Ontario farmers’ markets are always in season

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As we approach the warm spring season, thoughts on Ontario farms are turning towards planting the new season’s crops. Even through the cold months of winter and the cool, wet spring days that are common in Ontario, there are plenty of delicious local food options to be found at farmers’ markets across the Province. And for some of Ontario’s farmers, harvest isn’t too far off with asparagus leading the way followed by strawberries, rhubarb and peas as some of our earliest spring crops.

“While farmers’ markets are a great place to get your local fresh fruits and vegetables when they are in season, you can also enjoy the wide spectrum of what is grown and raised on Ontario farms all year long,” says Drew Spoelstra, farmer and President of the Ontario Federation of Agriculture (OFA).

Through its Home Grown campaign, the OFA raises awareness of the importance of preserving Ontario farmland to produce food, fuel, flowers and fibre.

“Our farmland is a precious, essential resource and the best way for Ontarians to help protect it is to buy the food, fuel, fibre and flowers that we produce there — farmers’ markets are a spot to do that year-round,” adds Drew.

An innovative new partnership between OFA and Farmers’ Markets Ontario will be supporting marketing projects to promote Ontario farmers at farmers’ markets across the Province, making it easier than ever for Ontario consumers to shop local all year long.

Greenhouse fruits and vegetables are always in season and can often be found at farmers’ markets, but other Ontario products that you can find at farmers’ markets year-round include:

Honey: Ontario beekeepers, and the bees they tend, produce some of the best honey in the world. Look for the 100% Ontario Honey logo or Foodland Ontario designation to ensure that you are getting local honey. Find local honey near you at ontariobee.com.

Apples: Harvested from late summer through fall, Ontario apples keep very well in cold storage to be enjoyed throughout the year. Ciders and juices are also farmers’ market staples. Learn more at onapples.com.

Potatoes and root vegetables: Ontario potatoes are plentiful and locally grown root vegetables like carrots, onions, squash and parsnip are widely available.

Meats: Whether processed or fresh, many farmers’ markets have Ontario meats and poultry available year-round. More information is at meatpoultryon.ca.

Eggs: With more than 500 egg farmers across Ontario, farm fresh eggs can be found at most farmers’ markets. Learn more at getcracking.ca.

Maple syrup: The sap is running in Ontario, so head to a local market to enjoy the season’s first maple syrup products. Discover this natural, healthy sweetener at ontariomaple.com.

Preserves: Pickles, jarred fruits, jams, jellies and spreads made from Ontario fruits and vegetables are not only available year round, but they are also quite simply delicious.

Flowers: There are an estimated 200 greenhouses in Ontario growing cut flowers and potted plants that bring colour and joy to homes and workplaces. Visit Pick Ontario for more information on what is available in Ontario: www.po.flowerscanadagrowers.com.

 

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