “Grown in California”. Were farmer markets not about supporting the local farms and communities. Since when did we start importing goods from a place 4000+km?! It is a Mennonite community there and so you can see the authenticity in half the produce there.
Don’t get me wrong as I love going there and think that everyone should visit that area. I’m just questioning some vendors more than others. Whereas, when I went to California, it felt as if their farmers’ market was more local. They are in a climate and location where most goods are produced, so I can understand why. With that being said, does that mean that a Farmers’ Market cannot be set up everywhere? If they can, I suppose they would lack variety if limited to only what their climate permits?
In smaller towns, I find that you have “that feeling” you should get when you enter the market. The connection it builds with the communities can be described in the following quote on why farmers love farmers’ markets:
Farmers love them because they’re fun and let them connect with consumers who love what they sell and appreciate their hard work. They’re also an important source of income, helping farmers keep on doing what they love to do, so that Ontarians can keep on enjoying fresh local food. (Farmers Market Ontario)
This takes me forward to living in Toronto and visiting St.Lawrence Market. I understand there is a great distance for these farms to come and we are by an Ontario Food Terminal but how are we ensuring these markets meet any standards or are we under the assumption that they must be local. With a simple Google Search, I manage to find Farmers Market Ontario along with Farmers Market Canada. That helped but it didn’t help solve the mystery of “Products from Chile” or “Products from California” that I occasionally find in these markets. Looks like more investigative work is to be needed on this.
To Ponder on: Where did we go wrong to lose “that feeling” and sense of belonging (with our food) in the larger cities? How would one ever bring it back or are we too far fetched?